RNDr. Martin Volf, Ph.D.

Funkce: Bývalý zaměstnanec - Laboratoř evoluční ekologie

Kontaktní údaje

Telefon: +420 387775038
E-mail: volf@entu.cas.cz


I specialize on insect-plant relationships, evolution of plant defensive traits, and chemical ecology. In general, I am interested in insect-plant coevolution and factors driving diversification of insects and plants and evolution of plant defences.

I am involved in projects examining latitudinal gradients of insect biodiversity. Mainly, we are trying to answer the question why are there more species of insect herbivores in tropical than temperate forests. To investigate this we sample canopy assemblages of key herbivore guilds using several techniques such as sampling from canopy cranes or cherry-pickers.

Further, I am interested in evolutionary trends in Ficus and Salix defences and their impact on herbivore community assembly. Both Ficus and Salix are key plant genera supporting large diversity of insects in tropical forests and temperate wetlands. Understanding evolution of their defences is thus crucial for understanding not only the evolution of host-plant defences in general but also for understanding the factors driving diversity and specialization of insect herbivores.

Odborný životopis



2012 – 2016: Ph.D. in Entomology, University of South Bohemia. Honours (cum laude). Supervisor: prof. RNDr. Vojtěch Novotný CSc, Title: Specificity of insect-plant associations and their role in the formation of plant defenses and speciation

Date of defense: 12.10. 2016

2015: RNDr. in Zoology (an extension of a master degree), Supervisor: prof. RNDr. Vojtěch Novotný CSc, Title: Insect herbivores drive the loss of unique chemical defense in willows

2010 – 2012: M.Sc. in Zoology, University of South Bohemia. Honours. Awarded by the Dean's and the University President's prizes, Supervisor: M.Sc. Jan Hrček Ph.D. Title: The impact of deffensive host-plant traits on community structure of herbivorous insects on willows

2007 – 2010: B.Sc. in Biology, University of South Bohemia. Honours. Supervisor: M.Sc. Jan Hrček. Ph.D. Title: Community structure of leaf-chewing insect on willows

Professional Experience

2016 – present - Postodoctoral research scientist at Biology Center, Czech Academy of Sciences

2016 – Predoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution (hosted by K. A. Teixeira)

2016 – short term stay as a research assistant at Smithsonian Trop. Res. Inst. (hosted by Y. Basset)

2015 – field team leader during two month stay at Tomakomai Experimental Forest, Hokkaido, Japan

2014 – field team leader during three month stay at Tomakomai Experimental Forest, Hokkaido, Japan

2012 – 2016 – Postgraduate fellowship at Biology Center, Czech Academy of Sciences

2011 – one month research stay at University of Eastern Finland (hosted by R. Julkunen-Tiitto)

        – two month research stay at University of Minnesota (hosted by J. Cavender-Bares)

Student supervision

Jan Kadlec (B.Sc. thesis) 2014-present. Host-preference of willow associated gallers.

Martin Libra (M.Sc. thesis), 2013-2015. Diversity of gall-inducing arthropods in two different host communities in temperate forests.

Markéta Tahadlová (B.Sc. thesis, cosupervisor with Jakub Těšitel), 2013-2015. The interactions of hemiparasitic plants with invertebrate herbivores.


2016 - Field course in vertebrate and insect zoology

2015 - Field course in Alpine zoology

2014 - Practicals in insect systematic, Field courses in entomology and ecology

2013 - Field courses in entomology and ecology, Practicals in invertebrate biology

Prizes and Awards

2017 – Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers

2016 - 2nd place in the Vojtěch Jarošík´s prize for an excellent student publication in ecology; awarded by Czech Association for Ecology and Department of Ecology, Cahrles University.

2016 - Prize of Czech Entomological Society and 1st prize for the best student talk about invertabrates at national conference in zoology, České Budějovice.

2013 - Prize of Czech Entomological Society and 2nd prize for the best student talk at national conference in zoology, Olomouc.

International Conferences

ESA Annuan Meeting, 2016, Fort Lauderdale (oral): Divergent chemical syndromes in species rich plant genera: the case in Ficus local community in Papua New Guinea

European Conference of Tropical Ecology, 2016, Göttingen (oral): Divergent chemical syndromes in species rinch plant genera: the case in Ficus local community in Papua New Guinea

11th INTECOL Congress, 2013, London (oral): Insect Herbivore Adaptation Drives the Loss of Unique Chemical Defense in Willows

Local Conferences

Zoology Days 2016, Č. Budějovice (oral): Divergent defensive syndromes in Ficus species growing in sympatry

Zoology Days 2016, Č. Budějovice (oral): Host-plant phylogenetic diversity drives insect-plant food-web structure

Zoology Days 2015, Brno (oral): The effect of environmental changes on specialized pollinators limits geneflow in New Guinean Ficus speciesalong altitudinal gradients

Zoology Days 2014, Ostrava (oral): Výzkum latitudinálních trendů diverzity herbivorního hmyzu - Jaké faktory určují jeho diverzitu?

Zoology Days 2013, Brno (oral): Insect herbivore adaptation drives the loss of unique chemical defense in willows

Zoology Days 2012, Olomouc (oral): Struktura společenstev herbivorního hmyzu na vrbách je určena obsahem salicylátů v listech.

Awarded grants

University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science, 103-016/2015/P, Evolutionary trends in host-plant defences and their impact on herbivore community assembly

Expert reviews for

Ecology Letters, Ecology, Ecography, Plant Ecology, European Journal of Entomology

International courses and workshops

2015 University Course on Molecular Analysis of Trophic Interactions (MATI) at University of Innsbruck, Austria

2009 – Field course on Tropical Ecology at Binatang Research Centre, PNG


Statistics: ANOVA, GLM, LME, multivariate, phylogenetic comparative methods (PGLS, PGR, PVR), data visualization, food-web analysis; Molecular methods: DNA extraction, PCR, nested PCR, multiplex PCR, preparation for sequencing, DNA cloning, sequence processing, phylogenetics; Chemical analysis: Basics of HPLC; Field work: Extensive experience in quantitative canopy insect sampling and insect rearing; Identification skills: good general knowledge of invertebrates, specialized in Coleoptera (Buprestidae, Carabidae). Experience in Salicaceae identification; Software: Phylogenetics and sequence processing: Geneious, BioEdit, JModelTest, Beast, MrBayes, PAUP, FigTree, TreeGraph, Statistics and community analysis: R, CANOCO, Statistica, EstimateS, Past, Graphical tools: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, GIMP, ImageJ, Others: Microsoft Office

Celkem nalezeno: 14 záznamů
Redmond C. M., Auga J., Gewa B., Segar S. T., Miller S., Molem K., Weiblen G., Butterill P. T., Maiyah G., Hood A.S.C., Volf M., Jorge L.R., Basset Y. F., Novotný V. (2019) High specialization and limited structural change in plant-herbivore networks along a successional chronosequence in tropical montane forest. Ecography 42 : 162-172.
DOI: 10.1111/ecog.03849
Segar S. T., Volf M., Sisol M., Pardikes N., Souto-Vilarós D. (2019) Chemical cues and genetic divergence in insects on plants: conceptual cross pollination between mutualistic and antagonistic systems. Current Opinion in Insect Science 32 : 83-90.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.11.009
Volf M., Salminen J.-P., Segar S. T. (2019) Evolution of defences in large tropical plant genera: perspectives for exploring insects diversity in a tri-trophic context. Current Opinion in Insects Science 32 : 91-97.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.12.005
Volf M., Holec M., Holcová D., Jaroš P., Hejda R., Drag L., Blízek J., Šebek P., Čížek L. (2018) Microhabitat mosaics are key to the survival of an endangered ground beetle (Carabus nitens) in its post-industrial refugia. Journal of Insect Conservation 22 : 321-328.
DOI: 10.1007/s10841-018-0064-x
Volf M., Segar S. T., Miller S. E., Isua B., Sisol M., Aubona G., Šimek P., Moos M., Laitila J., Kim J., Zima J., Rota J., Weiblen G. D., Wossa S., Salminen J.-P., Basset Y. F., Novotný V. (2018) Community structure of insect herbivores is driven by conservatism, escalation and divergence of defensive traits in Ficus. Ecology Letters 21 : 83-92.
DOI: 10.1111/ele.12875
Biranvand Amir, Nedvěd O., Shakarami Jahanshir, Fekrat Lida, Hamidi Elnaz, Volf M., Hanley Guy A. (2017) The ladybeetle community (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in north east of Iran. Baltic Journal of Coleopterology 17 : 49-67.
Segar S. T., Volf M., Isua B., Sisol M., Redmond C. M., Rosati M., Gewa B., Molem K., Dahl C. N., Holloway J., Basset Y. F., Miller S., Weiblen G., Salminen J.-P., Novotný V. (2017) Variably hungry caterpillars: predictive models and foliar chemistry suggest how to eat a rainforest Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284 : article number 20171803.
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1803
Segar S. T., Volf M., Zima J., Isua B., Sisol M., Sam L., Sam K., Souto-Vilarós D., Novotný V. (2017) Speciation in a keystone plant genus is driven by elevation: a case study in New Guinean Ficus. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30 : 512-523.
DOI: 10.1111/jeb.13020
Volf M., Kadlec Jan, Butterill P. T., Novotný V. (2017) Host phylogeny and nutrient content drive galler diversity and abundance on willows. Ecological Entomology 42 : 685-688.
DOI: DOI: 10.1111/een.12420
Volf M., Pyszko P., Abe T., Libra M., Kotásková N., Šigut M., Kumar R., Kaman O., Butterill P. T., Šipoš J., Abe H., Fukushima H., Drozd P., Kamata N., Murakami M., Novotný V. (2017) Phylogenetic composition of host plant communities drives plant-herbivore food web structure. Journal of Animal Ecology 86 : 556-565.
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12646
Volf M., Redmond C. M., Albert Á., Le Bagousse-Pinguet Y., Biella P., Götzenberger L., Hrázský Z., Janeček Š., Klimešová J., Lepš J., Šebelíková L., Vlasatá T., De Bello F. (2016) Effects of long- and short-term management on the functional structure of meadows through species turnover and intraspecific trait varibility. Oecologia 180 : 941-950.
DOI: 10.1007/s00442-016-3548-y
Forister M., Novotný V., Panorska A., Baje L., Basset Y. F., Butterill P. T., Čížek L., Coley P., Dem F., Diniz I., Drozd P., Fox M., Glassmire A., Hazen R., Hrček J., Jahner J., Kaman O., Kozubowski T., Kursar T., Lewis O., Lill J., Marquis R., Miller S., Morais H., Murakami M., Nickel H., Pardikes N., Ricklefs R., Singer M., Smilanich A., Stireman J., Villamarín-Cortez S., Vodka Š., Volf M., Vagner D., Walla T., Weiblen G. D., Dyer L. (2015) The global distribution of diet breadth in insect herbivores. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 : 442-447.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1423042112
Volf M., Hrček J., Julkunen-Tiitto R., Novotný V. (2015) To each its own: differential response of specialist and generalist herbivores to plant defence in willows. Journal of Animal Ecology 84 : 1123-1132.
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12349
Volf M., Julkunen-Tiitto R., Hrček J., Novotný V. (2015) Insect herbivores drive the loss of unique chemical defense in willows. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 156 : 88-98.
DOI: 10.1111/eea.12312


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