Insect Communities

Robert Tropek, doc. RNDr., Ph.D.

(List of publications)

born 28th January 1984 in Kadan, Czechoslovakia
married, father


Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czechia
BSc. – 2006; MSc. – 2008; RNDr. – 2008; Ph.D. – 2013


since 2014: Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Czechia (2014-2023: assistant professor and junior group leader; since 2023: associate professor)
since 2008: Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budějovice, Czechia (2008-2013: Ph.D. student; 2013-2015: postdoc; since 2015: researcher and head of laboratory; since 2023: senior researcher and head of laboratory).
2013-2014: Institute of Biogeography, University of Basel, Switzerland (postdoc)
2023: 6 months of parental leave

Short research and study stays

since 2014: Zoological Museum of the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Polland, repeated short visits, together 8 weeks
2016-2019: ISA Lille, France, 1 week yearly, altogether 1 month
2013: British Natural History Museum, London, UK, 1 week
2013: African Butterfly Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenia, 2 weeks
2006: Binatang Research Center, Papua New Guinea – attendant of the field course of Tropical Ecology, 3 weeks

Main field research abroad

since 2007: Cameroon – research on ecology of Lepidoptera and pollination biology (leader of several projects), 14 expeditions, 27 months together.
since 2018: Republic of South Africa – research of pollination networks in temperate and tropical ecosystems (project leader); research on dynamics of biodiversity in African savannah (responsibility for entomological parts), 6 expeditions, 4 months together
2022: Tanzania – research of pollination networks in tropical savannah, 2 expeditions, 6 weeks together.
2022: Greece, Lesvos – research of pollination networks in subarctic open habitats, 2 weeks
2021: Norway – research of pollination networks in subarctic open habitats, 4 weeks
2016, 2017: southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe) – research on biodiversity along an environmental productivity gradient, 2 expeditions, 2 months together.
2012: Liberia – environmental impact assessment of iron ore mining on biodiversity of butterflies (field assistant), 7 weeks.

Current research interests

Ecology, conservation potential and restoration of post-industrial sites
Ecology and biodiversity of Afrotropical Lepidoptera
Pollination biology in Afrotropical ecosystems
Pollination networks under landscape fragmentation
Ecology and conservation of Central European arthropods

Commentaries on my Research

Chin G. & Yeston J. (2010) Editor’s choice – Best feed forward. Science 330: 152.
Memmott J. (2010) Editor’s choice – The efficacy of ecological restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology (published on-line)
European Commission (2010) Disused quarries could provide valuable habitat if restored naturally. Science for Environment Policy 189: 1.

Research Grants

Principal investigator / Co-Investigator
2021-2025 – Latitudinal patterns in specialisation of interspecific interactions: Cross-continental geographical patterns in plant-pollinator networks, Czech Science Foundation, Junior Star Project (PI, ca. 1,000,000 EUR)
2020-2022 – Latitudinal patterns in specialisation of plant-pollinator interactions: comparison of tropical and temperate montane grasslands, Czech Science Foundation (PI, ca. 300,000 EUR)
2018-2020 – Crucial drivers for pollination networks organisation: Effects of altitude, latitude and habitat fragmentation, PRIMUS project from the Charles University  (PI, ca. 230,000 EUR)
2018-2020 – Overlooked man-made habitats: understanding the drivers and patterns of freshwater biota in polluted standing waters, Czech Science Foundation (co-PI, ca. 180,000 EUR)
2016-2018 – Structure and specialization of pollination networks along a tropical altitudinal gradient: a path to understanding biodiversity evolution, Czech Science Foundation (ca. 293,000 EUR)
2013-2014 – The history and future of Afromontane biodiversity reconstructed from the phylogeography and biogeography of its butterflies, Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship (42,000 CHF ~ ca. 35,000 EUR)
2012-2016 – Arthropods of anthropogenic fine-substrated habitats: community structure, conservation potential and species functional traits, Czech Science Foundation (ca. 199,000 EUR)
2012 – Phylogeography of West-African mountains using butterflies as a model group, University of South Bohemia Grant Agency – principal investigator (ca. 8,000 EUR)
2011-2012 – History and future of mysterious Afromontane butterflies, National Geographic Society, Waitt Grant (13,900 USD ~ 10,000 EUR)
2010 – The next challenge for restoration ecology: Importance of fly ash deposits for conservation of arthropods biodiversity, University of South Bohemia Grant Agency (ca. 4,300 EUR)
2007, 2008, 2011 – Small student projects of the University of South Bohemia (SGA, UFB) – principal investigator (together ca. 4,000 EUR)
Research team member
2018-2020 – Biodiversity maintenance in African savanna: How to deal with severe top-down and bottom-up effects? Czech Science Foundation (PI: prof. Petr Pyšek)
2017-2019 – The importance of seasonality in shaping plant-pollinator networks in tropical montane forest, Grant Agency of the Charles University (PI: Yannick Klomberg)
2016-2018 – Pollination networks along altitudinal gradients – the pollinators’ point of view, Grant Agency of the Charles University (PI: Jan Mertens)
2016-2017 – Elephants as a keystone in forming and maintaining of tropical biodiversity – a study of moths in Mt. Cameroon, University of South Bohemia Grant Agency (PI: Vincent Maicher)
2014-2018 – Centre for tropical biology, Czech Science Foundation (PI: prof. Vojtech Novotny)

Teaching and supervising of students

Supervisor of 8 ongoing Ph.D. thesis (4 Ph.D. theses already defended) and several BSc. and MSc. theses (10 BSc. and 14 MSc. theses already defended) – list of all supervised theses

Full semestral course on Insect Ecology and Conservation, Charles University in Prague (since 2014)
Full semestral course on Biodiversity of Heavily Disturbed Sites, Charles University (biennially since 2017)
Full semestral course on General Ecology, Charles University (since 2024; together with Dr. Kateřina Kopalová)
Regular lectures on Restoration Ecology, Harper Adams University (a lecture yearly since 2022)
Previously, full semestral course on Arachnology, University of South Bohemia (2011-2015); a week course Biodiversity of Post-Industrial Sites, ISA Lille, France (yearly from 2016 to 2019); regular lectures on Restoration Ecology, Czech University of Life Sciences (two lectures yearly from 2015 to 2021); and practical identification seminars on Special Zoology of Invertebrates, University of South Bohemia (one or two seminars biennially between 2011 and 2018); a lecturer of several practical field courses and excursions.

Academic Appointments

Elected president (2019-2022) and elected council member (2015-2022) of the Czech Society for Ecology
Associate editor of Journal of Tropical Ecology (since 2021), section editor of Biodiversity Data Journal (since 2022).
Member of the scientific boards for the Ecology PhD program at Charles University (since 2020) and for the Entomology PhD program, University of South Bohemia (since 2020)
Council member of the European Ecological Federation (2019-2022)
Head of the Laboratory of Community Ecology, Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre, CAS (since 2015)
Member of the Biology panel of the Grant Agency of Charles University (since 2016)
Departmental coordinator of ERASMUS+, Charles University (since 2014)
Elected member of the Academic Senate, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia (2009-2011)

Other Activities

Author of several management and restoration plans, including postindustrial sites, collaborator in drafts of legislation changes concerning restoration of postindustrial sites
Travelling: Australia (Queensland), Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada (Alberta), Costa Rica, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, USA (Florida), Zimbabwe, many European countries

Scopulifera sagamase tropeki Libert, 2014

Scopulifera sagamase tropeki Libert, 2014

Alucita tropeki Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich, 2020