The Institute of Vertebrate Biology, part of the Czech Academy of Sciences, is engaged in both basic and applied research on vertebrates and the organisms that can interact with them (e.g. parasites). The Institute, which is headquartered in Brno, has two branch facilities situated in Valtice (South Moravian Region) and Studenec (Bohemian-Moravian Highlands). Research at the Institute is focused on increasing our knowledge of vertebrate biology, the information thus obtained being used in forestry, agriculture, fisheries, nature conservation and biomedical fields. The Institute also takes an active role in popularising science using the results of its research in education and training. The topics studied can be divided into three main research fields focused on evolutionary ecology, medical zoology and biodiversity.
At the Institute, vertebrate communities, and factors affecting their past and present dissemination (including invasive species), are studied at three basic levels (i.e. ecosystem, species and genetic), with field studies taking place in Europe, Africa, America and Asia. The Institute organises the largest Czech-Slovak zoological conference (Zoological Days), which annually welcomes around 400-500 participants, including scientists, other zoologists, practical nature conservation workers and students. Furthermore, the Institute organises meetings of researchers, undertakes consultancy and advisory activities and provides scientific assessments. The Mohelský Mill Field Station forms part of the institute’s property. As this field station is located close to a valuable National Nature Reserve and Natura 2000 site (the Mohelenská Serpentine Steppe), much of the teaching activities of this project will take place at the Station.