Assoc. Prof., Mgr. Jan Šobotník, Ph.D.
Born: 9th of May 1974 in České Budějovice, Czech Republic
Status: formally single, 2 kids (2008, 2013)
1992 – 1995 Bc. studies in biology at the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
1995 – 1997 M.Sc. studies in biology at the Faculty of Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Department of Zoology, specialization Entomology
1997 – 2003 Ph.D. studies at the Faculty of Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Department of Zoology, specialization Entomology and Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Research Team of Infochemicals; Ph.D. Thesis: „Morphological and functional aspects of exocrine organs in termite family Rhinotermitidae“ (Supervisor: Prof. I. Hrdý)
2016 Associate professor at the Faculty of Tropical Agriculture, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague; Habilitation: „How do termites relate to their environment?“
1997-2013 at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Infochemicals Research Team (Head: Prof. Irena Valterová, Ph.D.)
2012-2019 at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Department of Forest Protection and Entomology (Head: Prof. Jaroslav Holuša, Ph.D.)
Since 2020 at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Department of Sustainable Technologies (Head: Prof. J. Banout)
2006: 12 months at the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium) under supervision of Prof. Yves Roisin; Topic: The social behaviour of Prorhinotermes canalifrons (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) with special regard to defence sensu lato.
Research interests: Termite biology, ecology, physiology, ontogeny, phylogeny; Termite-microbe associations and food digestion; Structure and function of insect body; Exocrine glands and their function; Arthropod defences
General Entomology: Department of Zoology (Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague), together with Prof. P. Štys, since 2003
Biology of Social Insects: Department of Zoology (Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague), and Faculty of Science (University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice), together with Dr. J. Straka and Dr. P. Klimeš, since 2008
Tutor of 8 Postdoctoral researchers in the past (Rafal Piskorski, David Sillam-Dussès, Olivier Delattre, Pavel Jedlička, Veronika Steinbauerová, Cecilia Dahlsjö, Aleš Buček, Kateřina Votýpková).
Tutor of 3 Postdoctoral researchers at the moment (Amrita Chakraborty, Juan José Gonzales Plaza, Shulin He).
Currently supervisor of 5 theses (2 M.Sc. and 3 Ph.D.).
Invited Talks and Courses:
Chemical Ecology of Termites: 6 hours of lectures and 24 hours of practical course, July 2012, Post-graduate program in entomology, Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil (Prof. O. de Souza).
Stop or I Will Blow Myself up! Ecology and evolution of termite defence strategies (in Czech): "Čtvrtky ve Viničné" (scientific seminar), March 2013, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University in Prague (Doc. L. Kratochvíl).
Termites and their Feeding Ecology; Termite defenses: 2 talks at internal conference "Lab retreat", May 2013, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Germany (Prof. A. Brune)
Insect Chemical Ecology: 5 hours of lectures and 5 hours of practical course, June 2013, Ethology program, Université Paris 13, France (Dr. D. Sillam-Dussès).
Defence Strategies of Termites: Talk and discussion at regular seminar Evolution and Ecology Colloquium, January 2014, Free University of Berlin, Germany (Doc. R. Radek).
Evolution of Termite Defences: Seminar for Master students of Ethology programme, November 2014, Université Paris 13, France (Dr. D. Sillam-Dussès).
Evolution of Termite Defences; Termites and their Feeding Ecology: 2 talks at internal conference "Current termitology", November 2014, Faculty of Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago de Chile (Dr. D. Aguilera-Olivares)
Evolution of Termite Defences: Talk at 3rd International TBCC (Tropical Biology and Conservation Conference), November the 8th, 2016, University of Life Sciences, Prague (Dr. O. Leuner)
Termite Communication, Termite Feeding Biology, Termite Defences, Termites of the World: 4 talks at “Termite Biology and Control” course, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida, USA, June 19th to 23rd, 2017 (Dr. T. Chouvenc)
The World According to Termites: Plenary lecture at ZooDny 2018, CULS, February 8th 2018 (Dr. M. Knapp)
Termite Communication, Termite Feeding Biology, Termite Defences, Termites of the World: 4 talks at “Termite Biology and Control” course, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida, USA, June 3rd to 8th, 2019 (Dr. T. Chouvenc)
Termite defences: 2nd International Student Course in Behavioural Biology. Institut Francien d’Étologie, Paris, September the 19th, 2019
Termites of the World: talks at internal conference "Lab retreat", September 2019, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Germany (Prof. A. Brune)
About 50 additional contributions at seminars of other Czech Universities.
2005 - 2009 member of Czech Science Foundation, panel General and Ecological Biology (206)
since 2007 member of the Scientific council of Phytosanitary department, Crop Research Institute, Prague
2009-2019 member of the Commission for Ph.D. studies, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
since 2010 member of the Editorial board of European Journal of Entomology
since 2012 member of the board of the Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v. v. i.
2013-2015 member of Czech Science Foundation, Chairman of panel Animal and Plant Ecology (505)
2015 Guest Editor of Arthropod Structure & Development Special Issue (44, 5): Exocrine Glands in Insects
since 2017 member of Czech Science Foundation, panel Animal and Plant Ecology (505)
More than two years in total spent on field campaigns during the last 15 years: Cameroon (8 months; 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2x 2019, 2020), French Guyana (7 months; 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), Brazil (3 months; 2012), China (1 month; 2016), Thailand (1 month; 2013), Kenya (1 month; 2015), Indonesia - West Papua (1 month; 2011), Iran (1 month; 2000), Lybia (1 month; 2002), Syria (1 month; 1998); Australia (3 weeks; 2014, 2019), Madagascar (3 weeks; 2015), Papua New Guinea (3 weeks; 2016), Namibia (3 weeks; 2018), Panama (2 weeks; 2018), South Africa (2 weeks; 2008), Chile (1 week; 2014).
Author and co-author of 81 research articles in impacted journals, 10 articles in national journals, 2 book chapters, and over 70 conference presentations.
Article reviews for many international journals including Ecology Letters, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Functional Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Scientific Records, Arthropod Structure & Development, Journal of Insect Physiology, Naturwissenschaften, Insectes Sociaux, Austral Entomology, PLoS One, Insect Conservation and Diversity, Journal of Chemical Ecology, Computational and Structural Biotechnology and others.
Top 5 publications:
1. Šobotník J., Bourguignon T., Hanus R., Demianová Z., Pytelková J., Mareš M., Foltýnová P., Preisler J., Cvačka J., Krasulová J. & Roisin Y. 2012: Explosive backpack in old termite workers. Science 337: 436. (Listed in the Top 10 ScienceNOWs of 2012, Science, 338, 1518.)
2. Šobotník J., Jirošová A. & Hanus R. 2010: Chemical warfare in termites. Journal of Insect Physiology 56: 1012-1021. (Invited Review; 73 citations so far)
3. Bourguignon T., Lo N., Cameron S.L., Šobotník J., Hayashi Y., Shigenobu S., Watanabe D., Roisin Y., Miura T. & Evans T.A. 2015: The evolutionary history of termites as inferred from 66 mitochondrial genomes. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32: 406-421. (133 citations so far)
4. Buček A., Šobotník J., He S., Shi M., McMahon D.P., Holmes E.C., Roisin Y., Lo N. & Bourguignon T. 2019: Evolution of termite symbiosis informed by transcriptome-based phylogenies. Current Biology 29: 3728-3734.
5. Wen X.-L., Wen P., Dahlsjӧ C.A.L., Sillam-Dussès D. & Šobotník J. 2017: Breaking the cipher: ant eavesdropping on the variational trail pheromone of its termite prey. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences 284: 20170121.
Scientometry (WoS): H-index 22, 1340 citations (226 in 2019; 1055 without self-citations), 836 citing articles (7772 without self-citations).
Scientometry (Scholar): H-index 26, 1840 citations (303 in 2019), i10 index 53.
Principal investigator of projects with overall budget about 3.1 M E so far.
The impact of juvenile hormone analogue on inner anatomy of termites. Czech Science Foundation 206/06/1643, 2006-8, Principal investigator.
Primer and releaser pheromones of termites, analytical study. Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic A600550614, 2006-10, Principal investigator.
Strepsiptera of the genus Stylops (Stylopidae): evolution of host specificity, chemical ecology and behaviour of parasitized host. Czech Science Foundation P506/10/1466, 2010-12, Principal investigator.
Biology, chemical ecology, and phylogeny of critical termite genera of families Rhinotermitidae and Serritermitidae. Czech Science Foundation P506/10/1570, 2010-13, Team member / principal investigator.
Do symbionts influence global patterns of termite abundance? Czech Science Foundation 16-05318S, 2016-18, Principal investigator.
Mechanisms of soil organic matter turnover in the Congo Basin along the land-use gradient. Czech Science Foundation 18-20020S, 2018-2020, Principal investigator.
Nutrient recycling in tropical forests: Termite hologenomes and the functional significance of their members. Project “EVA4.0”, No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000803 financed by OP RDE.
Sub-project team leader.
Team member several bigger Czech projects; principal investigator or team member of about 20 smaller projects from several universities and science foundations.