Prof. Dr. Karel Šimek, PhD.
PHONE-Nr. 00420 38 7775873
MOBIL-Nr. 00420 606 927118
FAX-Nr. 00420 38 5310248
Areas of Competence:
Limnology, Microbial Ecology, Bacteria-Protozoa-Virus Interactions, Bacterial Diversity
Current research and interests include: (i) lake and reservoir ecology, responses of microbial communities to changes in nutrients availability and predation pressure, protistan bacterivory and selection; (ii) interactions of bacteria-protozoa-viruses as factors shaping bacterioplankton dynamics and community composition exploring a variety of molecular, flow cytometric, fluorescence microscopy and isolation and cultivation approaches; (iii) population dynamics and occurrence of Betaproteobacteria in freshwaters.
• Bachelor of Arts, 1979, Charles University in Prague
• Master of Science, 1980, Charles University in Prague. Emphasis in microbiology.
• Doctor of Philosophy, (PhD) 1986, Charles University in Prague. Emphasis in limnology and microbial ecology. Dissertation title: "Factors regulating bacterial abundance and activity in the Římov reservoir: relationships to phyto- and zooplankton".
• Habilitation , 1997, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice. Thesis title: "Protozoan grazing as one of the principal factors controlling structure and production of bacterioplankton assemblages".
• Professor of hydrobiology, 2003, Charles University in Prague.
• Institute of Landscape Ecology CAS, since 1 April, 1990 Hydrobiological Institute CAS
• Research Assistant, 1979-1985
• Research Associate, 1986-1990
• Since 1991 - Head of the Department of Aquatic Microbial Ecology
• Since 1994 - 2001, Scientific secretary of the Hydrobiological Institute CAS
• Since 1996 - 1999 - Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, a part-time contract, a chair person for the master studies in limnology
• Since 1999-2009, a chair person of the committee for PhD studies in hydrobiology - Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
• Since 2003, a guarantor for the full professorship program in hydrobiology. Currently, University of South Bohemia is the only one in the Czech Republic having this accreditation, giving the unique position to the Faculty of Science in the field of hydrobiology.
Heading the team of the Department of Aquatic Microbial Ecology with 24 staff members divided into (1) microbial ecology and (2) phytoplankton ecology subgroups.
Projects awarded – Czech Grant Agencies:
• 2008 - 2012, leading the research project (GA CR No. 206/08/0015): "Ecophysiological traits and grazing- and virus-induced mortality of bacterial strains representing major bacterioplankton groups in a reservoir"
• 2005 - 2007, leading the research project (GA CR No. 206/05/0007): "Changes in bacterioplankton structure and functioning in a reservoir related to single-cell activities of major phylogenetic groups of bacteria"
• 2002 - 2004, leading the research project (GA CR No. 206/02/0003): "Top-down and bottom-up factors controlling bacterial community composition and dynamics in different parts of a meso-eutrophic canyon-shaped reservoir"
• 1999 - 2001, leading the research project (GA CR): "Mechanisms of microbial transformation of pollution with biodegradable organic carbon and nutrients in the inflow zone of canyon-shaped reservoirs" (a part of the project was conducted on the Sau Reservoir [Spain], a collaboration with Prof. Joan Armegol, co-supervising Ph.D. students - Marta Comerma and Juan-Carlos Garcia).
• 1996 - 1998, leading the research project (GA CR): "Impact of protozoan grazing on community structure and cell morphology of aquatic bacteria by using RNA probes and image analysis"
• 1993 - 1995, leading the research project (CAS) "Microbial pathways of utilizing phytoplankton production: Indication via ectoenzyme assays".
• 1991 - 1993, leading the research project (CAS) "Size selective grazing by freshwater ciliates and its impact on structure and production of bacterial assemblage".
International projects awarded and coordinated together with a partner from abroad:
• 2007 - 2008, KONTAKT project between Czech Republic and Austria, coordinated together with Dr. Martin Hahn (Institute for Limnology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Mondsee): "Eco-physiological characteristics of two important groups of Betaproteobacteria abundant in freshwater bacterioplankton"
• 2005 - 2006, coordinated with Dr. Josep Gasol (Institut de Ciències del Mar, CMIMA, CSIC, Barcelona) a joint project of CSIC and the Czech Academy of Sciencies: "Taxonomic characterization and metabolic capabilities of key groups of bacterioplankton in two different aquatic systems"
• 2005 - 2006, BARRANDE project, coordinated together with Dr. John Dolan (CRNS, France), "Sources of mortality in Synechococcus, a common planktonic, autotrophic prokaryote"
• 2002 - 2004, coordinated together with Dr. Josep Gasol (Institut de Ciències del Mar, CMIMA, CSIC, Barcelona) a joint project of CSIC and the Czech Academy of Sciencies: "Single-cell analysis of aquatic bacterioplankton: comparing methods and transferring expertise"
• 2000 - 2002, Project CRNS - PICS, financed by the CNRS - Directions des Relations Internationales (DRI) and coordinated together with Dr. John Dolan (CRNS, France) and Dr. Télesphore Sime-Ngando, Biologie des Protistes Universite Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand): "Régulation des populations picoplanctoniques prokaryotiques hétérotrophes"
• 2000 - 2001, a bilateral research project: Czech Republic - Greece; coordinated together with Dr. Urania Christaki (National Center for Marine Research, Athens, Greece),"Protistan control of autochthonous and allochthonous bacterial populations through grazing in polluted and non-polluted aquatic environments"
• 1997 - 1999, AKCION - bilateral project between Czech Republic and Austria, coordinated together with Dr. Thomas Posch (University of Innsbruck, Austria): "Ecological aspects of genetic and functional diversity of aquatic bacteria under grazer control: the use of in situ hybridization and fluorescent rRNA-targeted probes"
• 1996 - 1999, a bilateral project CRNS - the Czech Academy of Sciences, coordinated together with Dr. John Dolan (CRNS, France), "Factors controlling development of prokaryotic picoplankton"
• 1993 - 1994, EAST-WEST PROGRAM between Czech Republic and Austria, a bilateral project coordinated with Prof. Roland Psenner: (University of Innsbruck, Austria): "Determination of the grazing impact of ciliates and heterotrophic flagellates on bacterioplankton and phytoplankton by means of fluorescent labelling and image analysis techniques".
International experience – the most important research stays:
• The University of Texas at Arlington, USA
April-November 1989, POST-DOCT FELLOW - 7 months, the lab of Prof. T.H. Chrzanowski, the research project "Microbial processes in reservoirs: Regulation of bacteria by grazers".
• Institute of Limnology ÖAW, Mondsee, AUSTRIA
Leading the workshop ("Protozoan grazing on bacteria: field and laboratory studies") for students and graduates of limnology from The University of Innsbruck focused on fluorescent methods for protozoan grazing experiments (15-19 November, 1990, invited by Dr. R. Psenner).
• Institute of Limnology, The University of Constance, FRG
Joint experiments ("SPRING BLOOM", May 1991) with Dr. T. Weisse and Dr. M. Simon, dial cycles of (1) grazing of protozoans on bacteria and (2) grazing of macrozooplankton on protozoans.
• University of Innsbruck, AUSTRIA
Joint experiment "Microbial loop in forested alpine lake Piburger See". (EAST-WEST PROGRAM, May-June 1994), two follow-up projects during 1998-2002. Collaboration with Prof. Roland Psenner and Dr. Thomas Posch
• Station Zoologique, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
Exchange program CRNS - AS CR, stays - always 2-3 weeks every year (1995 - 2005), collaboration with Dr. J. Dolan a M. Weinbauer
• Department of Ecology, University of Barcelona, Spain
Invited professor stay - 6 weeks (June - July 1996), collaboration with Prof. Joan Armengol
• Departament de Biologia Marina i Oceanografia, Institut de Ci?ncies del Mar-CMIMA, CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
Exchange program CSIC – AS CR, collaboration with Dr. J. M Gasol, two follow-up 2-year projects (2 months during 2003-2006).
• Laboratoire "Microorganisme: Génome & Environnement", UMR CNRS 6023, Université Blaises Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Since 1999 - a fruitful educational as well as scientific collaboration with Dr. Télesphore Sime-Ngando. Our collaboration was officially covered by the project CRNS - PICS (2000 - 2002), financed by the CNRS - Directions des Relations Internationales (DRI) and coordinated together with Dr. John Dolan (CRNS, France) and Dr. Télesphore Sime-Ngando: "Régulation des populations picoplanctoniques prokaryotiques hétérotrophes". For sharing the expertise at each laboratory, within the scope of the project we exchanged several times our PhD students of microbial ecology.
International Recognition of Professional Excellence Award:
In 1991 selected as the IRPE (International Recognition of Professional Excellence in Ecology) Prize winner awarded to young scientists in the field of limnetic ecology
2010 received Docteurs HONORIS CAUSA from the University of Clermont Ferrand, France, on the basis of his outstanding publication and educational results in the field of hydrobiology.
Other scientific activitites:
• Subject editor (since 1995) covering the field of "Microbial dynamics in freshwaters" in the journal AQUATIC MICROBIAL ECOLOGY
• Selected as the president of the Otto Kinne Foundation (OKF, 2006-2008) that supports promising young environmental scientists in eastern European countries
• Fifteen invited and keynote lectures were presented abroad during 2003 - 2009
• Citations (WOS): 2400 SCI citations (without autocitations)
• H-index (2011): 30
Teaching activities in the Czech Republic:
• Since 1990 till 1998, Karel Šimek had been teaching General Microbiology and Limnology in the Pedagogical faculty of the University of South Bohemia.
• Since 1994 - until now, he has been teaching several subjects in limnology and aquatic microbial ecology in Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, where is his major pedagogical affiliation.
• Aside, as external professor, since 1995 Karel Šimek has been teaching selected subjects in limnology in Charles University in Prague and Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, Brno.
• Students supervised: 5 Master thesis students and 7 PhD thesis students, 3 PhD co-supervised (2 in Spain, one in Austria)
Teaching and collaboration with universities abroad:
• University of Texas at Arlington, USA.
1989, the lab of Prof. T.H. Chrzanowski. I was contracted via a NSF project; a part of the contract I was teaching selected techniques in aquatic microbial ecology.
• The University of Innsbruck AUSTRIA
1990, leading a workshop for students and graduates in limnology from University of Innsbruck focused on fluorescent methods for protozoan grazing experiments.
1992-2002, within the collaboration established with Prof. Roland Psenner, Dr. Jakob Pernhaler, and Dr. Thomas Posch, covered by several follow-up projects, we conducted a frequent exchange of master and PhD students between both institutions.
• Department of Ecology, University of Barcelona, Spain
Invited professor stay - teaching Microbial processes and Reservoir Limnology, collaboration with Prof. Joan Armengol.
• Czechoslovak Society of Limnology
• Czechoslovak Society of Microbiology
• American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (1999-2004)
• Czech Society of Entomology
Gardening, hiking, entomology – an amateur butterfly collector, participating in several ongoing international (European) and Czech national projects focused on mapping of European butterfly fauna supplying the data also for the EU program NATURA 2000.