People / current lab members and alumni


Gregor Bračko - Technical Assistant

GregorI work as a technician in the SubBioLab, where I am involved with various practical courses for students and maintenance of our SubBioDatabase. Otherwise, my main interests are ants, especially faunistics of Balkan ants.
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Petra Bregović - PhD Student

PetraMy research interest is mainly about subterranean beetles. For the master thesis I worked on distribution and taxonomy of the subterranean beetles of the genera Anthroherpon and Leptomeson in Croatia. Now, as a PhD student I am studying the influence of environmental factors on biodiversity of subterranean beetles in Dinaric karst and trying to understand the variations in body size.
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Teo Delić – PhD Student

TeoKnowing that there is a global hotspot for subterranean fauna in my garden (Dinarides), made me think why is that so? At first, I started exploring how Pleistocene glaciations shaped the genetic structure at southern glacier boundaries. More recently, I focused on character displacement and adaptive radiation patterns within the genus Niphargus in the Dinarides.
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Cene Fišer – Assistant Professor

CeneI am studying phenotype diversity and diversification within the subterranean amphipod genus Niphargus. A part of my research is dedicated to the on-going taxonomic revision of the genus, the other part to studying mechanisms underlying its evolutionary radiation.
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Žiga Fišer - PhD Student

ZigaFor my Graduation Thesis I worked on the phylogeny and phylogeography of the Istrian blind amphipod Niphargus krameri. In my PhD research I focus on the evolutionary processes that are promoting adaptive divergence between surface and cave populations of the of the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus.
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Marjeta Konec – PhD Student

MetaIn my PhD project I focused on the processes of speciation and adaptation to the subterranean habitat. I developed new genetic markers (microsatellites) and used them to study the genetic differentiation of subterranean and surface populations of the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus.
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Ajda Moškrič – PhD Student

AjdaFor my PhD I am developing nuclear molecular markers to provide a framework for large-scale phylogenetic analysis of the subterranean amphipod genus Niphargus. In combination with morphological evidence, this will enable us to understand cryptic speciation and adaptive radiation within the genus.
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Simona Prevorčnik – Assistant Professor

SimonaThe main objects of my taxonomical work are isopod crustaceans from the genera Asellus and Monolistra. I am using morphometry and multivariate statistical tools to study their diversity and mechanisms of speciation.
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Peter Trontelj – Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Group Leader

PeroI am interested in the evolution of subterranean biodiversity at the phenotypic as well as the molecular level. Currently, with my PhD students and collaborators, I work on the question of adaptive radiation within extreme environments like caves, and on the processes that drive diversification and speciation in those environments.

Rudi Verovnik – Assistant Professor of Zoology

RudiMy main interest in cave organisms is connected with our model organism Asellus aquaticus and its phylogeograpy, speciation and adaptation to the subterranean environment. I am currently working also on the phylogeny and phylogeography of isopods in the genus Monolistra. In addition, I am involved in butterfly studies and conservation at national and European level.

Maja Zagmajster – Assistant Professor of Zoology, Researcher

MajaI am interested in biodiversity, distribution and ecology of subterranean fauna, from the scale of individual sites (caves) to large geographical extents (Dinaric karst, continents). I am updating and managing the SubBio Database. My research is devoted also to ecology and conservation of bats, I am coordinating bat research in the EU Life+ project "Life at Night".
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former lab members


Martin Turjak – PhD Student 2007-2012

LeptodirusDuring his PhD Martin developped a new "Hennigean" method for evaluating taxic synapomorphies on phylogenetic trees (Turjak & Trontelj 2012). He was also working on the SubBio Database and programming the user interface for the online version of the database (read more on the database page).
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Jure Jugovic – PhD Student 2005-2010

JureWorked on the taxonomy and morphometrics of the cave shrimp genus Troglocaris.
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Špela Gorički - PhD Student 2002–2006

LeptodirusWorked on the phylogeography and systematics of the European cave salamander Proteus anguinus.
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group photo