Dean’s Awards 2024

Dean Tomáš Kašparovský has presented awards to the best students of the MU Faculty of Science. This year’s Dean’s Awards were presented to a total of ten laureates in the Best Student category in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme, and to eleven promising scientists in the Best Student category of the Doctoral study programme. Moreover, the award was also presented to three teams of fourteen outstanding students of the pregraduate and postgraduate programmes. Congratulations to all the winners!

13 Jun 2024 External Relations, Communication and MarketingFaculty of Science

Photo: Radek Miča

"Many of you are already involved in national and international grants and have won a number of prestigious awards as students. You are already doing all of this when you are at the very beginning of your careers, and you are only just gaining new knowledge as part of your studies and experience and learning new skills. This is what is extremely encouraging,“ said Tomáš Kašparovský in his speech.

Based on the decision of the Dean’s Board, the following students were awarded the Dean’s Award of the MU Faculty of Science 2024:

In the category of the Best Student of Bachelor and Master Degree Programme: Marianna Dafčíková, Robin Durník, Veronika Chalupová, Daniel Jadlovský, Adéla Kubištová, Tomáš Pompa, Leoš Sáblík, Martina Šindlerová, Jitka Vechetová, Július Zemaník.

In the Best Doctoral Student category: Avinash Bansal, Klára Čížková, Alžbeta Devánová, Veronika Farková, Matúš Chvojka, Tomáš Janoš, Alžbeta Kusová, Lukáš Kusýn, Kamila Říhová, Kamil Sobek, Jakub Záthurecký.

Collective awards for outstanding students: Barbora Popelářová, Barbora Burýšková, Jarmil Nikolas Hynek, Jiří Vlach, Hana Slámová, Amanda Rosota, Richard Kendzior, Valentína Berecová, Marie Grunová, Matúš Chvojka, Simona Krupčíková, Jana Horáčková, Daniel Pluskal, Marika Majerová.

Bc. Marianna Dafčíková

a student of the Master’s degree programme in Physics

Marianna Dafčíková made a significant contribution to the operation of the GRBAlpha satellite with her analysis and interpretation of data from the GRBAlpha and VZLUSAT-2 nanosatellites. Marianna analysed and interpreted data on gamma flashes and charged particles observed by these satellites while in orbit. Satellite operations require great dedication as one must work at night, on weekends and during holidays. To date, Marianna has published over 96 GCN (General Coordinates Network) circulars as first author in the ‘GCN Bulletin’. She is also the co-author of two articles in the prestigious journals ‘Astronomy’ and ‘Astrophysics’ and one in the Proceedings of SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics).

Bc. Robin Durník

a student of the Master’s study programme in Biochemistry

Even while studying, Robin Durník became involved in interdisciplinary biomedical research activities and projects in cooperation with several departments and institutes at Masaryk University and the Czech Academy of Sciences. As part of this work, he linked the development of drug carriers from the point of view of organic chemistry with preclinical research of their biological effects, using three-dimensional in-vitro models of human liver cells. Robin has undertaken a fluorescence microscopy course and has completed an internship at the Institute of Analytical Chemistry at the Czech Academy of Sciences. Robin has also helped apply analytical methods in research in cooperation with the RECETOX trace analysis laboratories.

Mgr. Veronika Chalupová

a graduate of the Master’s study programme in Zoology

Veronika Chalupová is using modern molecular methods in evolutionary-ecological research. In her work on genome-wide ddRAD sequencing, Veronika has demonstrated hands-on laboratory skills and a detailed understanding of methodology. Her simple and understandable description of a complex laboratory procedure has been recommended as teaching material for beginners interested in using this methodology to generate genomic data. Veronika’s research, which is focused on the population genetics of dark-banded mice, has brought new insights into the field of evolutionary biology, biogeography and has established connections between ecological and historical factors shaping the species’ current Central European diversity. Veronika is also actively involved in other research activities and presents her results at national and international conferences. With her exceptional achievements, enthusiasm for science and ability to apply her knowledge in practice, this student is an inspiration to other students at our faculty.

Mgr. Daniel Jadlovský

a graduate of the Master’s degree programme in Physics

As part of his diploma thesis, Daniel Jadlovský focused on the photometric and spectroscopic variability of the star Betelgeuse, a red giant. He published his results in the journal ‘New Astronomy’, and a year after publication the article has received seven citations. Daniel continued his research while staying at the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam and, based on this work, he subsequently submitted an article to the journal ‘Astronomy & Astrophysics’. As one of three Czech students to receive a Visegrad Award from the International Astronomical Union (IAU), he stayed at the observatory in Budapest and modelled pulsating BLAP (blue large amplitude pulsator) stars. He has also received a prestigious one-year internship from the Ministry of Education and Culture, which has enabled him to undertake scientific work at the headquarters of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany. The work undertaken by Daniel shows that our students can obtain top results even in the highly competitive and mediatised field of astrophysics.

Bc. Adéla Kubištová

a student of the Master’s study programme in Cell Biology

Adéla Kubištová has achieved excellent scientific and academic results and demonstrated creative abilities that significantly exceed the normal profile of a Bachelor’s programme graduate, with her the excellent experimental work in her Bachelor’s thesis a particular highlight. Based on the results of her work, she contributed as a co-author on an original article published in the prestigious journal ‘Cell Death & Disease’. Her work was evaluated as above standard by both the reviewer and project supervisor in terms of its scope and scientific quality, beyond the scope of normal diploma work. Adéla has regularly participated in the preparation of Open Days, where she has presented her Cell Biology specialisation to potential future students.

Bc. Tomáš Pompa

a student of the Master’s degree programme in Applied Mathematics

Tomáš Pompa has had excellent study results, with a study average of 1.0, and already has teaching experience, specialising in the subject Linear Statistical Models I. Tomáš is the author of a high-quality diploma thesis, in which he presented a wide-ranging comparative study of discrimination methods for functional data, which has significant publication potential. Tomáš Tomáš participates as part of the Kinanthropological (UK = Kinesiology) Research Incubator as part of the team of Prof. Dobrovolné and is co-author of an article accepted for publication in the prestigious journal ‘Scientific Reports’..

Bc. Leoš Sáblík

a student of the Master’s degree programme in Teaching Chemistry for Secondary Schools

Leoš Sáblík is studying to be a secondary school teacher of chemistry and mathematics. He organises chemistry Olympiads, often participating himself in regional and national rounds, and is also the organiser of the practical element within the Olympiads. Leoš also prepares and leads Bioskop clubs and summer schools. He co-organises regular lectures for teachers, high school students and the public within the Department of Chemistry and cooperates with MjUNI (the Junior University). He has gained a lot of experience as a teacher at a gymnasium and helps and teaches during laboratory exercises for primary and secondary schools at the Department of Chemistry. Leoš was an experimental demonstrator at the ‘Chemistry Days’ event and is a lecturer at ÚDiF (the Amazing Theatre of Physics), focusing on chemistry. He has also collaborated on articles on the ‘Učit se učit’ (learning to Learn) portal and participates in the ViBuCH (Educational Course for Future Chemists) competition. Leoš is now helping in training future teachers in three subjects at the Department of Chemistry.

Bc. Martina Šindlerová

a student of the Master’s study programme in Experimental Animal Biology & immunology

Martina Šindlerová excels in her independence, activity and work commitment, as well as her studies. She recently defended her Bachelor’s thesis with an "A" grade, while her diploma thesis (Characterisation of the role of the Arc1 gene in tumour development and immunity in the Drosophila melanogaster model), which she is currently working on, was supported by the Rector’s Programme for Excellent Diploma Theses. Martina was able to develop her research during an internship at Stockholm University and a short-term scientific internship in Cologne, and the results of this research will contribute to her diploma thesis and will subsequently be published in the form of a scientific article. Martina is already a co-author of a professional publication in the journal ‘Frontiers in Immunology’. Martina also actively participates in the management of younger students by passing on her acquired experience, such as when introducing new methodologies while working in the laboratory.

Bc. Jitka Vechetová

a student of the Master’s study programme in Biotechnology

Jitka Vechetová received a red diploma for her Bachelor’s studies and was among the top 5% of students. The results of her Bachelor thesis were evaluated as "best practice" as part of an international Interreg project and were also presented in the form of a paper at a conference. During her Bachelor’s and current Master’s studies, she has mastered the broad areas of biochemical and cellular kinetics and molecular biology. After achieving an excellent academic average in her Master’s studies, Jitka completed a six-month internship at a prestigious workplace in France as part of the Erasmus programme, devoting herself to the topic of her diploma thesis. She is currently a member of the Joint Programme Board of Biochemistry, where she participates significantly in the structure of study programmes.

Bc. Július Zemaník

a student of the Master’s study programme in Biochemistry

Július Zemaník, a highly talented student of the Biomolecular Chemistry programme, studies the reaction mechanism of glycosyltransferase FucT from the pathogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori using computational chemistry methods. He has achieved above-average results throughout his studies and is the successful recipient of a GAMU grant. Július has presented his scientific results at two conferences and has recently begun cooperating with the scientific group of Dr. Jan Brezovský as part of an internship at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In addition to his scientific work, Július participates in faculty promotional events and excursions for high school students. He actively participated in the presentation of his study field at the ‘Night of Scientists’ and, as a keynote speaker, provided a programme on computational chemistry as part of the ‘Chemistry Days’.

Avinash Bansal, Ph.D.

a graduate of the Doctoral study programme in Mathematics & Statistics

With his skills in software implementation and his engineering background, Avinash Bansal quickly strengthened the potential of a small research group at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He has collaborated on several research projects and is a co-author of several professional articles. In his own projects he focuses on the analysis of three-dimensional higher-order tensors (HOT) using the Riemann-Finsler geometry framework, an approach that has recently been applied in biomedical research. Avinash’s theses, on three of which he is first author, were written as short monographs based on his research activities. Avinash’s work provides a very good opportunity for mathematicians to become familiar with the geometric tools used in brain imaging research, as well as the basic principles of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based techniques.

Mgr. Klára Čížková, Ph.D.

a graduate of the Doctoral study programme in Physical Geography

a graduate of the Doctoral study programme in Physical Geography. Klára Čížková's dissertation summarises the considerable progress in ozone layer research and the intensity of solar UV radiation over Antarctica in recent decades. The dissertation contains innovative methodological procedures, including models based on neural networks, which are applied to original and extensive datasets measured with a Brewer spectrophotometer. Klára was the first researcher to carry out a comprehensive validation of ozone data with the aim of determining the accuracy of satellite measurements and evaluating factors that influence dataset quality. The high professional level and quality of her research is shown by her publication output. Klára was the first author on six professional articles in high-impact journals prepared during her studies. In addition, she has successfully presented the results of her work at 10 international conferences.

Mgr. Alžbeta Devánová

a student of the Doctoral study programme in Ecological & Evolutionary Biology

Alžbeta Devánová has published the results of her dissertation project in two publications in professional journals, both of which are in the Q1 category, and a more recent study from 2023 has been published in the prestigious journal ‘Inland Waters’. Alžbeta is now working on finalising the manuscript of her third study and finalising the data for her fourth thesis. Alžbeta participates in field work within two grant-funded projects, in which she also plays an important role as a biological data analyst. She analysed data for the last article produced from her dissertation during an internship at the University of Vienna. Alžbeta has already won two awards for best student lecture and also participates in teaching during field courses and acts as a consultant on statistical data evaluation methods for students of hydrobiology at all levels of study.

Mgr. Veronika Farková

a student of the Doctoral study programme in Biochemistry

In her research, Veronika Farková deals with the determination of low molecular weight substances in biological samples using liquid and gas chromatography. Ever since she started working in the laboratories, Veronika has shown great interest in her studies and scientific research. She was one of the first members of the MUNI Mendel Doctorandus programme for highly talented doctoral students. Her scientific results have been published in five high-impact journals. The first-authored publication was then published in the prestigious journal Food Chemistry. She is also the co-author of a chapter in the scientific book ‘Handbook of Food Bioactive Ingredients: Properties and Applications’. Veronika has presented her results at six international conferences, both through lectures and poster presentations. winning the award for best poster presentation at one of the conferences. In addition to her scientific work, Veronika has been working as a lecturer at the Bioskop learning centre since 2016, and participates in promoting the Department of Biochemistry, the faculty and the university among high school students and the public.

Mgr. Matúš Chvojka

a student of the Doctoral study programme in Chemistry

In his work, Matúš Chvojka focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of new organic macrocyclic compound derivatives, known as bambusurils. He is currently conducting research at the University of Brussels in Belgium after receiving a prestigious grant. To date, Matúš has published five articles in important international journals. As part of his Doctoral studies, Matúš was also involved in student management and, while teaching, he helped lead laboratory exercises in organic chemistry, was a consultant for a Bachelor’s thesis and supervised the work of a high school student as part of the ‘High School Professional Activity’. He has helped organise events related to the promotion of chemistry for many years and has been co-organiser of the Educational i-course for future chemists (ViBuCh) for more than eight years..

Mgr. Tomáš Janoš, Ph.D.

a graduate of the Doctoral study programme in Environment & Health

Tomáš Janoš’s work focusses on the assessment of health risks associated with exposure to chemical substances via a unique method of human biomonitoring, where chemical substances, or their biomarkers, are monitored directly in human materials, such as urine, blood or breast milk. The results of his work have already contributed to regulation of chemical substances in the environment and serve as a source of important regulatory-relevant information. Tomáš has presented the results of his work in a series of excellent publications in the best journals in the field, all of which were prepared in cooperation with different research teams. Tomáš has presented at a number of conferences, in three cases as an invited lecturer, and has also received the prize for best poster. In addition to his scientific work, he teaches Bachelor students, participates significantly in the ‘High School Professional Activity’ competition’ and is involved in the promotion of science to the public through podcasts and newspaper articles. Tomáš was a member of MUNI Mendel Doctorandus during his doctoral studies, and thus, he was defending his dissertation in the European Doctorate mode.


Mgr. Alžbeta Kusová

a student of the Doctoral study programme in Genomics & Proteomics

Alžbeta Kusová is a fourth-year student in the full-time Doctoral study programme in Genomics & Proteomics, guaranteed by the National Centre for Biomolecular Research. As part of her research work, she studies proteins involved in the regulation of plant telomeric sequences. Alžbeta was first-author on a publication in the highly-rated scientific journal ‘Plant Molecular Biology’ and has already presented her results at several national and international workshops and conferences. She participated as a consultant in the management of three successful Bachelor’s graduates and is actively involved in the preparation of promotional events for high school students. In addition to her excellent academic results and scientific output, Alžbeta participates in summer camps for children and adolescents with combined disabilities under the auspices of the organisation ‘Vzduchoplavci, z.s.’

Mgr. Lukáš Kusýn, Ph.D.

a graduate of the Doctoral study programme in Physics

The results of Lukáš Kusýn’s Doctoral studies have helped clarify mechanisms and quantify the parameters of several types of electrical discharge with a unique temporal and spatial resolution comparable to the outputs of numerical simulations. Based on his work, he has prepared five professional articles, three of which have already been published in the best journal in the field ‘Plasma Sources Science and Technology’. His publication on surface barrier discharge is one of his most significant contributions to the field. During his studies, Lukáš received a prestigious ‘PhD Talent’ scholarship from the city of Brno and a selection grant from Masaryk University’s internal grant agency (IGA). He has completed two research stays at leading institutions in the field in Germany and Holland, participated in meetings of leading experts in the field in Bad Honnef, Germany, collaborated on three GAČR projects and successfully presented his results at several international conferences. Lukáš is also involved in teaching practical physics to students on undergraduate courses.

Mgr. Kamila Říhová, Ph.D.

a graduate of the Doctoral study programme in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Genetics

In her work, Kamila Říhová deals with signalling pathways used during bone development, the deregulation of which contributes to the formation of bone malignancies. During her studies, she produced several unique findings with possible future use in clinical practice, which she has since published in high-quality international journals. Kamila participates significantly in the teaching of practical exercises in ‘Methods of Molecular Biology’ and ‘Molecular Biology of Eukaryotes’ and is actively involved in the scientific education of many younger students in the laboratory. She has successfully presented the results of her work at international and national scientific conferences, winning numerous awards for her lectures and posters. Kamila has actively participated in obtaining several grant projects and the organisation of scientific conferences and has been significantly involved in the organisation of the Night of Scientists, Open Door Days, school excursions and other promotional activities. She also spread the good name of Masaryk University as part of the ‘Science in Tibet’ programme, in which she taught biology to children at a school in northern India.

Mgr. Kamil Sobek, Ph.D.

a graduate of the Doctoral study programme in Geology

Kamil Sobek’s interdisciplinary Doctoral thesis combines new knowledge on crystal chemistry, mineralogy and analytical chemistry. As such, the thesis, which he successfully defended before an international commission, presents a new direction in the application of spectroscopic methods in mineralogy. He has presented his research in abstracts at both national and international conferences, as articles in peer-reviewed journals and as an author or co-author of publications aimed at the public and children. Among other awards, he won the prize for best poster at the ‘Laser Ablation Course 2021’. Kamil is co-organiser and chief editor of the Student Geology Conference and the European Symposium on Analytical Spectrometry, and he has played a significant role in the teaching of Mineralogy and Advanced Mineralogy. During his studies, he completed an internship at the Department of Mineralogy & Crystallography at the University of Vienna and lectured at the University of Helsinki and at international conferences in Milan and Brno. Up until 2022, he served as both president and vice-president of the Masaryk University Brno SEG Student Chapter, which offers professional lectures, courses and extracurricular activities for students. Besides the wide range of his academic and nonacademic activities, Kamil was also actively involved in the promotion and development of the MUNI Mendel Doctorandus programme, where he was engaged in supporting doctoral students.

Mgr. Jakub Záthurecký, Ph.D.

a graduate of the Doctoral study programme in Mathematics & Statistics

Jakub Záthurecký’s work focuses on synthesising knowledge on the theories of functional analysis, bifurcations and singularities, while using existing symmetries to describe qualitative changes in periodic phenomena. While this combination of abstract knowledge and scientific abilities with applied mathematics is exceptional, even for established scientists, it has proved highly beneficial. Jakub has already published part of his results in a professional journal and presented other results in front of prominent European experts at the University of Hasselt in Belgium. Jakub has excellent academic results and is also a very capable teacher and populariser, having an exceptional ability to formulate ideas in an accessible way, while considering the knowledge and educational level of his listeners.

Mgr. Barbora Burýšková a Mgr. Barbora Popelářová

students of the Doctoral study programmes in Microbiology

Barbora Burýšková and Barbora Popelářová have been given the Dean’s Award primarily for their shared first authorship of an article dealing with bacterial adaptation that was accepted in the high-impact journal ‘Nature Communications’. This article is a summary of five-years of work and is one of the first independent projects of the Laboratory of Microorganism Bioengineering.

Barbora Burýšková has completed a scientific internship at Imperial College London, was a Brno ‘PhD Talent’ recipient and participated in the finals of the national round of ‘Falling Walls Lab - Czech Republic’. She takes part in teaching and has undertaken further education in pedagogy. Barbora also initiated the modernisation of practical teaching within the subject ‘Special methods of microorganism analysis’.

Barbora Popelářová regularly shares her research findings at national and international conferences and an internship at the Technical University of Denmark resulted in the introduction of several new technologies at her home laboratory. Barbora participated in organising the Biomania Student Scientific Meeting, actively contributes to the creation of new teaching materials that help students better understand issues and regularly participates in faculty promotional events for the public and future applicants.

Barbora Popelářová with Tomáš Kašparovský, Dean of the MU Faculty of Science.
Barbora Burýšková with Tomáš Kašparovský, Dean of the MU Faculty of Science. Photo: Irina Matusevich
Barbora Popelářová Barbora Popelářová with Tomáš Kašparovský, Dean of the MU Faculty of Science. Photo: Radek Miča

Mgr. Jana Horáčková a Mgr. Daniel Pluskal

students of the Doctoral study programmes in Environment & Health

Ing. Marika Majerová

a student of the Doctoral study programme in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Genetics

These award-winning students all work in the Loschmidt laboratories at the RECETOX centre and have been engaged in research on bioluminescent enzymes, known as luciferases, for some time. Bioluminescence has a wide range of applications in research, biotechnology and medicine. Last year, the students collectively managed to achieve a breakthrough in the field of luminescent enzymes when they clarified the previously unknown reaction mechanism of the small, but very bright, nanoluciferase (NanoLuc), which is commonly used in both industry and medicine. The study went on to be published in the prestigious journal ‘Nature Communications’. Other achievements include recent resolution of the luciferase reaction mechanism of the sea pansy Renilla reniformis (RLuc) and subsequent publication in the prestigious scientific journal ‘Nature Catalysis’. Currently, the students are preparing a further follow-up article that will clarify the kinetic mechanism of this enzyme. The team have not only presented their results at professional conferences and international workshops but also to the public through the Czech media or through regular involvement in promotional events, such as the ‘Night of Scientists’.

Jana Horáčková with Tomáš Kašparovský, Dean of the MU Faculty of Science.
Jana Horáčková with Tomáš Kašparovský, Dean of the MU Faculty of Science. Photo: Radek Miča
Marika Majerová with Tomáš Kašparovský, Dean of the MU Faculty of Science. Photo: Irina Matusevich

Jarmil Nikolas Hynek, Mgr. Jiří Vlach, Amanda Rosota, Richard Kendzior, Bc. Valentína Berecová, Bc. Marie Grunová a Matúš Chvojka

students of the study programmes in Chemistry

Hana Slámová a Mgr. Simona Krupčíková

students of the study programmes in Environment & health study

This team of students helped organise this year’s 14th edition of the ViBuCh Educational i-course for future chemists, a year-long correspondence seminar organised by Masaryk University’s Faculty of Natural Science for high school students from the Czech and Slovak Republics interested in chemistry. ViBuCh enables students to look beyond the boundaries of high school chemistry and discover which topics are currently being addressed by chemical researchers. The most successful students are invited to a week-long final training session that takes place in August at the University campus in Brno-Bohunice. While there, the students undertake practical exercises in the laboratories that follow on from tasks in the correspondence course, attend lectures on new scientific findings and take part in excursions to different research facilities.

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Photo: Radek Miča

Note: The texts indicate the relationship of the awardees to the degree of study for which they were awarded the Dean's Award 2024.

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