This doctoral study programme is organized by the Faculty of Science in English and the studies are subject to tuition. There is an alternative option for the international applicants to be accepted in the free programme administered in Czech with the possibility of receiving a scholarship. The study language of the programme is still English (Czech is the administrative language). Before officially applying, please contact us at to find all the necessary information related to the scholarship and see our FAQ’s.

Podat přihlášku

International applicants for doctoral study (Czech and Slovak Republics applicants NOT included)
Termín podání přihlášky do půlnoci 15. 12. 2024.

Co se naučíte

The programme’s goal is to develop students in the field of Anthropology as developed at the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science, MU. In addition to being ready to take on further scientific careers in academic institutions, graduates find possible employment in companies with research facilities, in archaeology or history-oriented institutions (archaeological agencies and institutes, museums, institutions of cultural heritage), forensics-oriented institutions in government and non-governmental organisations (UN, NGOs), in healthcare facilities, and last but not least as lecturers.

„Nature through culture.“

The units of the Department of Anthropology cover the following research topics as well as forensic expert casework, for which PhD students are also trained:

Excavation and exhumation of human remains in the archaeological and forensic context

Identification of skeletal findings in the archaeological and forensic context

Portrait identification of persons.


Practical training (with the exception of laboratory expert casework) is not a mandatory part of the study.

Chcete vědět víc?

Department web site:

Laboratory of Morphology and Forensic Anthropology web site:

Uplatnění absolventů

Graduates of a doctoral degree program Anthropology are qualified to work especially in research anthropology-oriented institutes and workplaces or as specialists, research team leaders, lecturers. They are authorized to conduct independent scientific and research activities in basic and applied research focusing on anthropology, human biology and forensic science. In the most broader sense, they are considered qualified for any kind of scientific work, that is dealing with conceptual issues, participating in and managing scientific research activities, and teaching.

Podmínky přijetí

Admission procedure
The admission interview is usually in an online form and consists of three parts:
1) The candidate must demonstrate knowledge of human biology, including phylogenetic and ontogenetic development and ecological and socio-economic context to the extent taught in follow-up courses in Anthropology at the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University. For proven knowledge, the candidate can get a score of max. 20 points,
2) Furthermore, the candidate must be able to justify that the dissertation topic proposed in collaboration with a potential supervisor is well scientifically based and technically, time and financially manageable. Powerpoint (or other) presentation of the dissertation project in Czech or English is welcome. The candidate can earn a maximum of 50 points for the ability to defend the selected topic of the dissertation project,
3) language part – the applicant submits the topic and proposed solution of the dissertation in written form (1-2 pages) in English. Furthermore, the candidate must be able to respond to the professional questions of the committee on the topic of the work in English. The applicant can earn a maximum of 30 points for proving language skills.

More information about admission process for international applicants in general can be found in the section Admission Process.

Date of the entrance exam
The applicants will receive information about the entrance exam via e-mail usually at least 10 days before the exam.
Please, always check your e-mails, including spam folders.

Conditions of admission
To be admitted, a candidate must obtain a total of at least 60 points out of 100.
Successful applicants are informed of their acceptance via e-mail and subsequently receive an invitation to the enrolment.

Programme capacity
The capacity of a given programme is not fixed; students are admitted based on a decision by the Doctoral Board after assessing their aptitude for study and motivation.


2. 1. – 15. 12. 2024

Termín pro podání přihlášek

Podat přihlášku

Výzkumná zaměření dizertačních prací

Jednooborové studium

Antropologie adopce. Mezikulturní srovnání.
Školitel: doc. Mgr. Petr Květina, Ph.D.

Adoption is the appropriation of an individual by a family unrelated biologically. This relationship forms part of the Western civilization cultural code. We also know that adoption exists outside the Western social space and can be historically traced in written sources. However, what is the concept of adoption in pre-literary societies? Adoption is ethnographically documented also in these societies, but questions concern its frequency and social function. In other words: how often adoption occurs in pre-literary or archaic societies, why it happens and whether this phenomenon can be detected beyond the existence of written sources. The aim of this work is to conduct a broad scale cross-cultural research. In addition to the questions formulated above, the goal will also be to identify cultural correlates that can be associated with adoption.
Material: primary data source: HRAF (, phylogenetic supertree by J.Zrzavý team (
Metody: multivariate statistics, GIS models.

doc. Mgr. Petr Květina, Ph.D.

Bi-ritualism and intersectional identities in past human communities of Central Europe: an osteoarchaeological perspective
Školitel: Kévin Alexis André Salesse, M.Sc., Ph.D.

In all societies, when a person dies, the deceased's relatives react to the death in structured, patterned ways. Cultural guidelines determine the treatment and disposal of the dead body. Yet, these rule sets are flexible, and mortuary practices can be manifold. Deathscapes where bi-ritualism takes effect, that is where cremations and inhumations occurred side by side, fitly illustrate this diversity in the face of death. If bi-ritualism is found sporadically throughout history, the reasons for the emergence of such hybridizations are still poorly understood. While some authors have argued for the introduction of new ideas by people on the move, others have advocated for local developments and ideological shifts in response to "global" trends in an interconnected world. The answer is certainly even more complex, but the roots probably lie in cross-cultural interactions and movements of ideas or people. Whether they occurred in mono- or multi-ritual sites, death traditions occupy a prominent place among the various routinized practices that serve to inculcate habitus – this set of socially-ingrained dispositions that instantiate the perceptions of self and others. Mortuary practices are contexts for displaying, constituting or shifting social identities of both the survivors and the deceased. As such, identity-related ritual practices can act as mirror or mirage of social realities, and so must be viewed as an appealing but possibly distorted window on past social identities.

Using osteoarchaeology, the PhD research will seek to determine whether bi-ritual cemeteries are fertile ground for the emergence of multi-cultural identities or for the co-existence of a plurality of identities. This PhD research is part of the MASH-funded transMUtation project led by Dr. Kévin Salesse.

The topic may generate individual projects.

Research tasks:
- You will complete an article-based (cumulative) PhD thesis in English within four years;
- You will conduct research on cremated and non-cremated human skeletal assemblages from bi-ritual burial contexts;
- Your research will involve the application of both traditional and unconventional anthropological methodologies to biologically characterize past human populations. This will encompass approaches including morphological, metric, and histological analyses;
- You will be afforded the opportunity to broaden the scope of your research by including one or more approaches related to archaeological science, such as proteomic analysis, isotope analysis, vibrational measurements, X-ray microtomography, and the application of machine learning methods;
- Your research will involve activities not only within the Czech Republic but also potentially in various locations beyond its borders.

Required qualifications:
- Fluent in English;
- A Master degree in bioarchaeological or forensic anthropology or related fields;
- Experience in working with large archaeological anthropological assemblages;
- Profound understanding of standard approaches in the field of biological anthropology.

Preferred qualifications:
- Experience in working with burnt human remains;
- Proficiency in statistical methods as applied to anthropological data.

Kévin Alexis André Salesse, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Forensic Person Identification
Školitel: doc. RNDr. Petra Urbanová, Ph.D.

The topic aims at the further development of methods for forensic person identification, both expert-based and automated. Forensic person identification is a set of techniques that allow forensic experts to establish the identity of a person by matching the identifying characteristics of an unknown person (a victim, witness, or perpetrator) with those of a specific target or set of potential candidates. The primary identifying characteristics are typically fingerprints, dental records, and DNA, while physical appearance (e.g., face, body build, stature, clothing) is often considered a secondary identifying characteristic (referred to in biometrics as soft biometric traits). This topic focuses on the latter, particularly facial morphology and posture, as these traits are accessible in a non-cooperative environment and often without human assistance. They can also be applied to image-based forensic evidence (surveillance videos, photographs, films etc.), which greatly increases their importance in establishing identity in the forensic settings.

Current advances in AI-based automated algorithms have made it possible to automate many identification tasks, with deep learning and deep neural networks being the leading computational strategies. However, the automated methods have largely been adopted from the field of biometrics and face recognition and are isolated from the day-to-day requirements of forensic identification casework. They are also fundamentally different from expert-based approaches that rely on visual or metric assessment of individual identifying traits.

The topic aims to bridge the gap between traditional (anthropological) identification of persons and automated (biometric) approaches.

Candidates are expected to have a background in biometrics or biology. Knowledge of automated algorithms, coding, image processing, and the concept of forensic sciences is welcome.
The topic may lead to the following individual projects:

1) Image-based forensic person identification
2) Probability-based strength of evidence in forensic identification
3) From Bertillon to artificial intelligence: posture, body build, stature in person identification
4) Forensic person identification using 3D acquisition modalities
5) Multimodal person identification


PLEASE NOTE that all interested candidates must contact the prospective supervisor ( for an informal interview before initiating the formal application process for doctoral studies.

doc. RNDr. Petra Urbanová, Ph.D.

Forensic Skeletal Traumatology
Školitel: doc. RNDr. Petra Urbanová, Ph.D.

The topic aims to implement, establish and further develop assessment of skeletal trauma within the context of forensic sciences, forensic anthropology in particular. Assessing skeletal trauma, its timing, mechanisms of origin (gunshot, blunt/sharp-force, suicides by hanging, falls from height etc.), or evidence of foul play is one of the most important tasks forensic practitioners are requested to perform in cases of dead bodies or skeletal remains. The current progress in medical imaging techniques and 3D analytical techniques has allowed the experts to perform such tasks in the virtual workspace, using non-invasive, contact-less approaches. Furthermore, additional advanced technologies and techniques, such 3D printing, mathematical biobalistic modeling, 3D graphics and animations started being implemented into forensic casework.
The candidates are expected to have the background in biology, preferably biological anthropology, knowledge of advanced imaging approaches (e.g., computed tomography, microCT, 3D scanning), 3D modeling applications at the user’s level (Meshlab, AMIRA/AVIZO, Maya) and the concept of forensic sciences is welcome.
The topic may generate individual projects as follows:

1) Assessment of skeletal injuries using finite element analysis
2) Simulations and animations of death-related events in forensic sciences
3) Differentiating between peri- and post-mortem skeletal injuries in the neck elements
4) Skeletal injuries at the microscopic level – experimental study


PLEASE NOTE that before initiating the formal application process to doctoral studies, all interested candidates are required to contact the future supervisor ( for informal discussion.

doc. RNDr. Petra Urbanová, Ph.D.

Parasitic infections as a consequence or a reason of different primate lifestyle strategies
Školitel: Mgr. Klára Petrželková, Ph.D.

Most human pathogens either coevolved with primate lineages, including those that led to Homo sapiens, or were transmitted from animals during domestication processes. Some of the parasites evolved with mankind for thousands or millions of years and can reflect human behavior, habitat use, and environmental and cultural conditions. Therefore, understanding of human evolution and population history can be expanded by ecological and evolutionary research on our parasites. Soil-transmitted helminths (STH), such as hookworms, nodular worms, or whipworms, and snail-borne schistosomes occur in a range of primate hosts, humans including. The patterns of parasite infections are mostly influenced by spatial proximity of suitable (reservoir) hosts, hosts’ food habits, and in humans also by lifestyle in general. People in communities with low socioeconomic status are more threatened by STH infections which further negatively impact the quality of their life. On the other hand, the absence of parasites in urban human populations has probably led to a higher occurrence of some autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, or some allergies. Ecological and evolutionary studies of parasites in sympatric primate hosts, including humans, can tell us more about the evolutionary history of the hosts, host species divergence, or parasite adaptation mechanisms. The proposed PhD topic aims to investigate how the host’s lifestyle impacts the parasite communities inhabiting the host’s gastrointestinal system using combination of traditional anthropological approaches and different tools ranging from microscopy, nucleic acid amplification tests, high-throughput sequencing, phylogenetic methods, including whole mitochondrial genome analyses or molecular clock, a tool used to determine the timing of species divergence which can elucidate the co-evolution of the hosts. Non-human primates living in habitats differing in biodiversity, including sympatry with other (non-human) primates and various human populations differing in the lifestyle, e. g., (nomadic) pastoralists, rural and urban communities, across Africa will be the model hosts.

Individual projects within this topic could be specified as follows:

1) Relationship of the lifestyle and parasitic infections in hunters-gatherers, rural and urban communities, and primate hosts in Central Africa

2) Impact of the habitat diversity, including co-occurrence of multiple primate species, on the helminth infections in African great apes with focus on mountain gorillas

3) Molecular clock in selected soil-transmitted helminths infecting primates as a tool for mapping the hosts’ evolution

PLEASE NOTE that before initiating the formal application process to doctoral studies, all interested candidates are required to contact the future supervisor.

Mgr. Klára Petrželková, Ph.D.

Topics in biosocial anthropology
Školitel: prof. Slawomir Marek Koziel, DSc.

1) Biological effect of upward social mobility and social inequality

The aim of this study would be an assessment of selectiveness of social mobility in relation to height. It has been shown that taller persons have greater chance to get higher social position than smaller persons. But upward social mobility could be moderates by the level of social inequality. The study should include 3-4 European countries contrasting in social inequality assessed by commonly used indexes like Gini coefficient. Social mobility would be defined as a changes of the social position of studies person in comparison to his father social position, measured by achieved education level and/or profession. The study could use the social media as a source of information, this would be also novel approach.

2) Polymorphisms of dopaminergic genes: DRD4, DRD2, COMT and DAT1 and risk taking behaviour. Study of (Czech or Polish or Slovak) soldiers taking part in combat missions

The aim of the study is an assessment of relationship between frequencies of certain polymorphisms of dopaminergic genes and risk taking behaviour. There are many reports showing association between polymorphism of DRD4 gen with some personality traits like novelty seeking. Other studies have indicated relationship between long allele of DRD4 with such risk taking behaviour like gambling and financial risk. However, there is a lack of research reporting association between such behaviour and polymorphisms in other dopaminergic genes. There is also no any data showing relationship between those polymorphisms and risk behaviour exposing human life. Proposed study will be based on comparison of frequencies of polymorphisms in three groups: (1) soldiers taking part and (2) not taking part in combat missions and (3) control group of males, who are not soldiers.

3) Role of permanent stress in emerging and sustaining the social differences in biological condition.

The aim of this study would be to assess the stress level based on chemical analysis of hairs and estimation of glucocorticoids and cortisol metabolites level in persons from different social strata. There are many findings pointing out the differences in health and biological conditions between people differed in level of education and job position. Controlling for elements of lifestyle, it would be interesting to assess the role of permanent stress.

4) Body length proportion and age at peak height velocity.

The aim of the study would be to find which length measures and their proportions are the best predictors of age at peak height velocity (APHV). It is well known that the peak height velocity starts with acceleration of growth long bones from lower extremities. So, using the longitudinal data and measures of segments of lower and upper extremities it would be possible to find a certain ratio of certain segments which would be the best predictors of APHV.

prof. Slawomir Marek Koziel, DSc.

Variation and Dynamic Changes of the Human Body
Školitel: Mgr. Mikoláš Jurda, Ph.D.

The project will focus on the analysis of the morphology and characteristics of soft tissues that influence the external appearance of the human body. It will address inquiries in both fundamental and applied research in human biology.

This focus builds on previous and ongoing research conducted at the Department of Anthropology in 3D documentation of the human body. It also aligns with trends in the study of human morphology and body composition to develop protective equipment and other research designs falling within the scope of ergonomics. Moreover, the project will heavily rely on the extensive databases of 3D morphological datasets available at the Department of Anthropology.

The primary focus will be given to inter- and intra-individual variation of the external human body and to what extent it is influenced and constrained by body composition, skeletal morphology, and other individual parameters. In addition, attention will be given to the compliance of the body surface, which has a notable impact on body shape as a function of body orientation and posture. This also allows us to simulate how the body surface behaves in terms of mechanical properties. Such simulations can be produced both in the virtual workspace and through the technology of 3D printing. The aim is to translate these efforts to multiple practical applications, such as product design in the field of ergonomics (e.g. virtual fitting of products designed for the human body), body reconstruction or forensic person identification.

The topic may generate individual projects as follows:

  • Intraindividual variability in body morphology concerning body position, posture and ageing
  • Methodology for studying body compliance, examination of its inter- and intra-individual variability
  • Advanced techniques for contactless 3D documentation of the body surface
  • Simulation of mechanical properties of the body surface through 3D printing and computer-aided simulations
  • Methodology for considering soft tissue deformations in the applied anthropology (e.g. fitting of the protective equipment, ergonomics, individual identification)

Required qualifications:

  • Graduation in the field of biological anthropology, biomedicine or biomechanics. The topic can be adjusted for graduates from other technical and IT fields if necessary
  • Fluent in English

Welcomed qualifications:

  • Knowledge of programming languages R or Python
  • Experience in working with volumetric data processing
  • Experience with Finite Element Analysis

Mgr. Mikoláš Jurda, Ph.D.

Informace o studiu

Zajišťuje Přírodovědecká fakulta
Typ studia doktorský
Forma prezenční ano
kombinovaná ano
distanční ne
Možnosti studia jednooborově ano
jednooborově se specializací ne
v kombinaci s jiným programem ne
Doba studia 4 roky
Vyučovací jazyk angličtina
Oborová rada a oborové komise
Poplatky za studium
Studium v cizích jazycích je zpoplatněné, platba je za akademický rok
3 000 EUR
Více informací

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