HR Excellence in Science

RNDr. Martin Volf, Ph.D.

Pracovní zařazení Vedoucí laboratoře - Laboratoř evoluční ekologie
Oddělení ekologie
Entomologický ústav

Kontaktní údaje +420 387775038; +420 778 729 044
volf@entu.cas.cz

Ostatní

I specialize on insect-plant relationships, evolution of plant defensive traits, and chemical ecology. Mainly, I am interested in the roles that insect-plant coevolution plays in promoting the astonishing chemical diversity in plants.

Throughout my projects, I aim at linking various approaches to studying origins and roles of chemical diversity in plants. My research interests range from macroevolutionary studies showing how chemical diversity evolves in response to interactions with natural enemies, through studies showing how plant chemical diversity varies at intraspecific level along major ecological gradients, to studying temporal changes within individual plants that help them to cope with insect herbivores. This allows me to see the evolution and roles of chemical diversity from a broad perspective.

I am particularly interested in the evolutionary trends in Ficus and Salix chemical defences. Both Ficus and Salix are key plant genera supporting high diversity of insects. Understanding the evolution of their specialized metabolites is thus crucial for understanding not only the evolution of plant chemical diversity but also for understanding the factors driving diversity and specialization of insect herbivores.


Researcher unique identifier(s): ResearcherID: O-4321-2017, ORCID: 0000-0003-4126-3897

EDUCATION

2016    PhD in Entomology: University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, Supervised by V. Novotny

2012    Master in Zoology: University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, Supervised by J. Hrcek

CURRENT POSITION

2019 – present  Junior Group Leader, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

PREVIOUS POSITIONS

2017 – 2019     Postdoc / Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Molecular Interaction Ecology Group, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Germany

2016 – 2017     Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

2016 – 2017     Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian, USA

2016                Predoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian, USA

2012 – 2016     Postgradual Fellow, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS

2021                Otto Wichterle Award for outstanding young researchers, Czech Academy of Sciences

2020                Josef Hlávka Award for outstanding students of Prague universities and young researchers of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

2019 – 2020    Humboldt Return Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany

2017 – 2019     Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany

2016                Prize of the Czech Entomological Society and 1st prize for the best student talk about invertebrates at national conference in zoology, České Budějovice, CZ

2013                Prize of the Czech Entomological Society and 2nd prize for the best student talk at national conference in zoology, Olomouc, CZ

2012                Rector´s Prize for an outstanding master thesis, University of South Bohemia, CZ

2012                Dean's Prize for an outstanding master thesis, University of South Bohemia, CZ

RESEARCH GRANTS

2020 – 2022     Czech Science Foundation Junior Research Grant, 20-10543Y (330,000 EUR)

2020 – 2021     Czech Academy of Sciences grant within the Programme for Research and Mobility Support of Young Researchers, MSM200962004 (22,000 EUR)

2015                University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science Student Grant, 103-016/2015/P (3,000 EUR)

SUPERVISION OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS

2020 – present  1 Postdoc supervisor, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

2020 – present 2 PhD students supervisor, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

2020 – present 2 PhD students co-supervisor, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

2013 – 2015     1 Master student supervisor, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

2020 – 2021     1 Master student co-supervisor, University of Leipzig, Germany

2018 – 2019     2 Master internships supervisor, iDiv, Germany

2021 – present  1 Bachelor student supervisor, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

2014 – 2017     1 Bachelor student supervisor, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

2013 – 2015     1 Bachelor student co-supervisor, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

TEACHING ACTIVITIES

2020 – present Guarantor, Courses on Scientific Reading and Writing, University of South Bohemia, CZ

2018                Invited speaker, Research seminar in ecology, University in Jena, DE

2014 – 2015     Lecturer, Field Course in Vertebrate and Insect Zoology, University of South Bohemia, CZ

2014                Lecturer, Field Course in Alpine Zoology, University of South Bohemia, CZ

2012 – 2013     Lecturer, Practicals in Insect Systematics and Practicals in Invertebrate Biology, University of South Bohemia, CZ

ORGANISATION AND LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES

2019 – present  Junior Group Leader, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

2013 – present  Coordinator of field projects:

Czech Republic (2012 – present): teams of up to 12 researchers and students supervised during multiple projects focused on exploring insect-plant interactions and canopy communities of arthropods

United States (2016 – present): teams of up to 6 students, researchers, and assistants supervised during projects focused on ecology of canopy arthropods and willow ecology

Austria (2020): 2 students and assistants supervised in the field over two months during a project focused on chemical ecology of willows in alpine conditions

Germany (2018 – 2019): teams of up to up to 6 students, researchers and volunteers supervised during several projects focused on chemical ecology of canopy communities and on roles of infochemicals in plant defence

Panama (2016): 5 students and assistants supervised during implementation of protocols on large-scale canopy insect sampling

Japan (2014 – 2015): teams of up to 5 researchers and students supervised over six months during projects focused on ecology of canopy arthropods

REVIEWING ACTIVITIES

2015 – present Reviewer for 14 research journals: Biodiversity Data Journal, Biotropica, Ecography, Ecosphere, Botany, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Ecological Entomology, Ecology, Ecology Letters, European Journal of Entomology, Functional Ecology, Journal of Chemical Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Scientific Reports,

2017 – present Referee for The Charles University Grant Agency (GA UK), CZ

2017                Referee for South Bohemia University Grant Agency (GAJU), CZ

MEMBERSHIPS OF SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES

2019 – present Member, British Ecological Society

2021 – present Member, The Czech Society for Ecology

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

 Volf M, Weinhold A, Seifert CL, Holicová T, Uthe H, Alander E, Richter R, Salminen JP, Wirth C, van Dam NM. Branch-localized induction promotes efficacy of volatile defences and herbivore predation in trees. Journal of Chemical Ecology2021. 47:99-111. IF=2.117 in 2019 DOI: 10.1007/s10886-020-01232-z

Plants employ a broad variety of induced defences, including indirect defences such as various volatiles that attract predators and parasitoids. Here we show that their induction can be highly localized to individual branches. This helps trees to redirect their defences where needed to save on energy investment. Furthermore, localized production of volatile organic compounds allows predators efficiently navigate towards the attacked trees or their branches and to readily remove herbivores. In this study we illustrate how total emissions and diversity of indirect chemical defences affect plants, herbivores, and predators.

Volf M, Laitila JE, Kim J, Sam L, Sam K, Isua B, Sisol M, Wardhaugh CW, Vejmelka F, Miller SE, Weiblen GD, Salminen JP, Novotny V, Segar ST. Compound specific trends of chemical defences in Ficus along an elevational gradient reflect a complex selective landscape. Journal of Chemical Ecology2020. 46: 442-454. IF=2.117 in 2019 DOI: 10.1007/s10886-020-01173-7

We show that there are pronounced trends in plant specialized metabolites generated by changes in abiotic conditions and biotic interactions along elevational gradients. The nature of these trends strongly depends on the function of respective metabolites. We argue that studying plant chemistry, insect communities, and abiotic conditions in an integrative way is necessary to understand the drivers of plant chemical diversity.

Volf M, Salminen JP, Segar ST. Evolution of defences in large tropical plant genera: perspectives for exploring insect diversity in a tri-trophic context. Current Opinion in Insect Science2019. 32:91-97. IF=4.565 in 2019 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cois.2018.12.005

We review how plant specialized metabolites govern insect-plant reciprocal interactions and diversification of the two groups. We show that escalation and divergence in chemical defences generate different dimensions of plant chemical diversity and how its effects cascade to higher trophic levels. We propose that the effects of chemical α- and β-diversity on herbivores, predators, and parasitoids, depend on the type of metabolite in play and its potency. This review served as a basis for formulating some of the key hypotheses proposed in this project.

Volf M, Segar ST, Miller SE, Isua B, Sisol M, Aubona G, Šimek P, Moos M, Laitila J, Kim J, Zima Jr J, Rota J, Weiblen GD, Wossa S, Salminen JP, Basset Y, Novotny V. Community structure of insect herbivores is driven by conservatism, escalation and divergence of defensive traits in FicusEcology Letters2018. 21:83-92. IF=8.699 in 2018 https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12875

We demonstrate that herbivores with different levels of specialization respond to plant traits with various evolutionary histories. While generalists are affected by escalating defences, specialists are affected by divergent defences of their hosts. This supports differential evolutionary trends among plant defences and their diversity. We propose that the composition of herbivore communities and the nature of biotic selection agents in play can fundamentally affect the trajectories by which plant chemical diversity evolves.

Volf M, Hrcek J, Julkunen-Tiitto R, Novotny V. To each its own: differential response of specialist and generalist herbivores to plant defence in willows. Journal of Animal Ecology2015. 84:1123–1132. IF=4.827 in 2015 https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12349

Plants are involved in diffuse co-evolution with diverse insects. Here we show that it is essential to take this into account when interpreting the evolution of plant defences. It is not the pressure by individual insect species but by their whole assemblages what drives the evolution of plant chemical defences. We show that assemblages of insects with various life-history traits respond to different plant defences. This differential response of herbivore assemblages to plant defences prevents plants from evolving a single, universally efficient defence. Such trends promote the astonishing diversity of plant chemical defences.


Výuka Současné trendy v ekologii
Jihočeská universita

Practical writing and communication in biology
Jihočeská universita

Kritické hodnocení vědeckých publikací v ekologii
Jihočeská universita

Celkem nalezeno: 28 záznamů
Abe T., Volf M., Libra M., Kumar R., Abe H., Fukushima H., Lilip R., Salminen J.-P., Novotný V., Kamata N., Murakami M. (2021) Effects of plant traits on caterpillar communities depend on host specialisation. Insect Conservation and Diversity 14: 756-767.
DOI: 10.1111/icad.12510
Seifert C. L., Ré Jorge L., Volf M., Wagner D.L., Lamarre G., Miller S., Gonzalez-Akre E., Anderson-Teixeira K., Novotný V. (2021) Seasonality affects specialisation of a temperate forest herbivore community. Oikos 130: 1450-1461.
DOI: 10.1111/oik.08265
Volf M., Weinhold A., Seifert C. L., Holicová T., Uthe H., Alander E., Richter R., Salminen J.-P., Wirth C., van Dam N.M. (2021) Branch-localized induction promotes efficacy of volatile defences and herbivore predation in trees. Journal of Chemical Ecology 47: 99-111.
DOI: 10.1007/s10886-020-01232-z
Wagner N.D., Volf M., Hörandl E. (2021) Highly Diverse Shrub Willows (Salix L.) Share Highly Similar Plastomes. Frontiers in Plant Science 12: 662715.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.662715
Klimm F.S., Weinhold A., Volf M. (2020) Volatile production differs between oak leaves infested by leaf-miner Phyllonorycter harrisella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) and galler Neuroterus quercusbaccarum (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). European Journal of Entomology 117: 101-109.
DOI: 10.14411/eje.2020.011
Mottl O., Fibich P., Klimeš P., Volf M., Tropek R., Anderson-Teixeira K., Auga J., Blair T., Butterill P. T., Carscallen G., Gonzalez-Akre E., Goodman A., Kaman O., Lamarre G., Libra M., Losada M.E., Manumbor M., Miller S., Molem K., Nichols G., Plowman N., Redmond C. M., Seifert C. L., Vrána J., Weiblen G., Novotný V. (2020) Spatial covariance of herbivorous and predatory guilds of forest canopy arthropods along a latitudinal gradient. Ecology Letters 23: 1499–1510.
DOI: 10.1111/ele.13579
Sam K., Koane B., Sam L., Mrázová A., Segar S. T., Volf M., Moos M., Šimek P., Sisol M., Novotný V. (2020) Insect herbivory and herbivores of Ficus species along a rain forest elevational gradient on Papua New Guinea. Biotropica 52: 263-276.
DOI: 10.1111/btp.12741
Seifert C. L., Lamarre G., Volf M., Ré Jorge L., Miller S., Wagner D.L., Anderson-Teixeira K., Novotný V. (2020) Vertical stratification of a temperate forest caterpillar community in eastern North America. Oecologia 192: 501-514.
DOI: 10.1007/s00442-019-04584-w
Seifert C. L., Volf M., Ré Jorge L., Abe T., Carscallen G., Drozd P., Kumar R., Lamarre G., Libra M., Losada M.E., Miller S., Murakami M., Nichols G., Pyszko P., Šigut M., Wagner D.L., Novotný V. (2020) Plant phylogeny drivers arboreal caterpillar assemblages across the Holartic. Ecology and Evolution 10: 14137-14151.
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.7005
Volf M. (2020) Chemická diverzita rostlin – důsledek závodů ve zbrojení s býložravým hmyzem? Živa 4/2020: 170-172.
Volf M., Laitila J., Kim J., Sam L., Sam K., Isua B., Sisol M., Wardhaugh C. W., Vejmělka F., Miller S., Weiblen G., Salminen J.-P., Novotný V., Segar S. T. (2020) Compound specific trends of chemical defence in Ficus along an elavational gradient reflect a complex selective landscape. Journal of Chemical Ecology 46: 442-454.
DOI: 10.1007/s10886-020-01173-7
Volf M., Wirth C., van Dam N.M. (2020) Localized defense induction in trees: a mosaic of leaf traits promoting variation in plant traits, predation, and communities of canopy arthropods? American Journal of Botany 107: 1-4.
DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1457
Redmond C. M., Auga J., Gewa B., Segar S. T., Miller S., Molem K., Weiblen G., Butterill P. T., Maiyah G., Hood A.S.C., Volf M., Jorge L.R., Basset Y. F., Novotný V. (2019) High specialization and limited structural change in plant-herbivore networks along a successional chronosequence in tropical montane forest. Ecography 42: 162-172.
DOI: 10.1111/ecog.03849
Segar S. T., Volf M., Sisol M., Pardikes N., Souto-Vilarós D. (2019) Chemical cues and genetic divergence in insects on plants: conceptual cross pollination between mutualistic and antagonistic systems. Current Opinion in Insect Science 32: 83-90.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.11.009
Volf M., Klimeš P., Lamarre G., Redmond C. M., Seifert C. L., Abe T., Auga J., Anderson-Teixeira K., Basset Y. F., Beckett S., Butterill P. T., Drozd P., Gonzalez-Akre E., Kaman O., Kamata N., Laird-Hopkins B., Libra M., Manumbor M., Miller S., Molem K., Mottl O., Murakami M., Nakaji T., Plowman N., Pyszko P., Šigut M., Šipoš J., Tropek R., Weiblen G., Novotný V. (2019) Quantitative assessment of plant-arthropod interactions in forest canopies: A plot-based approach. PLOS One 14: e0222119.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222119
Volf M., Salminen J.-P., Segar S. T. (2019) Evolution of defences in large tropical plant genera: perspectives for exploring insects diversity in a tri-trophic context. Current Opinion in Insects Science 32: 91-97.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.12.005
Volf M. (2018) Differential Response of Herbivores to Plant Defence. In J.-M. Merillon and K. G. Ramawat [eds.], Co-Evolution of Secondary Metabolites, Reference Series in Phytochemistry 1-24. Springer International Publishing..
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-76887-8_38-1
Volf M., Holec M., Holcová D., Jaroš P., Hejda R., Drag L., Blízek J., Šebek P., Čížek L. (2018) Microhabitat mosaics are key to the survival of an endangered ground beetle (Carabus nitens) in its post-industrial refugia. Journal of Insect Conservation 22: 321-328.
DOI: 10.1007/s10841-018-0064-x
Volf M., Segar S. T., Miller S. E., Isua B., Sisol M., Aubona G., Šimek P., Moos M., Laitila J., Kim J., Zima J., Rota J., Weiblen G. D., Wossa S., Salminen J.-P., Basset Y. F., Novotný V. (2018) Community structure of insect herbivores is driven by conservatism, escalation and divergence of defensive traits in Ficus. Ecology Letters 21: 83-92.
DOI: 10.1111/ele.12875
Biranvand Amir, Nedvěd O., Shakarami Jahanshir, Fekrat Lida, Hamidi Elnaz, Volf M., Hanley Guy A. (2017) The ladybeetle community (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in north east of Iran. Baltic Journal of Coleopterology 17: 49-67.

Více publikací

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