DEPARTMENT OF BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY

Evolution in Africa everyday

The 3rd Marcin Antczak Award for the most inspiring ornithological paper published in 2016 in a peer-reviewed journal by young who originates from Poland, the Czech Republic or Slovakia goes to

Dr Michal Šulc

from Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Brno).

The International Board of Marcin Antczak Award decided that the most inspiring ornithological papers of the last year are:

Michal Šulc, Petr Procházka, Miroslav Capek, Marcel Honza 2016. Birds use eggshell UV reflectance when recognizing non-mimetic parasitic eggs. Behavioral Ecology 27: 677-684.

Michal Šulc, Petr Procházka, Miroslav Capek, Marcel Honza 2016. Common cuckoo females are not choosy when removing an egg during parasitism. Behavioral Ecology 27: 1642-1649.

Papers present results of experimental study on adaptations of both brood parasite (common cuckoo) and its hosts (Eurasian reed warbler). In the first paper authors demonstrated that hosts use UV signals during egg recognition and that such signals may play important role when the parasitic eggs are non-mimetic. In the second paper authors focused on egg removal behaviour of female cuckoos. The main finding is that female cuckoos are not selective and remove host egg randomly in order to minimize the time spent at the nest. Michal Šulc is first and corresponding author of awarded papers.

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Michal Šulc received PhD degree in 2016 from the Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic). His thesis concerns the role of visual cues in the evolution of brood parasite and its hosts. After obtaining his doctorate he joined one of the leading scientific group working on brood parasitism led by prof. Marcel Honza in Brno (Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic). Michal is interested in modelling of avian visual system and its influence on parasite and host behaviour, e.g. recognition of parasitic eggs by hosts or host nest selection in parasites. Apart from awarded papers he is also co-author of articles on similar topic published in Ecology and Evolution, Naturwissenschaften and Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Michal was also awarded as the author of the best popular science paper written by young scientist in Czech Republic.

Initially, the International Board of Marcin Antczak Award screened a few hundreds of papers and after initial selection considered nine persons and articles published last year. The process took over four months and at the end we had considered (in addition to awarded dr Michal Šulc) we would like to distinguish the following nominated papers and persons:

Jakub Szymkowiak: Szymkowiak, J., Thomson, R.L., Kuczyński, L. 2016. Wood warblers copy settlement decisions of poor quality conspecifics: support for the trade off between the benefit of social information use and competition avoidance. Oikos 125: 1561-1569.

Marcin Polak: Polak, M. 2016. Nest survival patterns in Eurasian Bittern: effect of nest age, time aand habitat variables. PeerJ 4:e2047; DOI 10.7717/peer.2047

We would like to congratulate all the nominees for the Award and the distinguished person. The award ceremony along with award-person lecture will be held in October 2017 in Poznań.



On behalf of the Board,
Tomasz Osiejuk


The International Board of Marcin Antczak Award consists of Elodie Briefer (Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zürich),Svein Dale (University of Life Sciences, Norway), Martin Hromada (University of Presov, Slovakia), Martin Konvicka (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic), Anton Krištín (Institute of Forest Ecology SAS, Slovakia), Tomasz D. Mazgajski (Muzeum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland), Piotr Minias (University of Łódź), Jiří Reif (Charles University in Prague, Czechia), Piotr Tryjanowski (University of Life Science, Poland), Sandra Vehrencamp (Cornell University, USA) and Tomasz S. Osiejuk – chairman (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland).