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Both Barbora Trubenova and Himani Sachdeva are postdoctoral researchers at IST Austria in Nick Barton’s group studying evolution.

Barbora Trubenova (barbora.trubenova[at]

Barbora is a former physicist (Biophysics, Comenius University), turned evolutionary biologist (PhD, The University of Manchester). After studying the evolution of social behaviour, she decided it was too depressing and started studying adaptations in a changing environment, trying to identify what we should do to survive the climate change.

Barbora is a former Trojsten alumni and seminars (especially the Physics one) played an important role in her life. She is hoping that this correspondence seminar from evolutionary biology can show students that evolutionary biology is at least as logical and as cool as physics!

Kristína Hudáková

Kristína received her Master degree in 2003 and a PhD in Zoology from The Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia in 2007.

Now working as a high school teacher at C S Lewis Bilingual High School, Bratislava, she ensures that the content of the articles is suitable for the high school audience. As a part of her teaching efforts, she developed a collection of activities developed for high school students to promote awareness of the basic concepts of evolution, and thus facilitate a better understanding of a wide range of biology topics.

The collection was published with the help of ESEB Outreach initiative in Slovak. Part of the book has been translated into English and German.

Himani Sachdeva (himani.sachdeva[at]

Himani Sachdeva received her PhD in 2014 from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, where she worked on statistical physics models of biological transport. During her PhD, she was a teaching assistant for a graduate course in statistical physics. At IST, she is working on eco-evolutionary modelling of adaptation and speciation. She regularly presents her research work at scientific conferences (StatPhys, PopGroup) and in scientific journals (Phys Rev Lett, Scientific Reports, Phys Rev E, Evolution (under review)).

She is interested in science writing and communicating evolutionary biology in a more innovative way to high school students through examples and contexts that arise in their natural environments.


Hildegard Uecker

Hildegard is a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany. Her research focuses on adaptation in populations that are severely challenged either by environmental change (natural populations) or by exposure to drug treatment (pathogen populations). She hopes that insights from her research can contribute to improving conservation efforts and assist in decelerating the emergence of drug resistance.

Michal Hledík

Mišo is a PhD student at IST Austria. Before coming to IST, he studied physics in Bratislava and helped high school students prepare for physics competitions. His research is about mathematical modelling of interactions between genes (called gene regulation). If one carries a mutation in a specific gene, how does it change the activity of all the other genes? And what if one carries several mutations in several genes? To address questions like these, Mišo hopes to combine thermodynamic and evolutionary theories.


Reka Kelemen

Reka Kelemen is a PhD student at IST Austria. She is interested in using computational tools and mathematical modeling to answer questions in evolutionary biology. Currently she is working on a gamete killer, a stretch of DNA in house mice that gives superpowers to sperm cells carrying it by disabling competing sperm during the race for the female egg cells. Inspired by the wonders of evolution, she is also interested in science popularization.

Gemma Puixeu Sala

Gemma is a PhD student at IST Austria. She is interested in understanding the conflict of interests between males and females, and how it contributes to the generation of such big differences between both sexes. To address these questions she uses a combination of evolutionary theory and bioinformatic data analysis.