STEB: Organizers

In addition to the authors of the articles, many volunteers, mainly from the ranks of former participants, are involved in the organization of the seminar and the competition.

Emma Čačková

Emma participated in STEB seminar almost from its beginning. After 4 years she decided it was time to cross over to the other side :-)

Júlia Orlovská

I am a graduate of the Pierre de Coubertin Grammar School in Piešťany. At present, I am a freshman at the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University, in the field of Experimental Animal Biology and Immunology. Ever since the beginning of high school, I have enjoyed biology, especially genetics, so I did not hesitate even for a second and signed up for STEB. And because the high school ended sooner than I expected (and I participated just for 2 years) I decided to join the organizing committee in order to stay in touch with evobio.

Fedor Župník

Fedor is a student of Biochemistry at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Back in his high school days he participated in STEB for three years, which ultimately led him to study life science instead of mathematics. Fedor is also a volunteer for p-mat, the organization behind maths-and-physics-themed seminars.

Fedor helps anywhere where he’s needed, mainly with checking questions and projects.

Tomáš Jurčík

Tomáš is currently studying embryology at Masaryk’s University in Czech Republic.

During high school he participated in STEB and considers it utterly interesting. He found that this seminary sparked his interest in evobio and other evolutionary sciences whilst providing entertaining introduction into this world. Therefore he joined organisation team to help ignite enthusiasm in other likeminded individuals.

Katarína Karáseková

Katka, too, started as a STEB participant before joining the organisers. She now studies Sustainable Development and Biology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland (the university where William and Kate met when they both studied there).

Her hobbies include learning languages, mainly French, cooking and excessive comsumption of chocolate. :-)

Katka is responsible for overseeing Google Classroom and updating the webpage.

Samo Paulíni

Samo is helping us with the STEB competition, mainly with graphics and other smaller jobs. He is a recent graduate of the Jur Hronec Gymnasium and is currently studying at Masaryk University, majoring in Experimental Biology with a specialization in Molecular Biology and Genetics.

Tamara Schenner

Tamara studies biology at the University of Vienna in Austria, inspired by STEB! She has participated in this competition for the past two years and then joined our team to help others discover the magic of evolutionary biology.

Katarína Juríková

Katarina is a researcher at the University of Trento, Italy. She is mainly interested in the biology of telomeres (i.e. the ends of chromosomes) and everything about RNA. She enjoys popularizing science, and especially interacting with high school students - in addition to STEB, she is involved in the Biology Olympiad and co-organized Genetics on Wheels and the Summer School of Genetics at the Department of Genetics of the University of Bratislava. She thinks STEB is a great way to build a community of biology enthusiasts in Slovakia.

Jarmila Šimková

Jarmila is currently studying for her Bachelor's degree in Sustainable Biotechnology in Copenhagen, Denmark and has previously completed an internship at the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

During high school, she participated as a first-year STEB competitor, which made her realize how fascinating evolution is. She has decided to pass on this enthusiasm to younger students and is helping to organize the seminar.

Jarka mainly helps with categories Advanced and Expert. She also corrects your projects and writes comments on them.

Katarína Majerová

Katarína decided to study bioinformatics in Olomouc, Czech Republic. During high school she volunteered in physics and math competitions for elementary schools. Currently, she is enthusiastically embarking on a new field - evolutionary biology!

Katka manages Google Forms and adds questions to them, making life easier for us and for you!

Yvonne Kemper

Yvonne is originally a mathematician turned science writer, working at IST Austria in the communications department. With a passion for commas and spreading enthusiasm for science, she helps with proofreading STEB articles, alongside which she has learned a lot of new things in the field of evolutionary biology.

Thanks to Yvonne, everything is clearly and nicely written in English.

Michal Hledík

Mišo is a PhD student at IST Austria. Previously, he studied physics in Bratislava and prepared high school students for physics competitions. In his research he is working on mathematical modelling of gene-gene interactions (gene regulation). If someone has a mutation in a particular gene, how does this affect the activity of other genes? And what if someone has several mutations in multiple genes? Miso believes that a combination of thermodynamics and evolutionary theories could help answer these questions.

Mišo writes articles that have a bit of mathematics in them. He also organizes a summer camp at IST Austria.

Kristína Hudáková

Kristína received her Master's degree in 2003 and her PhD in Zoology in 2007 from Comenius University in Bratislava.

Currently, she teaches at the Bilingual Grammar School C. S. Lewis in Bratislava and is responsible for making sure that the articles are suitable for a high school audience. She has introduced a collection of activities for secondary school students with the intention of introducing students to the basics of evolutionary biology and broadening their knowledge of other areas within this scientific discipline.

The collection was published with the help of the ESEB Outreach initiative in Slovakia, part of which was translated into English and German.

Kristina devises projects and questions for each article. She also corrects your projects and gives feedback on them. In addition, she does everything that is just necessary for the running of the seminar.

Barbora studied biophysics at Comenius University and later obtained a PhD in evolutionary biology at The University of Manchester. She found the study of the evolution of social behaviour too depressing, so she decided to study adaptation in a changing environment. Now she studies evolution of drug resistance in bacteria and parasitic worms at ETH Zurich.

Correspondence seminars such as FKS which Barbora attended, played an important role in her life. She hopes that this correspondence seminar will show students that evolutionary biology is at least as logical and cool as physics!

Other authors

Hildegard Uecker

Hildegard is a group leader at the Max Planck Institue for Evolutionary Biology in Ploen, Germany. Her research focuses on adaptations in populations severely affected by environmental changes (natural populations) or exposed to drugs (pathogenic populations). She hopes that insights from her research will contribute to species conservation and slow the rise of drug resistance.

Hildegard writes articles for the STEB seminar. In the future, she plans to organize STEB in Germany as well!

Daria Shipilina

Daria is an evolutionary biologist working in IST Austria. She is interested in a broad range of topics, such as speciation genomics in hybrid zones, the evolution of colouration and animal vocalization. In her research she uses a multidisciplinary approach, combining bioinformatics, theoretical biology, ecology and behaviour studies. Daria is enthusiastic about working with natural populations and conducted field research in remote and not very remote locations, such as the Pyrenees, Ural Mountains, Central Siberia and Moscow city suburbs.

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.

Former volunteers

Himani Sachdeva (

Himani Sachdeva received her PhD in 2014 from the Tata Institue of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, where she studied biological transport using statistical physics models. During her studies, she taught a course on statistical physics as an assistant professor. At IST, she is working on eco-evolutionary modeling of adaptation and speciation. She regularly presents her research at conferences such as StatPhys or PopGroup, and publishes in scientific journals.

He is interested in science writing and bringing evolutionary biology to high school students through engaging examples observable in the world around us.

Monika Machalová

Monika Machalová studies medicine at Masaryk's University in Brno, Czech Republic. In her free time, she engages in volunteering with p-mat, an organization that creates seminars for elementary school students in the fields of mathematics and physics. Discovering STEB, she decided to invest her energy in spreading biology as well.