top of page
Šárka Kaňková

Šárka Kaňková

Researcher and assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy and History of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Arts

Her research interests include various aspects of human reproduction. One of the primary research areas of her research group (the Laboratory of Evolutionary Psychology and Reproduction) involves the interdisciplinary study of pregnancy. This includes an examination of hormonal, immunological, parasitological, behavioral, and psychological factors, and their interactions. She also investigates the impact of these variables on child development and health. Specific research topics include, e.g., the adaptive function of disgust as an affective part of the Behavioral Immune System or the effect of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii on reproductive biology in humans.
Her background is in biology and math (MSc). She received a RNDr (2007) in Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University and PhD (2011) in Theoretical and Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Science, Charles University. Since 2005, she has worked at the Faculty of Science, Charles University, since 2018 as an Assistant Professor at the Theoretical and Evolutionary Biology unit, department of Philosophy and History of Science. Between 2019 and 2021, she worked as a senior researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health.
The outcomes of her work have enriched the research area with new topics, such as the effects of latent toxoplasmosis on secondary sex ratio, on prenatal and postnatal child development, and on human fertility. For the first time, her research team provided direct support for the Compensatory Prophylaxis Hypothesis in pregnancy. She has published over 35 academic papers (h-index = 11).
She is the principal investigator of projects 23-05519S, Czech Science Foundation, „Disgust sensitivity before and after conception: immunological and hormonal correlates and long-term effects on maternal and child health“ and 20-10464S, Czech Science Foundation, “Disgust sensitivity in pregnancy: Individual differences and longitudinal changes“






Kaňková, Š., Hlaváčová, J., Roberts, K., Benešová, J., Havlíček, J. Calda, P, Dlouhá, D., & Roberts, S.C. (2023). Associations between nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, disgust sensitivity, and first-trimester maternal serum free β-hCG and PAPP-A. Hormones and Behavior, 152: 105360.

Kaňková, Š., Takács, L., Hlaváčová, J., Calda, P., Monk, C., & Havlíček, J. (2023). Disgust sensitivity in early pregnancy as a response to high pathogen risk. Frontiers in Psycholog,y 14: 1015927. https://doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1015927

Kaňková, Š., Takács, L., Krulová, M., Hlaváčová, J., Nouzová, K., Hill, M., Včelák, & J., Monkg, C. (2022). Disgust sensitivity is negatively associated with immune system activity in early pregnancy: Direct support for the Compensatory prophylaxis hypothesis. Evolution and Human Behavior, 43: 234-241,

Kaňková, Š., Kodym, P., Frynta, D., Vavřinová, R., Kuběna, A., & Flegr, J. (2007). Influence of latent toxoplasmosis on the secondary sex ratio in mice. Parasitology 134: 1709-1717.

Kaňková, Š., Šulc, J., Nouzová, K., Fajfrlík, K., Frynta, D., & Flegr, J. (2007). Women infected with parasite Toxoplasma have more sons. Naturwissenschaften 94: 122-127.


bottom of page