Applied Zoology at Dresden


Disclaimer: This website by members of the Applied Zoology lab at the Technische Universitaet Dresden is regularly updated but is not the official university website (which is here and cannot frequently be updated). Our lab is also involved in the Dresden International PhD Programme (DIPP) and has a page there.

In our lab, we seek answers to fundamental zoological questions, such as determinants of male (in)fertility, the role of mito-nuclear interactions on metabolism, the phenotype and on evolutionary change. We also study the genetics and material properties of the insect skin.

Mission Official

We aim to become an internationally recognised lab for combining evolutionary with molecular and microscopy approaches in three areas: 1) mito-nuclear interactions, 2) sperm biology and male infertility, and 3) bioprospecting. Mainly using Drosophila, we link sperm physiology with environmental and mitochondrial variation to reveal causes of sperm dysfunction in vivo, address problems related to metabolic diseases and inform material science and applied areas by testing hypotheses about the molecular biology and function of the insect cuticle.

See here for details of our research and here for our publications. We aim at high representation in the press. Our current teaching areas are here. Contact us. Want to join us?

Not Applied Zoology…


… but amazing: Dresden artist Manaf Halbouni creates the image of the simply unimaginative situation of what it would look like when the Frauenkirche would have to be protected. Opinions were divided over what Dresden might need protection from. Unlike that of most other cities in Germany, Dresden’s police responds in a unique way to people who say that racism is unacceptable.

2017 News

Follow us on twitter. @tudaz2

4 to 6 July. Meet our guest, Departmental Seminar speaker Dr Adam Dobson, UCL. He will speak about “Diet, Transcription and Ageing“. In Drosophila. His scholar site.
3 to 14 July. We will be hosting Dr A Ribou and Prof C Grunau from the University of Perpignan.
23 June. New arrival. The new confocal microscope has arrived. Welcome!
20 June watch out for Conni’s talk on two-photon FLIM in the BioVision Seminar at 4pm. BBQ party afterwards.
19 June Klaus’ teaching evaluation has arrived. Results are here.
1 June Happiness can arise from sticky sperm.
1 June Meet our seminar speaker: Veronika Magdanz from the IFW will speak about Bio-hybrid sperm-driven microswimmers as diagnostic tools for sperm migration, 12-13 in E31 in the Biology Buildg. Her website.
1 June Welcome to Jeanette Kessler who joined our group from today. Jeanette works on Epigenetic regulation of ovarian development in Drosophila.
1 June Highest honour. Klaus was invited to be speaking at the student-organised Teichfest on the Ecology and Evolution of Phantastic (Teich)beasts. 7 July 18.30.
29 May And one more successful TAC meeting! Congratulations, Barbara!
17 May Two more successful TAC meetings! Well done, Reda and Ruijian!
14-16 May Conni at the Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Conference in Prague, presenting a poster on FLIM of insect sperm and insect reproductive organs.
12 May We are on Twitter. Let’s see how it works. @tudaz2.
12 May Klaus is Invited Speaker at the Annual Meeting of the Biologists in Reproductive Medicine in Berlin on Risks and Chances of Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy.
10-12 May Retreat in Bautzen. Conni’s FLIM results and Science Public relations were the topics. Of course, not without Ralph’s pub quiz.
11 Apr Congratulations to Lisa-Marie, our lab’s BeLL student, for winning the Saxony-wide competition jugend forscht. Fingers crossed for her participation in the German-wide competition.
11 April Successful TAC meeting! Nicely done, Steven!
6 Apr Studium Generale – Klaus will speak on Mitochondrial Diseases and Therapies – what’s going on with the three-parent babies? In German, 16:40 ASB
3 Apr Congratulations to our youngest lab member ever: Lisa-Marie Pumpa from St Afra High School did her BeLL study on Bedbug surface attachment with us, and made it to the final, Saxony-wide round of ‘Jugend forscht. Covered by the Sächs.Z.
from 4 Apr See the new seminar series we are involved in, organised by Conni. Topics in Advanced Microscopy Techniques. See here for the programme.
28 Mar. We will host the Biology Seminar Speaker, Markus Knaden, MPI Chemical Ecology Jena, who speaks on Desert ant navigation by visual and olfactory cues. Biology Bldg E33, 5pm. Meet the speaker afterwards.
21 Mar. We host today’s Biology Seminar Speaker, Marko Brankatschk, BIOTEC Dresden. The Fat and the Fly – how dietary lipids change Drosophila behaviour. Biology Bldg E33, 5pm. Meet the speaker afterwards.
20 to 31 Mar The new Animal Behaviour course will be run. See here for details.
See the programme for the inter- and binational PhD student meeting. To take place 16 to 18 Mar in Bautzen. We will be represented with two talks (Ensi, Reda) and three posters (Barbara, Biz, Ruijian). See here for more.
10 Mar. A sawfly on common hepatica – not as rare as believed?    ??????
25 Feb-2 Mar Bernard in Taiyuan/China on collaborative meeting with Prof Jianzhen Zhang. Cuticle ‘stuff’.
laser27 Feb – 12 Mar Barbara, Biz and Klaus in Perpignan working with Ance (the one with glasses) – Drosophila sperm ROS in reach? II.
15/16 Feb Bernard and Renata are at a project meeting at the MPI in Golm. Cuticle ‘stuff’.
6 – 10 Feb Christian inspects ROS machine in Perpignan – Drosophila sperm ROS in reach? I.
sl_2p1 Feb Published! Our work, with colleagues from Saarbruecken, showing the suitability of multiphoton imaging to characterise aspects of the cuticle. link
31 Jan Accepted! Bernard’s work on the regionalisation of the cuticle in bedbugs and whiteflies. Forthcoming in J exp Biol.
21 Jan Neue Zürcher Zeitung refers to our work.
20 Jan Klaus speaks in Görlitz, first at the Kinderakademie then, no less seriously, at the Senckenberg-Gesellschaft.
19 Jan A reason to celebrate…

18 Jan Gone sledging in Alternberg. Called team building. Brilliant anyway.

9 Jan Welcome to Dr Biz Turnell who joins us as an independent NSF Research Fellow to work on Sexual Selection and Sperm Metabolism in Drosophila.



10 Dec Our G3 paper is front page.

7 Dec tudaz Christmas party. Enjoyed the Semper Opera house, the cable car up Weißer Hirsch, the Loschwitz Christmas Market and the Clara restaurant. Cheers!
1 Dec Klaus’ interview with Scientific American on mitochondrial replacement aka three-parent baby technology. Link
24 Nov Accepted. Autofluorescence lifetime variation in the cuticle of the bedbug Cimex lectularius is to appear in the journal Arthropod Structure and Development.
untitled324 Nov tudaz in the press. With bedbugs on the frontpage! And even some scientific background. Link
4 Nov List of new possible student projects.
24 Oct Accepted. Klaus’ summary Traumatic Insemination in the Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.
10 Oct Bernard’s paper in print in Journal of Biological Chemistry: “Helicoidal organisation of chitin in the cuticle of the migratory locust requires the function of the chitin deacetylase II enzyme (LM CDA2).”
7 Oct Bernard’s paper out in Nature Communications: “Insulin and TOR signal in parallel through FOXO and S6K to promote epithelial wound healing.” Link
5 OctA linkage map and QTL analysis for pyrethroid resistance in the bed bug Cimex lectularius” is accepted in G3-Genes, Genomes, Genetics, in which Klaus was involved. Link
Bernard’s book is out Extracellular Composite Matrices in Arthropods is out. Wow! Many congratulations!
25-30 Sept Bernard speaks at the International Congress of Entomology conference in Orlando, Florida.
22/23 Sept Klaus Invited Speaker at a conference of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam on “Risks inherent to nuclear transfer“. Link
20 Sept Raffael defends his MSc thesis on “CRISPR Cas9 mediated mutagenesis in male-specific transcripts”.
15 to 17 Sept Our first retreat, held near Decin in the Czech Republic.
6 Sept New Bsc/MSc project available on protamine function in Drosophila. Details.
22 July Bernard’s paper is out in Scientific Reports. “LmCYP4G102: An oenocyte-specific cytochrome P450 gene required for cuticular waterproofing in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria“. Link
6 Sept Results of the Ecology exam are out. Here.
Flag_of_Iran.svg10 August Welcome to Ensi who joins us for a one-year PhD stay from today. She will work on mito-nuclear interactions in Drosophila.
Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 10.16.3831 July A big thank you and best of luck to Antje who officially leaves us today. Follow this place for more on her work on the appearance of the bedbug in German-speaking fiction literature.
29 July Ecology exam, ASB 120, 11:10 to 14:30.
21 July New arrival to the group. The multi-photon microscope has been installed and is now up and running. First pictures look beautiful.
12 July Klaus’s talk ‘Acoustic communication in the animal kimgdom‘ in the seminar series “Music, Mathematics, Cognition” starts at 5 pm, A.-Bebel-Str.20, Hörsaal E08
12 July Evolution exam, HSZ 101.
flagge-china28 June Welcome to Wei Dong who joins us as a postdoc to work on Cuticle Genetics in Drosophila melanogaster.
10 June Goodbye and Thank you to Lisa who was working with us for her lab practical.
Steven 9 June. Congratulations to Steven for a successful defence of his Master thesis ‘Co-localisation of resilin and dityrosine in Drosophila melanogaster’.
7 June Marko Brankatschk from the MPI CBG is visiting the lab. See his talk Temperature Systems Biology of Drosophila at 5 pm. And join us for a drink afterwards in the beer garden Torwirtschaft.
24 May Christina Rathke from Marburg University is visiting. See her talk Chromatin Remodelling and Compaction of the Paternal Genome During Spermiogenesis at 5 pm. And join us for a drink afterwards.
egypt12 May Now official: Welcome to Reda who joins us as a PhD student to work on The molecular biology of chitinases in Drosophila.
12 May Welcome to Luisa who will be working as research assistant (Hiwi) on the heritability of the egg-laying pattern, and on blood meal stealing in bedbugs.
12 May Public talk by Ralph (Studium generale) The Biology of Cannibalism.
3 May Paper out. Inhibition of fatty acid desaturases in Drosophila melanogaster Congratulations, Bernard! Link
2 May High-end foreign expert in our ranks! Professor Bernard Moussian was awarded funding from the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Affairs. Many congratulations, Bernard!
25/26 Apr Professor Brad Anholt, Univ Victoria is visiting the lab. Join for his talk on Extreme sex ratio variation in a marine copepod (Tues 5 pm), and for beer afterwards. The copepod in question is one of the model organism for mito-nuclear interactions.
dd_flyer_LangeNacht_Theater23 Apr Klaus will be reading from his book on bedbugs during the Lange Nacht der Dresdner Theater. You are welcome to join. link
18 Apr Bernard was fed up with the whinging about the peer review and made it into EMBO-Reports. link to paper, pdf of his comment
Asiagomphus11 Apr Honours. A newly discovered dragonfly species has been named after Klaus for his support of dragonfly research. Asiagomphus reinhardti Kosterin & Yokoi 2016 occurs in the mountainous border region of Cambodia and Laos. Link to the paper and the university press release. More important: Link to the International Dragonfly Fund, a grass-roots organisation that funds dragonfly research and protection, and during which activities the species was discovered.
8 Apr Accepted! Bernard an co-workers got a paper accepted in Proc B on Regionalisation of the Cuticle in Drosophila.
7 Apr Public Lecture. Bernard speaks about The Biology of the Insect Skin in the Studium Generale (in German). 16:40 HS28, ASB, Zellescher Weg 19. Next date: Ralph, 12 May The Biology of Cannibalism.
4 Apr Lectures start: Evolution, as well as ‘Umwelt I‘ aka Ecology. In June, Heiko will read Population Genetics.
1 Apr ‘Old’ arrival. Welcome to Barbara who today celebrates her 4-months jubilee in our group. This is not an April Fool’s Day joke, she simply never was introduced here before. Apologies and a late Welcome! Barbara will work on the evolution of sperm metabolism. And by stating that she has, as a kind of compensation, received the largest news item this year.
30 Mar New arrival. Atomic Force Microscope is being installed.
25 Mar Congratulations to Biz Turnell of winning a NSF fellowship to join us from January 2017 for two years to work on the significance of sperm metabolism in sexual selection. Outstanding Biz!
21-23 Mar Off to new horizons (even beyond 2020, haha…) – postdoc retreat on top of the Brand mountain.
8 Mar Accepted. Finally! Congratulations Ralph! Heritability, evolvability, phenotypic plasticity and temporal variation in sperm-competition success of Drosophila melanogaster will appear in J evol Biol. Link
1 Mar Welcome to Christian who joins us as a technician for microscopy and network issues.
27 Feb Accepted. Congratulations to Bernard. Inhibition of fatty acid desaturases in Drosophila melanogaster larvae blocks feeding and developmental progression will appear in Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology.
24 Feb. Flag_of_Mexico.svgBienvenido to Raffael who joins the lab as a Master student. Raffael will work on the role of protamines in Drosophila fertility.
17 Feb. Areas announced for which Master projects are available. Link to projects here. You will be involved in developing the specific themes.
2 Feb. Bedbug genome paper out. Finally. Link. Also featured on TU Dresden’s main page. Link. Lots of press coverage – see Press page
2 Feb. Bernard’s et al. paper A feedback mechanism converts individual cell features into a supracellular ECM structure in Drosophila trachea is out in the journal e-life. Congratulations, Bernard! link.
27 Jan. Welcome to Loreen Knöbel who joins the lab as a PhD student. She will be supervised by Heiko Stuckas, Senckenberg Museum. Her topic is “Reproductive isolation in the Baltic Mytilus hybrid zone
11 Jan. Welcome to Susanne Voigt who joins us from today! Susanne will be working on population genetics and bioinformatic analysis


15 Dec. For your diary: Applied Zoology members will give lectures for the Studium general on the Biology of Insect Skin (7 April, Bernard), Biology of Cannibalism (12 May, Ralph) and Conflict and Cooperation of the sexes (16 June, Klaus). Link to the lecture series
15 Dec. Bernard’s report about the Royal Entomological Society meeting of the Special Interest Group Arthropod Cuticle is out. See here for a pdf.
7 Dec. Ralph & Klaus’s paper out in Annual Reviews of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics An Ecology of Sperm. Sperm Diversification by Natural Selection
30 Nov. Bernard‘s paper out in Biology Open. Link
Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 09.20.3324 Nov. Klaus’ Inauguration Lecture (in German): Evolutionary and medical significance of mito-nuclear interactions, ~17:30 ASB (note Thorsten Mascher‘s Inauguration Lecture at 17:00). All welcome!
flagge-china17 Nov. Welcome to Guo Ruijian who joins us as a PhD student to work on Ecology, Genetics and Molecular Biology of Sperm Storage in Drosophila melanogaster.
10 Nov. Paper accepted, with Klaus as a coauthor – the annotated bedbug genome will shortly appear in Nature Communications
10 Nov. Welcome to Steven who joined the lab as a Master student after successfully presenting the results from his Forschungspraktikum today. Steven will work on resilin distribution in fly and bug legs.
2 Nov. Bernard‘s paper out Drosophila chitinous aECM and its cellular interactions during tracheal development. Link
20 Oct. Klaus was awarded a grant from the Saechs. Aufbaubank SAB to procure a fluorescence microscope. Thank you SAB!
1 Oct. Welcome to Antje who joins us to work on the cultural history of the bedbug
20 Sept. Our paper on mitochondria replacement is referred to in a News feature in Nature.
18 Sept. Klaus‘ opinion on science (mis)communication during discussion about mitochondrial replacement therapy appears in Lab Times. In case, the link doesn’t work, download the pdf here.
14-19 Sept. Bernard is artist in residence at the festival for visual music in Stuttgart. He is involved in the musical representation of Drosophila mutations. link
2 Sept. Paper out! Characterising sperm metabolism label-free using two-photon microscopy appeared in J Roy Soc Interface.
8 and 9 Sept. We hosted the Royal Entomol Soc Meeting on Arthropod Cuticle, with a great programme and great speakers. Participants from 6 countries.
flyer-websiteKlaus will read from his book at the Berlin Natural History Museum 22 Sept. See here for details. Or here.
8 Aug. Paper out. The not quite so atypical career of an East German entomologist and evolutionary ecologist. Here.
1 Aug. Welcome to Cornelia who joins us as a technician.
20 July. Klaus on introduced animals on radio MDR 1 Radio Sachsen. Zoom in if you are an early riser – it is between 5 and 6 a.m.
16 July. DFG grant on cuticle development awarded to Bernard. Many congratulations!
9 July. Two topics on MSc projects: 1) Molecular biology of chitinases in insects. 2) Resilin anchorage in the skin. Details (in German).
poland6 July. Welcome to Renata, a PhD student with Bernard.
3 July. Klaus presents at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften in Dresden. 21:00 Biology Building, Zellescher Weg 20b, Room E33.
15 June Applying evolutionary theory to medicine: Discussing mitochondrial replacement therapy in Geburtshilfe & Frauenheilkunde. Paper can be inspected here, but is subject to copyright.
13 June Klaus presents at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften in Berlin, 21:00.
12 June. Bernard is appointed Guest Professor at the Univ Shanxi. Congratulations Bernard!
Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 17.56.04
11 June. Klaus gives a seminar on “Sexual conflict in the bedbug” at the Freie Univ Berlin
8 June. Welcome to Christin who joins us as a technician.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 21.52.245 June. Klaus accepted as a member of staff in the Dresden International PhD Programme DIPP. See his webpage at DIPP.

1 June. Welcome to Conni and Bernard who join the group.

28 May. A milestone paper in Developmental Cell – on the function of the triple-repeat protein Anaconda organising tricellular junctions in Drosophila melanogaster. In collaboration with the Uv (Göteborg, Sweden) and Luschnig (Münster, Germany) labs. Many congratulations, Bernard!

13 May. Congratulations to Guo Ruijian who won a Chinese Government Scholarship. He will join us as a PhD student in October 2015 to work on the Ecology, Genetics and Molecular Biology of Sperm Storage in Drosophila melanogaster.

7 May. Becky Rosengaus gives a seminar “Symbiont-mediated social immunity”. See her website for her research and come by and meet her on 6 and 7 May.

CG_AR_Max230 March. Dr Anne-Cecile Ribou and Prof. Dr Christoph Grunau from the University of Perpignan spend sabbatical time in our group. Christoph’s seminar Disentangling genetic and epigentic components of heritable phenotypic variation in the coevolution of hosts and parasites is on 21 April (Abstract), his lecture “Epigenetics and Evolution” also on 21. Ance’s talk will be Using next-generation fluorescence probes to detect free radicals in living cells: the case of the mitochondria. Come by and meet them.

25 March. Our paper “Risks inherent to mitochondrial replacement” appears in EMBO Reports.

11 March. Klaus gives a talk at the Behavioural Ecology Seminar Series, University of Bern on “Sperm ecology“.

4 March. Klaus gives a talk at the Max-Planck Inst for Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam Golm “What does sexual conflict have to do with properties of biological materials?

books26 Feb. Klaus reads from his new book at the Berlin Volksbuehne BOOKS Pavillion (press release in German).

23 Feb. Anja, our new secretary starts. Welcome Anja!

1 Dec 2014. Dr Ralph Dobler accepts the position in Dresden. Welcome, Ralph! Long time no seen. See Ralph’s website.

RSIF_12_106_Mockup_Cover.indd11 Feb. Our paper “Reduction of female copulatory damage by resilin represents evidence for tolerance in sexual conflict” is published in Royal Society Interface.

26 Nov 2014. The Royal Entomological Society supports Klaus’ and Stuart Reynolds’ application for a Special Interest Group ‘Arthropod Cuticle’.

Literarische Wanzen - Cover
22 Nov 2014. Klaus’ popular science book “Literarische Wanzen” is published (Neofelis Verlag Berlin)

20 Nov 2014.Female transcriptomic response to male genetic and nongenetic ejaculate variation” appeared online in Behavioral Ecology (Press release in German).

1 Nov 2014. Klaus starts the position in Dresden (Press release in German).