Applied Zoology at Dresden


Note: This is a regularly updated, internal website by members of the Applied Zoology group at the Technische Universitaet Dresden. The official website, less often updated, is here. 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 mitochondria in metabolism, phenotype and 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) metabolism and metabolic diseases, 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?

2017 News

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 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 will speak 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).