Our current 20 composite research projects (see full list below) fall into four areas. In Sperm Biology we use experimental evolution and other experimental approaches to understand the significance of environmental (aka lifestyle) effects on sperm function, including infections, diet or atmospheric variation. Of central importance are oxygen radicals and sperm metabolism, which we measure using laser-induced fluorescence microscopy FLIM and microfluometry. See also Biz Turnell‘s, Barbara Eckel‘s, Conni Wetzker‘s, Ruijian Guo‘s and Klaus Reinhardt‘ page.

In Evolutionary Solutions to Diseases we focus on mitochondria, our cells’ powerhouses. The interaction of mitochondrial DNA with chromosomal DNA has substantial implications for the so-called mitochondrial replacement therapy (three-parent-baby technology). We aim to combine genetic methods with experimental evolution in order to identify suitable mito-nuclear interactions. See also Ralph Dobler‘s, Susanne Voigt‘s, Ruijian Guo‘s and Klaus Reinhardt‘s page.

Our third research area, related to Bioprospecting, examines natural solutions to all kinds of technical problems. We focus on areas where evolution is particularly rapid: evolutionary conflicts. Currently, we mainly concentrate on the  Molecular Biology of the Insect Cuticle. See also Renata Zuber‘s, Reda Ahmed‘s and Klaus Reinhardt‘s page.

Finally, in Cultural Zoology we use zoological studies, to inform aspects of the human society, or use cultural aspects to reveal biological particularities. See also Klaus Reinhardt‘s page.

List of current projects and collaboraotors (for finished projects: see Publications):

ID PROJECT PEOPLE involved (project leader in bold)
SB1 Mechanisms of extended sperm storage by female Drosophila B.Eckel, C.Wetzker, K.Reinhardt
SB2 Separating environmental and genetic effects on sperm function R.Guo, C.Wetzker, K.Reinhardt
SB3 Sexual selection on sperm metabolism? B.Turnell, K.Reinhardt
SB4 Metabolic state of testicular stem cells in fish C.Wetzker, F.Pfennig, K.Reinhardt, A.Froschauer
SB5 Mitochondrial, nuclear and mitonuclear interaction effects on male fertility R.Dobler, R.Guo, K.Reinhardt, S.Voigt, D.Dowling (Monash Univ), A.Ribou (Univ Perpignan), C.Kolberg
SB6 The role of protamines during spermiogenesis in Drosophila examined targeting by CRISPR/Cas9 C.Wetzker, K.Reinhardt
SB7 Insect Sperm – Microbe Interactions and its communication mechanisms K.Reinhardt, B.Eckel, O.Otti & S.Bellinvia (Bayreuth), P.Johnston (FU Berlin), F.Götze (Tübingen), P.Deines, K.Hammerschmidt (Kiel)
MN1 Genomics, Epigenomics and Molecular Biology of mitonuclear interactions S.Voigt, K.Reinhardt, A.Dahl (BIOTEC), D.Dowling (Monash Univ), C.Grunau (Univ Perpignan)
MN2 Mitonuclear interaction effects on life-history, health and fitness R.Dobler, K.Reinhardt, D.Dowling, E.Morrow (Sussex Univ)
MN3 Mitonuclear interaction and local adaptation R.Dobler, K.Reinhardt, D.Dowling
MN4 Mitonuclear interaction effects on the cuticle K.Reinhardt, R.Dobler, W.Dong
MN5 Evolutionary solution to cellular metabolism and organismal lifespan Adam Dobson (Univ College London), K.Reinhardt, C.Wetzker
C1 The function of Drosophila chitinases R.Ahmed, K.Reinhardt, S.Voigt, H.Wiesmann (MBC)
C2 Genes regulating processes of cuticle formation R.Zuber, Y.Politi (MPI Golm), J.-H.Dirks (Bremen)
C3 Characterising a self-sealing material in the arthropod cuticle (microscopy, molecular biology, histology, forward genetics) S.Lerch, C.Froschauer, C.Wetzker, C.Thodte, K.Reinhardt, F.Buchholz (MTZ Dresden), S.Gorb (Univ Kiel), J.Michels (Univ Kiel)
OPEN TOPICS (OT): Exploring interdisciplinary ideas (YES, we do Open Topics)
OT2 The cultural history of the bedbug A.Graf, K.Reinhardt
OT3 Stable isotope analysis to reconstruct migration of butterflies K.Reinhardt, M.Nuss (Senckenberg), D.Burghardt (TU Dresden, Hydrology), S.Hahn (Vogelwarte Sempach)
OT4 Reproductive Isolation and Speciation (Drosophila selection lines, Drosophila mitolines, Mytilus mussels, bedbug host races) R.Dobler, K.Reinhardt, H.Rundle (Univ Ottawa), H.Stuckas & L.Knöbel (Senckenberg)
OT5 Phylogeny of bedbugs: Evolution of host specificity and trait diversification by sexual conflict K.Reinhardt, S.Roth (Univ Bergen) leading large international consortium
OT6 Targeting the biology of the bedbug for control: symbionts, attachment structures, behaviour K.Reinhardt, S.Roth (Univ Bergen), D.Voigt (TU Dresden, Botany), O.Balvin (Univ of Prague), B.Talbot (Univ Ottawa)