My current research focuses on sexual conflict in the bedbug Cimex lectularius. While males have control over mating, the genetic contribution of males to the offspring generation is entirely unexplored as are the mechanisms leading to sperm selection by females. By experimentally separating male and female effects on fertilisation, I want to quantify sperm killing in bed bug females, investigate its mechanism, study competitive fertilisation after copulation inside and outside the supposed cryptic female choice organ and quantify sperm killing with respect to male and female genotype. Further, I am also interested in the relationship between the reproductive system and immunity, which seem to be tightly linked in bedbugs.
My latest work on sperm-microbe interactions has recently been mentioned on BBC online.
|2009-present||Post-doctoral research associate, “Reproductive immunity, spermicide and cryptic female choice “ with Dr. Klaus Reinhardt and Prof. Dr. Mike Siva-Jothy, University of Sheffield, UK (funded by the SNF)|
|2008-2009||Post-doctoral research associate, “Sperm killing in female bed bugs: a definite test of the cryptic female choice hypothesis” with Klaus Reinhardt and Mike Siva-Jothy, University of Sheffield, UK (funded by the SNF)|
|2007-2008||Post-doctoral assistant with Paul Schmid-Hempel at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland|
|2003-2007||PhD, “Host-parasite interactions – experimental studies on virulence and transmission” with Paul Schmid-Hempel at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland|
|2002-2003||Research assistant, for various projects with Barbara Tschirren and Michael Taborsky at the University of Bern, Switzerland|
|2001-2002||MSc (Zoology), “Enhanced predation is a cost of immunity in field crickets Gryllus campestris“; with Martin W. G. Brinkhof and Heinz Richner at the University of Bern, Switzerland|