Dr Klaus Reinhardt
Tel: +44 (0)114 222 4778
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 0002
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD University of Jena (2000)
Feodor-Lynen Fellowship (Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation) Illinois State University (2001)
Marie Curie Fellowship University of Leeds (2002)
Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Sheffield (2003-2005)
Wellcome Trust VIP Award (2005/06)
NERC Research Fellow, University of Sheffield
Key Research Interests
The sperm phenotype and its evolutionary consequences
Every cell decreases in function over time and sperm are no exception. Fertilisation and zygote viability critically depend on sperm age. I study how males and females optimise the use of most recently produced or otherwise little damaged sperm.
Co-evolution between the sexes: Why is reproduction so complicated?
Getting sperm and eggs together should be easy. Why is reproduction particularly complicated, then? I study bedbugs to address this question. Males copulate by piercing the female skin and at the site of piercing, the female skin has fascinating material properties. At mating males also transfer microbes which likely selected for an entirely new female immune organ. We also found that males mate when females are physically unable to resist mating, a phenomenon that we termed situation exploitation. We currently aim to explain other complicated traits such as why sperm travel through the female blood or why males transfer antibiotics alongside their sperm.
Genitalia show a greater diversity between species than most other morphological characters. Why? Sexual selection by female choice for males with different genitalia types has been suggested. But how can females get information about different males if male genitalia are so invariable that they serve as the key identification feature for most animals? Genitalia variation may also be caused by natural selection and pleiotropy.
Bedbugs are an interesting study system because they defeat current theory on genitalia evolution: 1) Male genitalia do not covary with female genitalia. 2) In species in which males mate with other males, males have evolved female-like genitalia. In turn, some females mimic the male form of female genitalia.
The ecology of the bed bug
The bedbug is globally on the rise yet for some areas we do not even have basic ecological and population genetic knowledge. I am broadly interested in the dispersal, population biology and thermal ecology of any bed bug species both in terms of pure biological aspects as well as potential pest control applications.
Selected Recent Publications (2001 to date)
Reinhardt, K., Naylor, R. & Siva-Jothy, M. T. Ejaculate components delay reproductive senescence whilst elevating female reproductive rate in an insect. PNAS, in press.
Otti, O., Naylor, R., Siva-Jothy, M.T. & Reinhardt, R. 2009. Bacteriolytic activity in the ejaculate of an insect. American Naturalist, 174:292-295.
Reinhardt, K., Wong, C. H., Georgiou, A. S. (2009) Seminal fluid proteins in the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, detected using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Parasitology
Reinhardt, K., Naylor, R. & Siva-Jothy, M. T. (2009) Situation exploitation: higher male mating success when female resistance is reduced by feeding. Evolution 63: 29-39.
Wintle, K & Reinhardt, K. (2008) Temporary feeding inhibition caused by artificial abdominal distension in the bedbug, Cimex lectularius. Journal of Insect Physiology 54: 1200-1204.
Reinhardt, K. (2007) Evolutionary consequences of sperm ageing. Quarterly Review of Biology 82, 375-393
Reinhardt, K., Harney, E., Naylor, R, Gorb, S. & Siva-Jothy, M. T. (2007) Female-limited genitalia polymorphism in a traumatically inseminating insect. The American Naturalist 170, 931-935
Reinhardt, K., Naylor, R. & Siva-Jothy, M. T. (2007). Estimating the mean abundance and feeding rate of a temporal ectoparasite in the wild: Afrocimex constrictus (Heteroptera: Cimicidae). International Journal for Parasitology 37:937-942
Reinhardt, K. & Siva-Jothy, M. T. 2007. Biology of bed bugs (Cimicidae). Annual Review of Entomology 52: 351-374.
Reinhardt, K. & Siva-Jothy, M. T. (2005) An advantage for young sperm in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus. The American Naturalist, 165: 718-723.
Reinhardt et al. 2008 Who knows the bedbug? J. med Entomol 45:956-958
Sheffield Star 9 Oct 2008
Sheffield Telegraph 9 Oct 2008
Sheffield Live Radio 17 Oct 2008
My work is also covered in the chapter Bed room secrets of the popular science book The penis duell by W. van Strien, Zeist (NL, 2008)
Reinhardt et al. 2007. Female genitalia polymorphism Am. Nat. 170: 931-935
Nature News (20 Sept)
Fox News (20 Sept)
New Scientist (22 Sept)
Canadian Discovery Channel
National Geographic Weekend Radio
ScienceNews (9 Nov)