We are a young research team at CULS (Czech University of Life Sciences). We specialize mainly on bed bugs – blood-sucking parasitic insects. We focus on their behaviour, ecology, and population structure, and our main concern is the parasite mechanisms of adaptation to the host. The mechanisms of population differentiation and barriers leading to speciation are the principal direction of our studies. Currently, we are able to observe the evolution and a possible emergence of a new species. The common bed bug was originally bound to bat hosts and lately formed an independent, human-associated population, which is currently resurging after several decades.
Our group is a part of the Behaviour Ecology research team at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences at CULS.
- A call for bed bug sampling for a new project in cooperation with Jan Štefka (Czech Academy of Sciences), Ed Vargo (Texas &M University, USA) and Warren Booth (University of Tulsa, USA).
- Our bed bug phylogeny was published in Current Biology. We shot a brief summary of the paper:
The head of the research group. He has been interested in Orthoptera and Heteroptera since elementary school. During his Master’s and PhD. studies (Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, CZ) he focused on bed bug species, namely the ecological factors behind the differentiation of their populations.
He carries out faunistic monitoring of Heteroptera and Orthoptera in the Czech Republic, especially in Prague, in relation to the biotope conservation and revitalization, as well as in the context of urban ecology and ecology of invasive species.
A Ph.D. student, currently working on her dissertation dealing with the host influence on the common bed bug population structure. The subject of her diploma thesis (Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, CZ) was the biogeography of reed warblers and their parasites.
With enthusiasm, she also takes part in conservation activities, whether it means giving lectures for the Nyctalus association (bat rescue centre and ecology centre) or conducting faunistic monitorings of bats for the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic.
Sunita Eidi Hakimi
A bachelor student testing a possible importance of traumatic insemination in the interspecific competition.