Staff profile

Professor Karim Vahed


Professor of Entomology

Karim Vahed observing a scaly cricket on a stone he's holding

College

College of Life and Natural Sciences

Campus

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Email

k.vahed@derby.ac.uk

About

Teaching responsibilities

I am Programme Leader for MSc Conservation Biology and teach on the BSc (Hons) Biology and BSc (Hons) Zoology programmes.

My teaching covers the following areas:

Research interests

My research interests include post-copulatory sexual selection and inter-sexual conflict in arthropods. I am particularly interested in strategies used by male orthopterans (crickets, bushcrickets and relatives) to secure copulations, to prolong the duration of copulation and ejaculate transfer, to protect the ejaculate within the female and to manipulate the reproductive behaviour of the female, cryptic female choice and polyandry.

My research is also concerned with the selective pressures responsible for the evolution and maintenance of nuptial feeding behaviour in arthropods. In a range of insects and spiders, males feed females during courtship and/or copulation. These food gifts take a variety of forms: prey items captured by the male, glandular secretions, or even parts of the male's body. I am interested in whether nuptial feeding is mutually beneficial for the two sexes, or whether it is actually a subtle way in which the male can manipulate the reproductive behaviour of the female against her evolutionary interests.

I am also working on projects relating to the conservation of Orthoptera. Recent work has focused on the ecology and conservation of the Atlantic Beach-Cricket, or Scaly cricket (Pseudomogoplistes vicentae) in the British Isles. This vulnerable species is highly unusual for a cricket in that it lives on shingle beaches close to the strand line. Potential threats to populations include an increase in severe storm events associated with climate change. We have determined the life-cyle of the species and have been monitoring populations in three localities in the UK.

Membership of professional bodies

Qualifications

Undergraduate qualifications

Research qualifications

Recent conferences

Additional interests and activities

Research students

In the media

Recent publications

Blog Posts

Karim Vahed, Professor of Entomology at the University of Derby, discusses why the scaly cricket should have its DNA sequenced.

Bush-cricket

Dr Karim Vahed, Professor of Entomology at the University of Derby, discusses pioneering research into the sex lives of dark bush-crickets.