• Honeybees (partly marked) on the edge of a brood frame
Chair of Behavioral Physiology & Sociobiology

Spaethe, Johannes

PD Dr. Johannes Spaethe

Research group leader
Zoology II / Spaethe lab
Universität Würzburg
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Building: B1 (Biozentrum)
Room: D111
Link: Spaethe lab
Portrait of PD Dr. Johannes Spaethe

My research centers on the function, ecology and evolution of sensory and neuronal systems in insects. In particular, I focus on the visual system in bees. My approach combines the methods of molecular genetics, neurobiology and behavioural science.

Current research projects are:

  • Psychophysics of color vision in insects
  • Eye development & Molecular evolution of opsins in insects
  • Visual learning and memory formation
  • Sensory perception of taste in bees

  • Ruedenauer, F. A., Leonhardt, S. D., Lunau, K., and Spaethe, J. (2019) Bumblebees are able to perceive amino acids via chemotactile antennal stimulation, Journal of Comparative Physiology A 205, 321–331.
  • Sommerlandt, F. M. J., Brockmann, A., Rössler, W., and Spaethe, J. (2019) Immediate early genes in social insects: a tool to identify brain regions involved in complex behaviors and molecular processes underlying neuroplasticity, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 76, 637–651.
  • Yilmaz, A., Dyer, A. G., Rössler, W., and Spaethe, J. (2017) Innate colour preference, individual learning and memory retention in the ant Camponotus blandus, Journal of Experimental Biology, The Company of Biologists Ltd 220, 3315–3326.
  • Spaethe, J., and Briscoe, A. D. (2004) Early Duplication and Functional Diversification of the Opsin Gene Family in Insects, Molecular Biology and Evolution 21, 1583–1594.
  • Spaethe, J., Tautz, J., and Chittka, L. (2001) Visual constraints in foraging bumblebees: Flower size and color affect search time and flight behavior, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98, 3898–3903.