• 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

  • Immediate early genes in social insects: a tool to identify brain regions involved in complex behaviors and molecular processes underlying neuroplasticity. Sommerlandt, Frank M. J.; Brockmann, Axel; Rössler, Wolfgang; Spaethe, Johannes. In Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 76(4), pp. 637–651. 2019.
  • Bumblebees are able to perceive amino acids via chemotactile antennal stimulation. Ruedenauer, Fabian A.; Leonhardt, Sara D.; Lunau, Klaus; Spaethe, Johannes. In Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 205(3), pp. 321–331. 2019.
  • Innate colour preference, individual learning and memory retention in the ant Camponotus blandus.. Yilmaz, Ayse; Dyer, Adrian G.; Rössler, Wolfgang; Spaethe, Johannes. In Journal of Experimental Biology, 220(18), pp. 3315–3326. The Company of Biologists Ltd, 2017.
  • Early Duplication and Functional Diversification of the Opsin Gene Family in Insects. Spaethe, Johannes; Briscoe, Adriana D. In Molecular Biology and Evolution, 21(8), pp. 1583–1594. 2004.
  • Visual constraints in foraging bumblebees: Flower size and color affect search time and flight behavior. Spaethe, J.; Tautz, J.; Chittka, L. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(7), pp. 3898–3903. 2001.