• 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

  • 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 (2019). 205(3) 321–331.
  • 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 (2019). 76(4) 637–651.
  • 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 (2017). 220(18) 3315–3326.
  • Early Duplication and Functional Diversification of the Opsin Gene Family in Insects Spaethe, Johannes; Briscoe, Adriana D. in Molecular Biology and Evolution (2004). 21(8) 1583–1594.
  • 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 (2001). 98(7) 3898–3903.