• 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., & Spaethe, J. Bumblebees are able to perceive amino acids via chemotactile antennal stimulation. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 205(3), 321-331. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00359-019-01321-9
  • Sommerlandt, F. M. J., Brockmann, A., Rössler, W., & Spaethe, J. 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(4), 637–651. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-018-2948-z
  • Yilmaz, A., Dyer, A. G., Rössler, W., & Spaethe, J. Innate colour preference, individual learning and memory retention in the ant <i>Camponotus blandus</i>. Journal of Experimental Biology, 220(18), 3315-3326. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.158501
  • Spaethe, J., & Briscoe, A. D. Early Duplication and Functional Diversification of the Opsin Gene Family in Insects. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 21(8), 1583-1594. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msh162
  • Spaethe, J., Tautz, J., & Chittka, L. Visual constraints in foraging bumblebees: Flower size and color affect search time and flight behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(7), 3898-3903. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.071053098