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.