Dr. Fabian A. Ruedenauer

Research Department Life Science Systems
Technische Universität München
Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2
D-85354 Freising-Weihenstephan


Phone: +49 (0) 8161 71-4886

Email: fabian.ruedenauer[at]tum.de

ORCID: 0000-0002-2509-0554


Research interest

  • Nutritional Ecology
  • Behavioral Ecology
  • Chemical Ecology
  • Neuroethology

My main research interest is based on what influences resource quality and how resource quality itself is assessed by consumers.

To address these questions I mainly work with bees, mainly bumblebees, which are able to differentiate between different food qualities and use this ability while foraging.

The main focus of my current work is:

  • Electrophysiological and behavioral experiments to find out which nutrients can be received and perceived by bees
  • Feeding assays to determine the influences of these nutrients on colony performance and quality assessment
  • Finding drivers of the differences in pollen nutrient composition between species
  • Biochemical analyses of pollen

    Receptor genetics of nutrient receptors

    Curriculum Vitae

    11/2019-present: Scientist, Plant-Insect-Interactions, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich

    • 11/2016-present: PhD candidate, Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg
    • 10/2014-09/2016 Master of Science in Biology, University of Würzburg
    • 10/2011-09/2014 Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Würzburg


          Parreño MA , Alaux C, Brunet JL, Buydens L, Filipiak M, Henry M, Keller A, Klein AM, Kuhlmann M, Leroy C, Meeus I, Palmer-Young E, Piot N, Requier F, Ruedenauer FA, Smagghe G, Stevenson PC, Leonhardt SD (2021) Critical links between biodiversity and health in wild bee conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution (in press)

          Venjakob C, Ruedenauer FA, Klein AM, Leonhardt SD (2021) Variation in nectar quality across 34 grassland plant species. Plant Biology 24 (1): 134-144. doi:10.1111/plb.13343

          Ruedenauer FA, Biewer NW, Nebauer CA, Scheiner M, Spaethe J & Leonhardt SD (2021) Honey bees can taste amino and fatty acids in pollen, but not sterols. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9 : 404.

          Ruedenauer FA, Sydow D, Spaethe J, Leonhardt SD (2020) Young bumblebees may rely on both direct pollen cues and early experience when foraging. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287 (1933): 20201615. doi:10.1098/rspb.2020.1615

          Grund-Mueller N, Ruedenauer FA, Spaethe J, Leonhardt SD (2020) Adding amino acids to a sucrose diet is not sufficient to support longevity of adult bumblebees. Insects 11 (4): 247. doi:10.3390/insects11040247

          Ruedenauer FA, Raubenheimer D, Kessner-Beierlein D, Grund-Mueller N, Noack L, Spaethe J, Leonhardt SD (2020) Best be(e) on low fat: linking nutrient perception, regulation and fitness. Ecology Letters 23 (3): 545-554. doi:10.1111/ele.13454

          Radio podcast (in German): https://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/sendungen/iq-wissenschaft-und-forschung/covid-mars-erdhummel-100.html

          Ruedenauer FA, Spaethe J, van der Kooi CJ, Leonhardt SD (2019) Pollinator or pedigree: which factors determine the evolution of pollen nutrients? Oecologia 191 (2): 349-358. doi: 10.1007/s00442-019-04494-x

          Ruedenauer FA, Leonhardt SD, Lunau K, Spaethe J (2019) Bumblebees are able to perceive amino acids via chemotactile antennal stimulation. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 205 (3): 321-331. doi: 10.1007/s00359-019-01321-9

          Ruedenauer FA, Wöhrle C, Spaethe J, Leonhardt SD (2018) Do honeybees (Apis mellifera) differentiate between different pollen types? PLoS ONE 13 (11): e0205821. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205821

          Ruedenauer FA, Leonhardt SD, Schmalz F, Rössler W, Strube-Bloss MF (2017) Separation of different pollen types by chemotactile sensing in Bombus terrestris. Journal of Experimental Biology 220 (8): 1435-1442. doi: 10.1242/jeb.153122

          Ruedenauer FA, Spaethe J, Leonhardt SD (2016) Hungry for quality—individual bumblebees forage flexibly to collect high-quality pollen. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70 (8):1209–1217. doi: 10.1007/s00265-016-2129-8

          Ruedenauer FA, Spaethe J, Leonhardt SD (2015) How to know which food is good for you: bumblebees use taste to discriminate between different concentrations of food differing in nutrient content. Journal of Experimental Biology 218 (14): 2233-2240. doi: 10.1242/jeb.118554

          Inside JEB article: jeb.biologists.org/content/218/14/2144.full