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

    Receptors and behavior of ticks

    Curriculum Vitae

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

    • 11/2016-10/2020: 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


          Straub F, Birkenbach M, Leonhardt SD, Ruedenauer FA, Kuppler J, Wilfert L, Ayasse M (2023) Land-use-associated stressors interact to reduce bumblebee health at the individual and colony level. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 290: 20231322. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2023.1322

          Ruedenauer FA, Parreño MA, Grunwald Kadow IC, Spaethe J, Leonhardt SD (2023) The ecology of nutrient sensation and perception in insectsTrends in Ecology and Evolution 38: 994-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2023.05.006

          Russo L, Ruedenauer FA, Gronert A, Van de Vreken I, Vanderplanck M, Michez D, Klein AM, Leonhardt SD, Stout JC (2023) Fertilizer and herbicide alter nectar and pollen quality with consequences for pollinator floral choicesPeerJ 11: e15452. doi: 10.7717/peerj.15452

          Villagómez GN, Brachvogel RC, Kárpáti Z, Leonhardt SD, Schmitt T, Ruedenauer FA (2023) A common protocol for reliable comparison of pollen fatty acid profiles: highlighting pitfalls and proposing a methodology for ecological researchFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11: 1141832. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2023.1141832

          Nebauer CA, Schleifer MC, Ruedenauer FA, Leonhardt SD, Spaethe J (2023) Perception, regulation, and fitness effects of pollen phytosterols in the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris. American Journal of Botany: e16165. doi: 10.1002/ajb2.16165

          Eschlwech F, Ruedenauer FA, Leonhardt SD, Minceva M, Luca SV (2023) Liquid-liquid chromatography separation of hemp terpenes with repellent properties against Hyalomma marginatum: A multi-methodological approach. Industrial crops and products 197: 116562. doi: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2023.116562

          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 (2022) Critical links between biodiversity and health in wild bee conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 37 (4): 309-321. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2021.11.013

          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