Research assistant

Dr. Paul Siefert

Institut für Bienenkunde,
Polytechnische Gesellschaft
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main,
FB Biowissenschaften
Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2
61440 Oberursel

Tel. +49-(0)6171-212 78
Fax +49-(0)6171-257 69

Research Interests

Risk evaluations for agricultural chemicals are necessary to preserve healthy populations of honey bee colonies. Field studies on whole colonies cannot detect behavioural impacts, while lab studies don’t allow conclusions on potential colony impacts.  The solution, non-disturbing long-term recordings of within-hive behaviour, were hitherto missing. I developed a video registration method that enables within-cell analysis in honey bee (Apis mellifera) observation hives to conduct impact analyses of chemicals, pests and other stressors on worker behaviour and development using our machine learning algorithm.

The cholinergic system is a popular target of insecticides, because the pharmacology of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) differs substantially from their vertebrate counterparts. Besides its effects on behavior, it becomes increasingly evident that neonicotinoids affect developmental processes in bees that appear to be independent of neuronal AChRs. Brood food (royal jelly, worker jelly or drone jelly) produced in the hypopharyngeal glands of nurse bees contains millimolar concentrations of ACh, which is required for proper larval development. I investigate the underlying modes of actions of acetylcholine in honeybee development.

Scientific career


Research associate at the Institute of Apiculture of the Polytechnic Society, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main


Doctorate, Dr. rer. nat., Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

2014 - 2018

Doctoral student at the Institute of Apiology

2012 / 2013

Stay Abroad Work & Travel in New Zealand


Diploma thesis in neurobiology: "Cholinergic influence on auditory attention in the rat", Bernhard Gaese / AK Kössl

2007 / 2008

Stay abroad & Internships in Australia, AK Prinzinger

2005 - 2011

Studied biology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Degree: Diploma in Biology

Selection of lectures

Tagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Bienenforschung e.V. (Celle)
Impacts of clothianidin and thiacloprid on brood care and larval development of Apis mellifera

Arthropod Neuroscience Network Spring Meeting (Altleiningen)
Neonicotinoid effects at field realistic concentrations on brood development and worker behavior

EurBee 8 (Ghent)
Neonicotinoid effects at field realistic concentrations on brood development and worker behavior

Deutscher Berufs- und Erwerbsimkerbund (Donaueschingen)
Die Bienenentwicklung unter der Lupe: Videos und Verhaltensanalysen aus dem Bienenvolk