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Dr. Andreas Thum   Faculty

Room: Z743
Telephone: 07531-88-5679
Homepage: none

Group: Thum

Research interests:

Learning and memory is a topic of great importance that has long been at centre stage in psychology and is also crucial in disciplines such as philosophy, biology, education, artificial intelligence and linguistics. In neuroscience, learning is generally defined as an experience-dependent generation or modification of internal representations (Dudai, 1988). For most of the 30 years that Drosophila melanogaster has been used to study olfactory memory formation, investigators have regarded it as an animal model that provides facile and unbiased access to the genes involved in the process of memory formation (McGuire et al., 2005). Moreover in the last few years there has been a surprising emphasis on tool development and research at the level of systems neuroscience (Duffy, 2002; McGuire et al., 2005). Because of these advances, the face of this experimental model has evolved from one suited for gene discovery to one offering the opportunity to integrate the molecular genetics of memory formation with the systems neuroscience of memory formation. Thus today’s research emphasis on the pathways of information flow, information processing, and information encoding by groups of neurons (Heisenberg, 2003; Gerber et al., 2009).

Which types of sensory neurons are involved in learning and memory? What are the neurons that integrate different sensory stimuli in “memory centers”? How are different memories stored within the brain? How are these memories conserved over time within the brain?

During the past years, I have gained expertise in the behavioral analysis of learning and memory and the anatomical basis of the related neuronal circuits of both adult and larval fruitflies. Encouraged and enthused by my doctor father Prof. Martin Heisenberg (Würzburg, Germany) I started my ‘independent’ research career. Subsequently during my Post-doc I shifted my focus to the larva in the lab of Prof. Reinhard Stocker (Fribourg, Switzerland). The Drosophila larva, which seems to include no more than 3,000 functional neurons in its brain displays a considerable behavioral repertoire and therefore became a particularly suited model for studying the basis of learning and memory (Gerber and Stocker, 2007; Gerber et al., 2009; Selcho et al., 2009).

As I recently was awarded as a Emmy-Noether Nachwuchsgruppenleiter (funded by the DFG) I moved to Konstanz to continue my studies on the fundamental mechanisms of associative learning and memory in Drosophila larvae from the cellular and molecular up to the behavioral level in my own lab.


Research projects:



2011- Emmy-Noether Nachwuchsgruppenleiter, University of Konstanz, Germany

Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz, Germany

2010-2011 Assistent Professor, Institute of Developmental and Cellbiology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
2006-2010 Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Reinhard Stocker, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
2002-2006 Doctorate in Neurobiology in the lab of Martin Heisenberg.University of Würzburg, Germany
1999-2002 Diploma in Biology in the lab of Martin Heisenberg. University of Würzburg, Germany
1997–1999 Intermediate examination in Biology, University of Würzburg, Germany




2nd Arthopod Neuroscience Network Satellite Symposium

2010 Swiss Drosophila Meeting
2009 First Swiss Neurofly and Satellite Meeting on Chemosensation and Chemosensory Learning
2009 Mini-symposium at the annual Swiss Society of Neuroscience Meeting on: Fundamental Neuroscience

SEMINARS (intern): Wiki

Publication metrics: 




Publications of all groups

  • 17 Huser, Annina and Rohwedder, Astrid and Apostolopoulou, Anthi A. and Widmann, Annekathrin and Pfitzenmaier, Johanna E. and Maiolo, Elena M. and Selcho, Mareike and Pauls, Dennis and von Essen, Alina and Gupta, Tripti and Sprecher, Simon G. and Birman, Serge and Riemensperger, Thomas and Stocker, Reinhard F. and Thum, Andreas S. (2012). The Serotonergic Central Nervous System of the Drosophila Larva: Anatomy and Behavioral Function. Plos One. 7 (10), e47518. [Abstract] [doi] [BibTex]

  • 16 Rohwedder, Astrid and Pfitzenmaier, Johanna E. and Ramsperger, Noel and Apostolopoulou, Anthi A. and Widmann, Annekathrin and Thum, Andreas S. (2012). Nutritional Value-Dependent and Nutritional Value-Independent Effects on Drosophila melanogaster Larval Behavior. Chemical Senses. 37 (8), 711--721. [Abstract] [doi] [BibTex]

  • 15 Scheunemann, Lisa and Jost, Eva and Richlitzki, Antje and Day, Jonathan P. and Sebastian, Sujith and Thum, Andreas S. and Efetova, Marina and Davies, Shireen-A. and Schwaerzel, Martin (2012). Consolidated and Labile Odor Memory Are Separately Encoded within the Drosophila Brain. Journal of Neuroscience. 32 (48), 17163--17171. [Abstract] [doi] [BibTex]

  • 14 Selcho, Mareike and Pauls, Dennis and el Jundi, Basil and Stocker, Reinhard F. and Thum, Andreas S. (2012). The Role of octopamine and tyramine in Drosophila larval locomotion. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 520 (16), 3764--3785. [Abstract] [doi] [BibTex]

  • 13 von Essen, Alina M. H. J. and Pauls, Dennis and Thum, Andreas S. and Sprecher, Simon G. (2011). Capacity of visual classical conditioning in Drosophila larvae.. Behavioral neuroscience. 125 (6), 921--9. [Abstract] [BibTex]

  • 12 Schleyer, M.; Saumweber, T.; Nahrendorf, W.; Fische, B.; von Alpen, D.; Pauls, D.; Thum, A.; Gerber, B. (2011). A behavior-based circuit model of how outcome expectations organize learned behavior in larval Drosophila. Learning & Memory. 18 (10), 639--653. [Abstract] [doi] [BibTex]

  • 11 Thum, A. S. and Leisibach, B. and Gendre, N. and Selcho, M. and Stocker, R. F. (2011). Diversity, Variability, and Suboesophageal Connectivity of Antennal Lobe Neurons in D. melanogaster Larvae. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 519 (17), 3415--3432. [Abstract] [doi] [BibTex]

  • 10 Pauls, Dennis and Pfitzenmaier, Johanna E. R. and Krebs-Wheaton, Rebecca and Selcho, Mareike and Stocker, Reinhard F. and Thum, Andreas S. (2010). Electric Shock-Induced Associative Olfactory Learning in Drosophila Larvae. Chemical Senses. 35 (4), 335--346. [doi] [BibTex]

  • 9 Pauls, Dennis and Selcho, Mareike and Gendre, Nanae and Stocker, Reinhard and Thum, Andreas S. (2010). Drosophila larvae establish appetitive olfactory memories via mushroom body neurons of embryonic origin. Journal of Neurogenetics. 24 5--6. [BibTex]

  • 8 Pauls, Dennis and Selcho, Mareike and Gendre, Nanae and Stocker, Reinhard F. and Thum, Andreas S. (2010). Drosophila Larvae Establish Appetitive Olfactory Memories via Mushroom Body Neurons of Embryonic Origin. Journal of Neuroscience. 30 (32), 10655--10666. [doi] [BibTex]

  • 7 Selcho, Mareike and Pauls, Dennis and Han, Kyung-An and Stocker, Reinhard F. and Thum, Andreas S. (2009). The Role of Dopamine in Drosophila Larval Classical Olfactory Conditioning. Plos One. 4 (6), e5897. [doi] [BibTex]

  • 6 Gerber, B. and Stocker, R. F. and Tanimura, T. and Thum, A. S. (2009). Smelling, Tasting, Learning: Drosophila as a Study Case. Chemosensory Systems in Mammals, Fishes, and Insects. 47 139--185. [Abstract] [doi] [BibTex]

  • 5 Gao, Shuying and Takemura, Shin-ya and Ting, Chun-Yuan and Huang, Songling and Lu, Zhiyuan and Luan, Haojiang and Rister, Jens and Thum, Andreas S. and Yang, Meiluen and Hong, Sung-Tae and Wang, Jing W. and Odenwald, Ward F. and White, Benjamin H. and Meinertzhagen, Ian A. and Lee, Chi-Hon (2008). The Neural Substrate of Spectral Preference in Drosophila. Neuron. 60 (2), 328--342. [doi] [BibTex]

  • 4 Pantazis, Antonios and Segaran, Ashvina and Liu, Che-Hsiung and Nikolaev, Anton and Rister, Jens and Thum, Andreas S. and Roeder, Thomas and Semenov, Eugene and Juusola, Mikko and Hardie, Roger C. (2008). Distinct roles for two histamine receptors (hclA and hclB) at the Drosophila photoreceptor synapse. Journal of Neuroscience. 28 (29), 7250--7259. [doi] [BibTex]

  • 3 Thum, Andreas S. and Jenett, Arnim and Ito, Kei and Heisenberg, Martin and Tanimoto, Hiromu (2007). Multiple memory traces for olfactory reward learning in Drosophila. Journal of Neuroscience. 27 (41), 11132--11138. [doi] [BibTex]

  • 2 Thum, Andreas S. and Heisenberg, Martin and Tanimoto, Hiromu (2006). Multiple memories of Drosophila sugar reward learning. Journal of Neurogenetics. 20 (3-4), 238--239. [BibTex]

  • 1 Thum, Andreas S. and Knapek, Stephan and Rister, Jens and Dierichs-Schmitt, Eva and Heisenberg, Martin and Tanimoto, Hiromu (2006). Differential potencies of effector genes in adult Drosophila. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 498 (2), 194--203. [doi] [BibTex]