Dr Judith Reinhard

Contact Information

Building: Ritchie building #64A, Level 2
Room: A206
Tel: +61 7 334 66321

Mailing Address

Queensland Brain Institute
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, 4072


Lab Members

Lab Home Page

Short biography

Research directions

Current collaborations

Selected publications


Short biography

Dr Reinhard obtained her PhD degree from the University of Bayreuth, Germany in 1998. Her thesis was on chemical communication systems and sensory processing in social insects. Dr Reinhard continued this research as DAAD-funded postdoctoral fellow at CSIRO Entomology in Canberra, Australia, and as DFG Research Fellow at CNRS Neurobiology in Marseille, France. In 2002, Dr Reinhard was awarded a Fellowship by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation to start work on honeybee vision, olfaction and cognition at the Australian National University in Canberra, from where she was recruited to the Queensland Brain Institute in 2007.

Research directions

Dr Reinhard’s research lies in the field of neuroethology, linking brain function to behaviour. Combining insect model systems with human studies, her research focuses mostly on the sense of smell (olfaction). The Reinhard laboratory studies how the brain encodes, learns and recalls sensory information, how plastic sensory processes and memories are, and how sensory information controls behavioural activity including cognitive function. The Reinhard lab uses sophisticated behavioural approaches and also investigates molecular and neural mechanisms that underlie the behaviour.

Dr Reinhard’s research is carried out in close collaboration with QBI colleagues, in a multidisciplinary team, which includes behavioural and cognitive scientists, neurophysiologists, and molecular geneticists. Student projects and postdoctoral positions are available in each of the following areas.


  • How does the brain process the multidimensional information contained in complex scents?
  • How does olfactory experience change scent processing and scent perception?
  • What are the molecular mechanisms underlying scent memories?
  • How do scents modulate stress and aggression?
  • How do scents affect cognitive capacities?


  • How do animals with small brains solve complex problems?
  • Do insects experience the phenomenon of selective attention?
  • Are insects capable of relational learning and abstract concepts?
  • Do insects have higher cognitive abilities?

Current collaborations

  • Dr Charles Claudianos - QBI, The University of Queensland
  • Professor Jason Mattingley - QBI, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Sean Millard - SBMS, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Nick Lavidis - SBMS, The University of Queensland
  • Associate Professor David Merritt -  SBS, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Jason Tangen - School of Psychology, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Eugeni Roura - CNAFS, The University of Queensland
  • Associate Professor Adrian Dyer - RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Associate Professor Richard Newcomb - University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Professor Martin Giurfa - University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  • Professor Giovanni Galizia - University of Konstanz, Germany

Techniques used in the lab include

  • Behavioural assays, including learning, memory and cognition protocols
  • Digital and high-speed video recording
  • Chemical and biochemical methods
  • Molecular biological approaches
  • Histology and immunohistochemistry
  • Electrophysiology
  • fMRI, EEG

Selected publications

Van der Burg NMD, Lavidis N, Claudianos C, Reinhard J. A novel assay to evaluate olfactory modulation of honeybee aggression. Apidologie (in press).

Huang SC, Chiou TH, Marshall J, Reinhard J. Spectral sensitivities and colour signals in a polymorphic damselfly. PLoS ONE (in press).

Robinson AK, Mattingley JB, Reinhard J. (2013) Odors enhance the salience of matching images during the attentional blink. Front. Integr. Neurosci. 7:77.

Wu W, Moreno AM, Tangen JM, Reinhard J (2013) Honeybees can discriminate between Monet and Picasso paintings. J. Comp. Physiol. A 199: 45-55.

Moreno AM, de Souza DG, Reinhard J (2012) A comparative study of relational learning capacity in honeybees (Apis mellifera) and stingless bees (Melipona rufiventris). PLoS ONE 7(12): e51467.

Huang SC, Reinhard J. (2012) Color change from male-mimic to gynomorphic: a new aspect of signalling sexual status in damselflies. Behav. Ecol. 23: 1269-1275.

Reinhard J, Claudianos C (2012). Molecular insights into honeybee brain plasticity. In: Honeybee Neurobiology – A Tribute to Randolf Menzel (D Eisenhardt, CG Galizia, M Giurfa eds.) Springer Verlag pp. 359-372.

Burne T, Scott E, van Swinderen B, Hilliard M, Reinhard J, Claudianos C, Eyles D, McGrath J (2011) Big ideas for small brains: what can psychiatry learn from worms, flies, bees and fish? Molecular Psychiatry 16:7-16.

Biswas S, Reinhard J, Oakeshott JG, Russell R, Srinivasan MV, Claudianos C (2010) Sensory regulation of neuroligin and neurexin I in the honeybee brain. PLoS ONE 5(2): e9133.

Reinhard J, Sinclair M, Srinivasan MV, Claudianos C (2010) Honeybees learn odour mixtures via key odorants. PLoS ONE 5(2): e9110.

Reinhard J, Srinivasan MV, Zhang SW (2006) Complex memories in honeybees: can there be more than two? J. Comp. Physiol. A 192: 462-493.

Reinhard J, Srinivasan MV, Zhang SW (2004) Scent-triggered navigation in honeybees. Nature 427: 411.