Paul Szyszka

Paul Szyszka

Department of Zoology

University of Otago


P.O. Box 56

Dunedin 9054

New Zealand



(formerly: University of Konstanz, Germany)


Google Scholar 


Research Interest

fotomontage of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) flying through an odor plume (simulated with TiCl4 smoke)

We seek to understand how the brain encodes behaviorally relevant information. To drive the full range of neural computations performed by the brain, we test the limits of perception and learning in insects using naturalistic stimuli. Currently we focus on the following questions: 

Two fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) during feeding and making high five.

We address these questions in insects that have evolved to solve specific tasks, such as olfactory learning and navigation in honey bees, and we use Drosophila to test the causal relationship between neuronal activity and behavior by exploiting the genetic tools for manipulating and monitoring activity in identified neurons. The methods we use are comprised of behavioral analysis, functional imaging and electrophysiology.


HFSP Program Grant (2015-2019)

Odor-background segregation and source localization using fast olfactory processing

Collaborative project with Ryohei Kanzaki (The University of Tokyo), Thomas Nowotny (University of Sussex) and Brian H. Smith (Arizona State University).

BMBF, Bernstein Focus : Learning (2009-2015)

Remembrance of things (just) past – mechanisms underlying ephemeral memory traces revealed by classical conditioning of temporally disjunct stimuli

Collaborative project with Andreas Herz (LMU Munich), C. Giovanni Galizia (University of Konstanz) and Hiromu Tanimoto (Tohoku University).