Bert HÖlldobler, Theodor Boveri-Institut (Zoologie II) Am Hubland, Biozentrum D-97074, Wuerzburg, Germany
Insect societies play a dominant role in terrestrial ecology. Their astounding evolutionary success is based on remarkable systems of division of labor involving hundreds and thousands of individual organism. Such cooperative organizations can only work by means of integrating communication systems. Understanding the behavioral mechanisms, the chemistry, physics, neural physiology, and "information technology" underlying such communication systems is one of the major research goals of my group. Like in any social group, also in insect societis cooperation is often accompanied by social conflict. Sociogenetical investigations, employing DNA- fingerprinting techniques, help us to understand the evolution of such contradictory behavioral patterns in animal societies.
Selected recent publications:
National Academy of Sciences Member Profile: http://www4.nationalacademies.org
SFI-Social Insect Page