• Honeybees (partly marked) on the edge of a brood frame
Chair of Behavioral Physiology & Sociobiology

Hölldobler, Berthold

Prof. Dr. em. Berthold Hölldobler

Zoology II
Universität Würzburg
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Building: B1 (Biozentrum)
Room: D116
Portrait of Prof. Dr. Berthold Hoelldobler

My research projects are within the scientific domains of behavioral ecology, sociobiology and evolution of social insects. Besides my  experimental-analytical work I am interested in developing new conceptions and syntheses which are in part reflected in some of my books. In particular my research focusses on questions in communication biology and chemical ecology.

Current research projects are:

  • Mechanisms and evolution of the regulation of reproduction and division of labor in ant societies.
  • Multimodal signals in ant communication.
  • Territorial strategies and home range orientation in ants.

  • Hölldobler, B., and Wilson, E. O. (2010) The Leafcutter Ants - Civilization by Instinct, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York.
  • Smith, A. A., Hölldober, B., and Liebig, J. (2009) Cuticular hydrocarbons reliably identify cheaters and allow enforcement of altruism in a social insect, Current Biology 19, 78–81.
  • Hölldobler, B., and Wilson, E. O. (2008) The Superorganism: The beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies, W.W. Norton & Company, New York.
  • Reeve, H. K., and Hölldobler, B. (2007) The emergence of a superorganism through intergroup competition, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104, 9736–9740.
  • Anderson, K. E., Hölldobler, B., Fewell, J. H., Mott, B. M., and Gadau, J. (2006) Population-wide lineage frequencies predict genetic load in the seed-harvester ant Pogonomyrmex, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103, 13433–13438.