Bert Hoelldobler

Arizona State University


Primary Section: 27, Evolutionary Biology
Secondary Section: 61, Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences
Membership Type: Member (elected 1998)

Research Interests

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 organisms. 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, including insect societies, 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.

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