Bert Hölldobler is a behavioral biologist who investigates how insect societies are organized. He and his research team explore the behavioral mechanisms that underlie communication and division of labor systems in ant societies. They also investigate how separate ant colonies communicate with one another during territorial interactions and they explore how the complex multimodal communication codes in ant societies have been broken by a variety of solitary insects, which live as parasites inside ant colonies. This multi-faceted research has resulted in many new discoveries about multimodal communication and orientation behavior in animals, the dynamics of social structures and the evolution of animal societies.
Hölldobler also co-authored “The Ants” and "The Superorganism" with Edward O. Wilson. These volumes explore the diversity of social organizations in ants and what makes them ecological so successful and how insect societies can be viewed as superorganisms and what this implies for the theory of social evolution.
Behavioral physiology and ecology, sociobiology, biology of social insects, chemical ecology and evolutionary biology.
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