Dr. Bert Hölldobler (Hoelldobler), ESA Fellow (2019)

Dr. Bert Hölldobler (Hoelldobler), a German-American biologist, was born in the Bavarian village Erling-Andechs, Germany. He received his academic education at the universities of Würzburg and Frankfurt where, in 1971, he became professor of zoology. He is currently University Professor of Life Sciences, Regents' and Foundation Professor, at Arizona State University (ASU). Before joining ASU, he was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1973-1990), and he held the chair of behavioral physiology and sociobiology at the University of Würzburg, Germany (1989 – 2004). From 2002 to 2008, he was appointed Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Hölldobler studies the diversity of social organization in insects, ants in particular, which primarily serve as models for his work in the fields of behavioral physiology, communication biology, chemical ecology, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, and evolutionary biology. This multifaceted 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 communities. He has published more than 300 scientific papers, essays, and book chapters and co-authored seven books. He mentored more than 60 doctoral students and postdocs, more than 30 of whom have gone on to productive careers in academia worldwide.

Hölldobler is a member of several national and international academies, among them the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences (USA), and he served on many self-governing academic committees in Europe and the United States. He is the recipient of many awards and prizes, among them the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Science Foundation, the Cothenius Medal, the highest recognition of the German National Academy of Sciences, and the Pulitzer Prize (jointly with Edward O. Wilson).

Hölldobler enjoys visiting art museums and galleries and is himself an accomplished artist. He also enjoys music, from baroque, classic, to jazz, but also folk music around the world.

(updated September 2019)