ASU entomologist receives highest honors in Germany
Professor Bert Hölldobler was awarded the Ernst Jünger Prize for Entomology, a prize given once every three years by the government of Württemberg (a state in Germany) in memoriam of the late Ernst Jünger, a great novelist and entomologist. Jünger was a prodigious author who received the Humboldt Society Gold Medal (1981), and Goethe Prize (1982), but was also an internationally recognized beetle enthusiast. His insect collection was reputed to be in excess of 40,000 specimens. The award to Hölldobler was made June 18 at the Schloss (castle/palace) of Baron von Stauffenberg, nestled in southern Germany. Attendees included political dignitaries, local officials, members of the German Science Council and the Von Stauffenberg family, in addition to ASU Foundation Professor, Robert Page, Jr., dean of ASU’s School of Life Sciences. It should be noted that one member of the von Stauffenberg family, Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, rose to fame when he planted a bomb in Hitler’s bunker in an attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1944. An attempt which failed.
Hölldobler’s groundbreaking work with social insects, most particularly ants, has taken him from Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, French Guiana ,Germany, Finland, Kenya, India, Jamaica, Panama, Sri Lanka to Arizona, Florida, New England, New Mexico and Texas in the United States.