Berthold Holldobler, professor of biology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., has been awarded the Leibniz Prize by the government of West Germany. Holldobler, 53, who also is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard, received the $1.8 million prize in recognition of his career-long research on the social biology and behavioral ecology of social insects, such as ants, termites, and bees.

The Leibniz Prize, which is awarded annually by the West German government, was established in 1906 to commemorate Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr von Leibniz, the 17th-century German philosopher-scholar-statesman. The prize is meant to honor outstanding scientific achievement beyond a researcher's normal professional duties. The recipients must use their prize money for scientific research. Holldobler plans to use some of the money to purchase equipment and hire personnel.

Holldobler, who has devoted his scientific career to the study of social insects, has concentrated in particular on their well-developed communication systems, which...

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