Short CV/Education and training

  • 1987 – 1993
    Studied biology toward the Diplom degree, University of Würzburg, Germany

  • 1994 – 1997
    Doctorate, University of Würzburg (section for animal ecology & tropical biology)

  • 1997 – 1998
    Postdoctoral fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), at the University of Würzburg & Projet Biodiversité, Côte d'Ivoire

  • 1999 – 2000
    Research grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG), at CSIRO Entomology (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), Canberra & Darwin, Australia

  • 2000 – 2004
    Emmy Noether Fellowship from the DFG, University of Regensburg, Germany

  • 2004
    Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) in zoology at the University of Regensburg

  • 2004 – 2005
    Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin – Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, Germany

  • 2005 – 2008
    Research associate, University of Regensburg, Department of Biology I

  • Since 2008
    W3 professor of behavioural biology, University of Osnabrück, Germany

Selected publications

  • Korb, J.: Social evolution in termites. In: Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (eds.: Breed, M, Moore, J.). Elsevier, Oxford, 2010.

  • Korb, J., Foster, K.: Ecological competition favours cooperation in termite societies. In: Ecology Letters 13, 2010. pp. 754-760.

  • Korb, J.: Social insects, major evolutionary transitions and multilevel selection. In: Behavior: Evolution and Mechanisms (ed.: Kappeler, P.). Springer Press, Heidelberg, 2010. pp. 179-211.

  • Korb, J. et al.: A gene necessary for reproductive suppression in termites. In: Science 324, 2009. p. 758.

  • Korb, J., Heinze, J.: Ecology of Social Evolution. Springer Press, Heidelberg, 2008.

  • Korb, J., Hartfelder, K.: Life history and development – a framework for understanding developmental plasticity in lower termites. In: Biological Reviews 83, 2008. pp. 295-313.

  • Korb, J.: Termites. In: Current Biology 17, 2007. pp. 995-999.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Evolution of social systems: cooperation & conflict

  • Evolution of eusociality in termites: influence of ecological factors and degrees of kinship

  • Conflicts and conflict resolution in termite communities

  • Molecular causes of caste differentiation

  • Conflict & cooperation between species: fungus-growing termites and their fungi

  • Ecology of tropical ecosystems

  • Biodiversity of termites

  • Structuring of termite communities on African savannas: factors limiting their spread, neutral theory versus niche concept

  • Population dynamics and population genetics of selected termite species and birds

  • Structure and function of termite mounds: thermoregulation, gas exchange, ventilation

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • President of the Central-European Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI)

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Additional interests

  • Active in nature conservation


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  1. Termite Genome Decoded

    Researchers have now sequenced and analysed the genome of one termite species, and have compared it to the genome of ants and bees. One of the project leaders was Prof. Judith Korb from the University of Freiburg.