We commemorate and mourn for Volker Witte who died on 14th July 2015. He will remain in our memory as a likeable colleague, mentor and friend. We will miss him very much.
Volker Witte carried out his research and was teaching at the LMU from 2004 to 2014. He habilitated in 2010. His years of teaching enabled many students to gain insight into the fascinating world of behavioural ecology. He trained countless Bachelor- and Masterstudents as well as postgraduates and he was well known for his curiosity and enthusiasm. Everybody appreciated his cooperating and helpful temper.
His research interests were manifold. Volker Witte was one of the few discoverers of new life forms and species of tropical ecosystems. He discovered the first ant species (Euprenolepis procera) which feeds of free growing mushrooms. Furthermore he discovered many new species, of which two were named after him (ant: Euprenolepis wittei, beetle: Witteia dentilabrum). His special interest lay in understanding fundamental mechanisms of ant communication, in particular pheromone communication. Recently, he became interested in potential applications of ant communication with respect to human applications in business and social life. His research on invasive ant species provided new insights into the principles of their invasion success. This brought him to support several communities around Munich in developing environmentally friendly means to control the invasive species Formica fuscocinere.