Hartmut G. Doebel

Assistant Professor of Biology


Office Phone: 202-994-1045
Bell Hall 312


My principal areas of interest include population ecology, predator-prey interactions, wetland ecology, and the biology of pollinators. By research training, I am an insect ecologist and have worked extensively on tri-trophic interactions of herbivorous insects and their arthropod predators in intertidal marshes on North East America and rice agro-ecosystems in the Philippines.

Other areas of interest include the impact of urbanization on local flora and fauna which I plan to expand in the near future to develop research opportunities for students in urban ecology.

Last but not least, I am an active member of the newly founded faculty learning community at GW, working on improving STEM education, researching on how new teaching approaches help students to become active learners.

My lab has started to do research on various aspects of honeybee biology and while we are in the very early stages of this program, a lot of avenues have opened up for students doing research. For one, a partnership with the local restaurant, Founding Farmers, led to a stipend and a significant increase in the number of bee hives we can maintain at GW.

Students in the bee lab are currently working on answering several questions:

  1. Do urban honeybee hives are healthier overall compared to hives kept in rural areas?
  2. What are the differences in pollination patterns in urban vs. rural environments?
  3. Do bees feeding on better, healthier pollen and nectar fight parasites and pathogens with greater success?
  4. How does the bee venom composition vary with pollen quality?

We plan to expand our research efforts in the near future to also include studies on the community ecology of native pollinators in urban environments.

Döbel, H.G., and S. Frey. 2006. Walking the talk: A Forest Transect Study. In: Living Science: Humane, Student-Inquiry Science Projects for Middle and High School. ASPC, New York.

Denno, R.F., C. Gratton, H.G. Döbel, D.L. Finke. 2003. Predation risk affects relative strength of top-down and bottom-up impacts on insect herbivores. Ecology 84: 1032-1044.

Döbel, H.G., and R.F. Denno.1994. Predator - planthopper interactions. Pages 325-399. In: The planthoppers. R. F. Denno and J. Perfect (eds.). Chapman and Hall, New York.

Döbel, H.G., R.F. Denno, and J.A. Coddington. 1990. Spider (Araneae) community structure in an intertidal salt marsh: effects of vegetation structure and tidal flooding. Environ. Entomol. 19: 1356-1370.

M.S., Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, 1987
M.S., University of Maryland, 1987
Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1996

The Biology of Nutrition and Health. 

The Ecology and Evolution of Organisms. 

Cells and Biology. An in-depth introductory biology course for majors studying using the interdependence of form and function as the unifying thread: e.g. macromolecules; cell structure and function; development and genetics; biotechnology. 

The Biology of Organisms. An in-depth introductory biology course for majors using evolutionary relationships as the unifying thread: e.g. the diversity and complexity of different life forms; systematics; ecological systems.