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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.


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Thu 24 Jun 2004

Nils Møller Andersen, In Memoriam

Category : visitors

"Dr.scient. Nils Møller Andersen, curator of exopterygote insects and chair of the Entomology Department, passed away on May 12, 2004, aged only 63. He fell victim to an extraordinarily aggressive cancer, the first symptoms of which were noticed only a short time earlier."

'Andersen's publication record impresses by its sheer magnitude. He focused on the gerromorphans or semiaquatic bugs and addressed a range of problems within the group - revisionary taxonomy, combined analyses of molecular and morphological characters, functional morphology, palaeontology, historical biogeography. "The Semiaquatic Bugs", the 1982 book for which he earned the Dr.scient. degree, has been said by some to be, by that time, "the best book ever written on a group of insects".

Read the complete In Memoriam by Niels Peder Kristensen, Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen (ZMUC). See also Halobates in ZMUC.

In March 2004, CSIRO published a handbook by Andersen & Tom Weir entitled, "Australian Water Bugs (Hemiptera-Heteroptera, Gerromorpha and Nepomorpha): Their Biology and Identification".

Andersen, who had studied aquatic bugs for nearly 40 years was also part of an international group of entomologists including C. M Yang of Raffles Museum and Lanna Cheng of Scripps Institution of Oceanology, who are in the process of publishing the "Guide to aquatic and semiaquatic Heteroptera of Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia".

He last visited the museum in November 1999 and some of his publications with the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology are listed here.

  • Nils Moller Andersen, Chang Man Yang & Herbert Zettel, 2002. Notes on the Microveliinae of Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia with the description of two new species of Microvelia Westwood (Hemiptera-Heteroptera, Veliidae). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 50: 111-116.
  • Nils Moller Andersen, Chang Man Yang & Herbert Zettel, 2002. Guide to aquatic and semiaquatic Heteroptera of Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. 2. Veliidae. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 50: 231-250.
  • Cheng Lanna, Chang Man Yang & Nils Møller Andersen, 2001. Guide to aquatic and semiaquatic Heteroptera of Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. 1. Gerridae and Hermatobatidae. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 49: 129-148.
  • Nils Moller Andersen, 2000. The marine Haloveliinae (Hemiptera: Veliidae) of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, with six new species of Xenobates Esaki. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 48: 273-292.
  • In 1998, Herbert Zettel & Christine Hecher described A. anderseni, a new species from Borneo (Indonesia: Kalimantan) in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology .

    Herbert Zettel & Christine Hecher, 1998. Notes on the Veliidae (Heteroptera) of Borneo: 1. Three new species of Angilia Stål, 1865, with a key to the Oriental species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 46(2): 335-344.

    Nils departure was sudden, in the midst of active contributions. A monograph on Halobates, co-authored with Lanna Cheng, will be published in June 2004 (Oceanography and Marine Biology, Annual Review, vol. 42).

    He was co-organiser (with Gerry Cassis, Australian Museum, Sydney) of a special symposium "Origins & Diversification of the Heteroptera, with Particular Emphasis on the Australasian Fauna" to be held at the International Entomological Congress in Brisbane, 15-21 August, 2004.

    Graduate student Tran Anh Duc (Systematics & Ecology Lab) who is working on the aquatic Heteroptera of Vietnam, did not have the good fortune to meet Nils before. But they had kept in contact through email and he said, "I received a lot of support and encouragement from him since I started working on this field."

    Niels Peder Kristensen says "With the untimely passing of Nils Møller Andersen the Natural History Museum of Denmark and international systematic entomology have lost an outstanding scientist, and many of us have lost a valued personal friend."

    Posted at 5:29AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,