Jean-Marie Demange (1922 - 2017)


JMD, Muséum Paris 1968 (1st ICM)

By Jean-Jacques Geoffroy, Associate-Secretary of the CIM
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Département Origines et Évolution, Site MNHN de Brunoy.

Jean-Marie Demange was born on August 2nd, 1922 in the city of Epinal, in the French Vosges. He passed away on Sunday October 22, 2017 in the city of Niort, Charente-Maritime. He was 95 years old.
He had a son, two granddaugthers and one great-grandson.
Among several activities, Jean-Marie Demange became a specialist on historical antique oil lamps, old time-keeping devices and ancient clocks with very complicated mechanisms.
But above all, he made himself a specialist on a particular group of arthropods, the myriapods, and more precisely the predatory centipedes and the saprophagous millipedes.
Jean-Marie Demange devoted his scientific career of zoologist to centipede and millipede biology, in the laboratory 'Zoologie-Vers et Crustacés', then laboratory 'Zoologie-Arthropodes' of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle of Paris (MNHN), under the successive directorships of Professor Louis Fage, then Professor Max Vachon and finally Professor Yves Coineau. He was also very active in scientific societies, particularly the 'Société Zoologique de France'.
In 1967 he defended a thesis entitled Recherches sur la segmentation du tronc des chilopodes et des diplopodes chilognathes (Myriapodes), published in the 'Mémoires du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle'.
He published many taxonomic descriptions and biological results in papers, monographs and books, related to different aspects of myriapod anatomy, development, locomotion, and venoms. This last particular point was initiated and developed in the pedagogic course of lectures given at the MNHN, still going on to this day.
In collaboration with our friend Jean-Paul Mauriès (MNHN, Paris) and Professor Otto Kraus (University of Hamburg, Germany), Jean-Marie Demange was the founding member of the Centre International de Myriapodologie (the CIM), created in 1968 in Paris (France), a scientific society that is today the CIM - International Society for Myriapodology, that increases internationally and contributes to regularly organize international congresses of myriapodology.
He was the CIM Treasurer for some years and deeply involved in myriapod bibliography.
I met him personally for the first time in 1974 - when I was a student in population ecology and systematics in Professor Maxime Lamotte's laboratory. I began to learn how to walk with myriapods, and I never regreted this choice.
The making, writing, printing and mailing of the yearly CIM Questionnaire and CIM Bulletin, gave us opportunities to work together with Jean-Paul Mauriès and Monique Nguyen, fighting against reluctant stencils and roneo machines, looking for bibliographic references, sticking stamps on envelopes to be sent all over the world to colleagues. This image of the past is not melancholy, times are changing, evolving and improving. We can keep in memory moving moments of friendship.

Jean-Jacques Geoffroy, Brunoy-Paris, October 2018
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