Stephen P. Hopkin ( - 2006)

It is with deep regret that we heard about the death of Steve Hopkin in a dramatic car accident on 19th May 2006. Steve Hopkin's death was a shock and certainly a great loss for the biological community. Steve contributed greatly to our knowledge of the Myriapoda, he wrote many papers and co-authored with Helen Read the book The biology of millipedes, encouraged and supervised students at all levels and, in addition, was a talented photographer specialising in invertebrates. Steve's website, replete with many beautiful pictures, reflected this on As a keen wildlife photographer, he built up an extensive collection of photographs of living Collembola. However, his portfolio covers a wide range of other subjects. Some of these have featured in exhibitions in Reading and are in the permanent collections of a number of institutions and private collections in the UK and Mainland Europe.
Talking with Steve were occasions to come away with the impression of someone who had an incredibly wide knowledge of arthropod biology and who would generously and personably share the wealth with all. He was in addition a warm and friendly personality.

Steve Hopkin combined his work as a Senior Lecturer in Zoology at Reading University, and Scientific Associate in Entomology at the Natural History Museum London, with a keen interest in the Natural World. In addition to books on soil animals, he has published a number of articles in the scientific and popular press on the biology and effects of pollution (ecotoxicology) on soil animals and beautifully illustrated identification keys. Steve had a particular interest in myriapods (mainly centipedes), terrestrial isopods and in the tiny wingless Collembola, and has recently completed an Illustrated Atlas of their distribution in the UK and Ireland. He also acted as a consultant for Government Agencies and provided invertebrate identification support for Environmental Impact Assessment. Steve teached a course on spider identification at Reading University and was County Recorder for Cornwall for the National Spider Recording Scheme.

He contributed to International Congresses of Myriapodology (Amsterdam 1984, Vittorio Veneto 1987, Innsbruck 1990, Paris 1993) and we met him also during the special Meeting of the BMIG at Manchester 2003. During the 9th ICM at Paris (1993), he contributed in giving an amazing lecture on Myriapodology before and after Martin Lister's «Journey to Paris in the Year 1698» that pushed the limits of the fundamental knowledge on myriapods far away before Linnaeus 1758.

In recent years he had been working on Collembola and his death is especially sad as he had recently moved to a quiet village in Cornwall where he had hoped to spend more time doing taxonomic work. He will be missed by all who knew him.

He will be greatly missed by all of us. The CIM and the entire myriapodological community express condolences to Steve's wife and to the Hopkin family.

Jean-Jacques Geoffroy
with recollections from Helen J. Read and William A. Shear

More complete obituaries will be published in further issue of the Bulletin of the British Myriapod and Isopod Group and in the CIM website.
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