Paola Manfredi (1889 - 1989)

Dr Paola MANFREDI, the dean of Italian myriapodologists, is recently deceased in her hundredth year (30.9.1889 - 6.5.1989).

Born in Milan, she graduated in Pavia in 1913. In 1916, she became Assistant at the "Acquario Civico e Stazione di Biologia e Hydrobiologia aplicata" in Milan, then a branch of the local Natural History Museum. Of that Acquarium and Biological Station she was appointed Director in, 1931. Later on, Dr MANFREDI also became Keeper and, in 1955, Vice-Director, of the Natural History Museum in Milan, where she retained this chair until her retirement in 1959. Dr MANFREDI began her myriapodological work in 1929. For many years she was, in Italy, the only student of myriapods.

Dr MANFREDI devoted a large part of her myriapodological work to the study of cave centipedes and millipedes, and described many new taxa, especially from Italy. Her outstanding knowledge of foreign languages enabled her, not only to correctly link her scientific work to that of the international community of myriapodologists, but also to help popularization of scientific issues in Italy, by translating into Italian several foreign works, especielly from German. Dr MANFREDI's last contributions to myriapodology have been the Catalogue of the type specimens of Myriapoda in the collections of the Natural History Museum in Milan (published in 1976) and the lively historical survey of Italian Myriapodology she read, in English, at our fourth Congress in Gargano (1978).

Unitl the very last times of her life, Dr MANFREDI retained a vivid interest in the progresses of myriapodology, and of natural history in general. Her always noble manners are unforgettable. We will remember her for ever as one of the kindest Colleagues in our discipline.

Alessandro Minelli, March 1990
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