Hans-Peter Schultze, a great paleoichthyologist for whom work is synonymous with enjoyment
- Département de Biologie, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 300, allée des Ursulines, Rimouski, Québec, Canada
Abstract. In the summer of 1982, Hans-Peter Schultze and Gloria Arratia were invited to a small museum located on a fossiliferous site of the Devonian Escuminac Formation in Miguasha, Quebec, eastern Canada, Hans-Peter was to work with Marius Arsenault, the director of the Miguasha Museum, on the skull of the elpistostegalid Elpistostege watsoni, a species closely related to basal tetrapod. In addition, he went through the collections to describe and measure numerous juvenile specimens of the osteolepiform. Eusthenopteran foordi. As expected, there two projects turned out to be important contributions in lower vertebrate paleontology and systematics: one on the origin of tetrapods (1985), and the second one on growth patterns of a Late Devonian fish (1984). During his visit to Miguasha, Hans-Peter also spent time digging for fossils and drawing numerous specimens in the collection. In addition, in order to help the personnel of the museum to identify some of the Escuminac fished, he created an identification key based on the gross morphology of the scales. For a small group of undergraduate students, hired at the museum during the summer as naturalists, it was a unique opportunity to discuss paleontology with a leading researcher. We were amazed by his willingness to talk to us, even if then most of us only spoke French! For the first time, we were exposed to Hennigian methodology and its usage in vertebrate paleontology during and evening lecture that Hans-Peter prepared for us. His lecture was delightful; it was an intensive course in lower vertebrate anatomy, and an intellectual journey among the philosophers Karl Marx and Karl Popper, the entomologists Willy Hennig and Lars Brundin, and "The Band of Four" (Rosen et al., 1981). It was for most of us our first exposure to science, as it should be done. We were all impressed by his knowledge and above all by his simplicity and friendliness. Two years later I started my Ph.D. at The University of Kansas, under the supervision of Hans-Peter.
Compared to his long career, these two weeks that Hans-Peter spent in Miguasha represent an extremely shourt period of time. Some might say that this little anecdote is insignificant when introducing a vertebrate paleontologist (Fig. 1A) who published 132 paper and books (a total of 2977 published pages) in addition to more than 80 abstracts, book reviews and obituaries. However, this brief story is representative of Hans-Peter's personality and contributions. He is a great scientist with numerous interests in science, art, and history. Hans-Peter enjoys digging for fossils, looking at fossils and describing fossils, and he loves sharing his knowledge and experiences with people, independent of their academic training.