Obituary - Roger Bamber - WoRMS Pycnogonida editor

Added on 2015-04-02 14:18:39 by Vandepitte, Leen
Roger Bamber, the WoRMS chief taxonomic editor of the sea-spiders has recently passed away.
Roger Norman Bamber (1949-2015) was an integral member of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) community and served as a Taxonomic Editor responsible for the Pycnogonida and Tanaidacea, and also provided valuable input to the World Register of Deep-Sea Species (WoRDSS). Roger was involved in the WoRMS project since its establishment as ERMS and attended many meetings of editors, providing valuable input to the development of the project.

Roger Bamber published a total of 213 scientific papers in his lifetime in addition to many hundreds of reports and non- peer reviewed papers and articles. Throughout his working life Roger developed and maintained an interest in numerous diverse fields but is probably best known in taxonomic circles for his work on both pycnogonids and tanaidaceans and it is in these fields and by the researchers who study these taxa in particular that his loss will be profoundly felt.

Roger’s first paper on the Pycnogonida (or Pycnobeasts as he referred to them) was published in 1979 and he followed this first paper with a further forty-six papers on them.  He established an Order, a Family, a Subfamily, a Genus and 42 species new to science.  He was also instrumental in the creation, with Aliya El. Nager, of ‘PycnoBase’. PycnoBase is an enduring legacy to his contribution to pycnogonid systematics and today it represents the foundation for all future work in the field. Roger was particularly proud of his 2010 book ‘Sea-spiders (Pycnogonida) of the Northeast Atlantic. Keys and notes to the identification of species’, to which he would point anyone with a query on the group as it was likely covered somewhere within.

His second love was perhaps the Tanaidacea. Roger published his first paper on the Tanaidacea in 1986 and his first taxonomic work on them in 1990.  His ‘second love’ could be argued to have somewhat overtaken his first, as he has since 1990 authored (or co-authored) a total of two families, three subfamilies, 38 genera, one subgenus and an astounding 225 tanaidacean species!

His extraordinary track record for species descriptions does not stop at these favoured taxa as Roger also authored or co-authored seven isopod species, two amphipod species, one leptostracan, six mysids, one Bochusacean, 2 copepod taxa (including a new genus) and 3 polychaete taxa (including a new genus). 

In total Roger Bamber established 338 taxa.

Currently there are seven species named in his honour, including genera of Pycnogonida and Tanaidacea.  There is also a special issue of Zootaxa in preparation that will name many more.
Bamberus jinigudirus Stepieri, Blazewicz-Paszkowycz, 2013
Austrodecus bamberi Wang, Huang, Lin & Zheng, 2013
Kalliapseudes bamberi Drumm & Heard, 2011
Leptognathia bamberi Larsen & Shimomura, 2007
Makassaritanais bamberi Gutu, 2012
Bamberene Staples, 2014
Chauliopleona bamberi Bird, 2015
Roger was a well-known member of a number of editorial boards (Zootaxa Editor, for Pycnogonida, Tanaidacea, Cumacea; Editor of Zookeys, Pycnogonida; Editorial Advisory Board for Polish Polar Research; Guest Editor for Journal of Natural History) and his input to these was invaluable. 

Roger was always great company, interesting, engaging, controversial, but always good fun. He certainly stood out from the crowd.  He was unusual, amongst academics, in successfully carrying off a mixture of a great intellect and no-nonsense approach to science, with an infectious amiability and ability to enjoy life to the fullest.

He will be greatly missed.


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