Tuesday, September 11, 2012

R.I.P., Richard Hoffman

I recently learned that Dr. Richard Hoffman, the emeritus curator of the Department of Recent Invertebrates at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, passed away a few months ago. This is sad news, and it affected me more than I expected.

I never met him, but after I started researching millipedes, there was no getting away from his work. It's difficult to find a millipede article without at least one citation to Dr. Hoffman, and usually you find more. He laid the foundation for millipede research in North America, and boy was he prolific.

His research interests weren't solely limited to the millipedes, however. He also studied reptiles and amphibians, and other arthropods. Just today I received a publication about the Assassin Bugs of Virginia authored by Dr. Hoffman in 2006, one of the hundreds of publications he authored during his life.

Dr. Hoffman will be sorely missed, but certainly won't be forgotten by anyone with even a passing interest in millipedes.

For more information about Dr. Hoffman's life and research, listen to Dr. Art Evans discuss his interactions with Dr. Hoffman here, and a brief listing of Hoffman's accomplishments can be found on the Virginia Museum of Natural History's website.

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