Andersen, Nils Otto Moller (1940-2004)
Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Dr.scient. Nils Møller Andersen, curator of exopterygote insects and chair of the Entomology Department, passed away on May 12, 2004, aged only 63. He fell victim to an extraordinarily aggressive cancer, the first symptoms of which were noticed only a short time earlier."
'Andersen's publication record impresses by its sheer magnitude. He focused on the gerromorphans or semiaquatic bugs and addressed a range of problems within the group - revisionary taxonomy, combined analyses of molecular and morphological characters, functional morphology, palaeontology, historical biogeography. "The Semiaquatic Bugs", the 1982 book for which he earned the Dr.scient. degree, has been said by some to be, by that time, "the best book ever written on a group of insects".
Read the complete In Memoriam by Niels Peder Kristensen, Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen (ZMUC). See also Halobates in ZMUC.
In March 2004, CSIRO published a handbook by Andersen & Tom Weir entitled, "Australian Water Bugs (Hemiptera-Heteroptera, Gerromorpha and Nepomorpha): Their Biology and Identification".
Andersen, who had studied aquatic bugs for nearly 40 years was also part of an international group of entomologists including C. M Yang of Raffles Museum and Lanna Cheng of Scripps Institution of Oceanology, who are in the process of publishing the "Guide to aquatic and semiaquatic Heteroptera of Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia".
Nils departure was sudden, in the midst of active contributions. A monograph on Halobates, co-authored with Lanna Cheng, will be published in June 2004 (Oceanography and Marine Biology, Annual Review, vol. 42).
He was co-organiser (with Gerry Cassis, Australian Museum, Sydney) of a special symposium "Origins & Diversification of the Heteroptera, with Particular Emphasis on the Australasian Fauna" to be held at the International Entomological Congress in Brisbane, 15-21 August, 2004.
Andersen published a single taxonomic paper on fossil ants cited below.
- Rust, J.; Andersen, N. M. 1999. Giant ants from the Paleogene of Denmark with a discussion of the fossil history and early evolution of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 125: 331-348 PDF
- Damgaard, J. 2005. Entomologiske Meddelelser 73:47-50, portrait.