The celebrated German staphylinologist, Volker Assing, has very sadly passed away unexpectedly at the age of 65. Volker was a leading expert on the Staphylinidae of the Palaearctic Region, and beyond, who was able to combine a love of rove beetles with an incisive scientific mind and a phenomenal capacity for hard work. From a European perspective his most important contribution was undoubtedly his 2012 authorship with Michael Schülke of the fully revised second edition of Die Käfer Mitteleuropas Band 4. Staphylinidae (exklusive Aleocharinae, Pselaphinae und Scydmaeninae). He also published well over 600 papers from 1986 to 2022, the great majority of his more recent papers being sole-authored ground-breaking revisional studies, especially of difficult genera in the subfamily Aleocharinae. Papers affecting the fauna of Britain and Ireland included complete or partial revisions of Achenium, Aleochara, Alevonota, Amarochara, Amischa, Autalia, Bolitochara, Callicerus, Calodera, Cousya, Cypha, Habrocerus, Ilyobates, Medon, Meotica, Myllaena, Myrmecopora, Ochthephilum, Oligota, Oxypoda, Parocyusa (= Tetralaucopora), Proteinus, Pseudomedon, Rhopalocerina, Stenichnus and Sunius. Species in our fauna named by him are Bolitochara tecta Assing, 2014, Myrmecopora oweni Assing, 1997 and Stenus contumax Assing, 1994. His death is undoubtedly a great blow to coleopterology.
Richard Lyszkowski writes: “Laura and I met him in Edinburgh many years ago when he was here with his students. To me, he appeared as though he was one of those 'eternally-young' enthusiasts, so, to hear of his apparently sudden death is, for me, very sad.”
Michael Schülke writes: “This is a huge loss for all of us. He was a good friend, a pleasant travel companion and probably the best expert on the staphylinid fauna of the Palearctic, especially the Aleocharinae. Just a few weeks ago, on a collecting trip to Georgia, we made many plans for future projects. Volker was full of energy and confident about the time after his retirement, which was to take place in the coming year.”
The funeral service will take place in Hanover on 15th October.