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In Memoriam - Professor Pieter Sevenster

Professor Pieter (‘Piet’) Sevenster passed away on January 19th, at the age of 89.

Piet Sevenster started his career at Leiden as assistant of Niko Tinbergen. When Tinbergen left the Netherlands for Oxford in 1949, Sevenster joined him for a year. Thereafter he got back to Leiden, where he defended his thesis on stickleback behaviour in 1961. Understanding the behavior of the three-spined stickleback was the aim of his scientific endeavors till his retirement as professor of Ethology on a personal chair in 1989.

For his achievements, and also for his activities as board member, he was awarded an honorary membership by the German ‘Ethologische Gesellschaft’. He was also active in the areas of conservation and the environment, and was involved in founding the Center for Environmental Studies (currently CML) at Leiden University.

Piet Sevenster will be remembered as an amiable and erudite person and as an excellent field biologist.

Link to Tinbergen’s Legacy in Behaviour, a book (1996) that provides an overview of stickleback research in which one can find many reflections on the contributions of Piet Sevenster and colleagues at Leiden University.

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