Obituary: Andreas J. Helbig (1957-2005)

Published on 01 April 2006 in Obituaries

Following a short but severe illness, Professor Dr Andreas J. Helbig, the eminent German ornithologist, died on 19th October 2005, at the age of 48. He had become widely recognised as a prolific and hardworking scientist who had made substantial contributions to the literature in the fields of bird migration and molecular phylogeny. Born in Berlin on 28th July 1957, Andreas developed an early interest in birding, bird distribution and bird biology. As a student at the Gymnasium in Enger (near Herford), he published his first papers, on the occurrence of local birds. After leaving college, Andreas studied for a diploma degree in biology at the University of Bielefeld, during which he spent 18 months at San Diego State University, USA. He graduated from the University of Frankfurt with a diploma thesis in 1983, and went on to study the inheritance of migratory orientation in Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla, under the supervision of Prof. Dr Peter Berthold, at the Vogelwarte Radolfzell. Heanalysis and phylogenetic tree reconstruction. His own studies were focused on warblers, especially of the genera Phylloscopus, Sylvia, Acrocephalus and Hippolais; a significant early discovery was the realisation that sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene of chiffchaffs inhabiting the Iberian Peninsula differed from those of 98. Andreas Helbig, with his son Adrian, 2005. Common gained his doctorate from the UniChiffchaff Ph. collybita elsewhere in versity of Frankfurt, graduating Europe. This distinction, combined with `summa cum laude’ (`with with vocal differences, established highest honours’) in July 1989, his Iberian Chiffchaff Ph.

Click here to download the full article.

Media To view larger versions of these images simply click on the image thumbnail