Maurice Sabelis passed away on Wednesday, 7 January 2015, after an illness of two years, during which he remained scientifically active until the last moment.
Maurice started his scientific career at Wageningen University with a PhD in Theoretical Production Ecology, where he was subsequently appointed assistant professor. After a period of 4 years as associate professor in Animal Ecology at the University of Leiden, he was appointed full professor in Population Biology at the University of Amsterdam, where he later became part of the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics.
Maurice was a passionate scientist, a Jack-of-all-trades and master of many. His research encompassed population biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, biological control, acarology and behavioural ecology. Amongst others, he showed that plants can defend themselves against herbivores by recruiting the natural enemies of the herbivores’ predators. His research also resulted in the discovery of various natural enemies, which are widely used for control of pests in greenhouse crops and flower bulbs. Because of his important contributions to science, the Netherlands Royal Academy of Sciences awarded him the Academy Professor Prize in 2006.
Being a creative scientist with many original ideas, Maurice inspired numerous young scientists around the world. Many of the dozens of students that obtained their PhD under his guidance are active in science and often leading in their field. His colleagues, former PhD students and his global network of collaborators will dearly miss his stimulating, critical, but above all warm personality.