During the last 40 years that I have been working on nature conservation I came across Luc Hoffmann on a number of occasions, but I only really met him once when I was able to engage with him in any meaningful way. This was around 2006, at a Species Survival Commission event when Holly Dublin was its Chair. Dr Hoffmann and I talked briefly about crocodiles, which are my specialty. When I reflected that after an evolutionary history of 80 million years it was a pity that crocodiles don’t still occur in the suitable habitats in the South of France, I confess that he didn’t seem terribly enthusiastic.
The conversation might have ended there, but fortunately the subject was changed and the essence of our subsequent conversation as I remember it, was that Dr Hoffmann had little time for the politics of the conservation world and that his greatest wish was that our community would simply collaborate and get on with delivering some conservation successes.
It’s hard to disagree with sentiments like that.
Luc Hoffmann was a good man who made a life-long contribution to nature conservation - and it is a privilege for my colleagues and I to work in an institute that bears his name. We hope that in some small way we can honour his legacy by strengthening the way that science is conducted and delivered to help us conserve our living planet.
For more information on the life and conservation work of Luc Hoffmann click here
Main image: Luc Hoffmann / Tour du Valat