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A Tribute to Guillermo (Willy) Kuschel (1918–2017)

Oberprieler, Rolf G., Lyal, Christopher H. C., Pullen, Kimberi R., Elgueta, Mario, Leschen, Richard A. B., Brown, Samuel D. J.
Diversity 2018 v.10 no.3
Curculionidae, arthropods, employment, entomologists, entomology, islands, philosophy, Chile, New Zealand
This tribute commemorates the life and work of Guillermo (Willy) Kuschel, who made substantial contributions to the understanding of weevil systematics, evolution and biology. Willy was born in Chile in 1918 and studied philosophy, theology and biology. He became fascinated by weevils early on and completed his Ph.D. degree on South American Erirhinini. Subsequent employment by the University of Chile provided him with many opportunities to further his weevil research and undertake numerous collecting expeditions, including to remote and rugged locations such as the Juan Fernandez Islands and southern Chile. In 1963 he accepted a position at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in New Zealand, where he became Head of the Systematics Group in the Entomology Division. His emphasis on field work and collections led to the establishment of the New Zealand Arthropod Collection, which he guided through its greatest period of expansion. His retirement in 1983 offered him increased opportunities to pursue his weevil research. In 1988 he presented a new scheme of the higher classification of weevils, which ignited and inspired much subsequent research into weevil systematics. The breadth and quality of his research and his huge collecting efforts have left a legacy that will benefit future entomologists, especially weevil workers, for decades to come. This tribute presents a biography of Willy and accounts of his contributions to, and impact on, the systematics of weevils both regionally and globally. All of his publications and the genera and species named after him are listed in two appendices.