Patrick de Rham, 2000
Cichlid Room Companion

Patrick de Rham

last updated on 11-Jan-2023

Patrick de Rham (1936-2022) was born in Lausanne, Switzerland. His father was a Swiss diplomat stationed in London when World War 2 broke out. When London became too dangerous because of the aerial bombing, the family moved 60 miles West to a small place called Bledlow in the countryside. They were to remain there until the end of the war. Patrick remembers his childhood years in England, living close to nature, as being in paradise. It was there that he collected his first fish, a beautiful male stickleback in full breeding colors.

After graduating in zoology and systematic botany in Lausanne, Patrick got married and traveled with his wife Anne to the Ivory coast in West Africa, where he did his doctoral thesis research fieldwork on nitrogen cycling, soil, and plant ecology. Of course, he also collected fishes.

Patrick lived in several places around the world and has worked for the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), for UNESCO in South East Asia and East Africa, the Swiss technical cooperation in Peru (Adviser to the General Direction of Forestry and Fauna), UNEP (Tropical Forest Officer) in Kenya, and between those more or less long term assignments, has traveled extensively as a freelance consultant to many parts of the tropical world.

Patrick and his wife, Anne, have three daughters and seven grandchildren. They settled in Lausanne, but, especially Patrick, travelled frequently abroad.

Starting early at the age of 6 or 7, Patrick nearly always kept fish in more than twenty tanks ranging from 15 to 1,800 liters, he collected fishes in the wild whenever the opportunity arose, discovering many new species for the science and hobby. In 1978 he first met Jean-Claude Nourissat in Manaus and several years later, in 1987, they started to make yearly trips to Mexico, Central America, and Madagascar with the sole exception of 1995-96, when Jean-Claude suffered from a near-fatal parasitic infection brought back from the Madagascar wilderness. It was Patrick and Jean-Claude who discovered together the beautiful and now newly described Lamena nourissati and Paraetroplus menarambo from Madagascar.

Patrick also discovered alone the pretty Apistogramma nijenssi and re-discovered and collected the holotype of a beautiful Aequidens species which was described and named in his honor by Sven Kullander, namely Aequidens patricki.

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