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  • José H. Leal

Fabio Moretzsohn: 1964-2020

As some of you may already know, this week we lost a friend and well-known malacologist at the peak of his productive scientific and educational career. On Monday, January 6, 2020, Dr. Fabio Moretzsohn passed away, of complications from lung cancer. Fabio received his B.S. in Biology in 1987 from the University of São Paulo, in Brazil. In 1993, he received his M.S. in Biology from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, and in 2003 was awarded his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii, working under noted malacologist and environmentalist E. Alison Kay. After receiving his Ph.D., Fabio was hired as an Assistant Invertebrate Zoologist at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, and between 2004 and 2015 was a Postdoctoral Associate and Assistant Research Scientist at the Harte Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Corpus Christi, Texas. At the time of his predicament, Fabio was a Professional Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University.


Fabio Moretzsohn

An accomplished malacologist and author, among his many professional activities Fabio had been a Managing Editor for the American Malacological Bulletin, was the editor for the family Cypraeidae (the famous cowrie mollusks) for the World Registry of Marine Species (WoRMS), an Academic Grants Committee member for Conchologists of America. Fabio was also a prolific author of reports, scientific articles, and books, including co-authorships with Wes Tunnell, Jr., Jean Andrews, and Noe Barrera in the Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells (2010) and with M.G. “Jerry” Harasewych in The Book of Shells (2011). Fabio was a kind person, well-liked by his students, and a pleasure work with, having a youthful quality that made everyone around him feel special. Fabio will be sorely missed by the American, Brazilian, and global malacological communities. He is survived by his wife Heather and two daughters.


Fabio Moretzsohn (on right, blue shirt) atop the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, in a recreational field trip during the Mollusca 2014 meeting in Mexico. From left, John Fields, Rudiger Bieler, José H. Leal, and Fabio.