Our distinguished colleague Prof. Jin Yugan passed away this morning

Dear Friends:

With deep sorrow and sadness, I inform you that our distinguished colleague Professor Jin Yugan (Lao Jin) passed away today after a nine month battle against liver cancer. He was 69. This is very sad and will be a shock to many of you. His death interrupted a life time of vibrant scientific work and community activities.

Lao Jin initiated and organized the Second International Palaeontological Congress which was held in Beijing a week ago between June 17 and 21, 2006. Unfortunately, he could not see the great success of IPC2006 and the numerous best wishes from friends all over the world.

Internationally, Lao Jin has been the vice-chairman of the International Palaeontological Association (1996-2006) and the chairman of the Subcommission on Permian Stratigraphy (1989-1996). He led the international working group on the Lopingian and established the Changhsingian-base and Lopingian-base GSSPs in South China. A ceremony was held at Meishan on June 14, 2006 to celebrate the base-Changhsingian GSSP; he initiated the planning for this ceremony, but was unable to attend. He proposed the new international three-fold framework for the Permian System which has been adopted by the International Stratigraphical Chart.

Lao Jin wrote or co-authored over 100 scientific papers/monographs in various journals, most on aspects of Permian brachiopods, biostratigraphy and end-Permian mass extinctions. Many of these were fundamental to the understanding of the distribution and stratigraphic relationships of Permian sediments in the world. His work on the end-Permian mass extinction has had innovative and far-reaching impact.

To those of us who have had the privilege of working with him, Lao Jin has been a role model, a mentor, a colleague, a personal friend, a constant source of encouragement and support, and a reservoir of knowledge and humour with a wonderful laugh and joy for life. Above all, he was a distinguished and internationally recognized scholar of professional, scientific and personal integrity. He will be missed by us all.

A funeral will be held on the 30th, June, 2006 in Nanjing.