By Denise Rossa Feres, UNESP (Brazil)

With a broken heart, we cry for the loss of our dear colleague and beloved friend Prof. Dr. Marcelo Menin, one of the most prominent amphibian researchers in Brazil. Besides being a professor at the Federal University of Amazonas, he coordinated the post-graduate program in Zoology and was one of the curators of the University’s zoological collection.

During his academic life, Menin has published dozens of scientific articles, books and book chapters on different topics such as community ecology, taxonomy, natural history and reproductive biology of anurans. He also helped to form the new generation of Brazilian herpetologists, having mentored several undergraduate, master and PhD students. Besides being a great researcher and supervisor, Menin was also a beautiful human being.

Goodness, kindness, competence, serenity, empathy, perseverance, correction, balance, honesty, organization, dedication, seriousness, resilience, humility, patience, joy, peace… Menin gathered so many qualities in just one person, that it would fill pages and pages to complete the list. It was impossible to be close to Menin and do not feel all those feelings in him. It was impossible to be with him and to not feel safe, supported, understood… impossible not to feel extreme trust in him. Menin never lost his temper and calm with anything or anyone. I never heard him criticize or judge anyone! And it was with this immense patience that he did not neglect himself in situations of injustice, and put himself clearly, strongly and calmly on the wronged side, on the ethical side. Great character, immense heart!

In Sumaia he found a perfect lifemate to share his path, an admirable woman, strong and with a giant heart like his. The family was his great treasure, his great love! And he balanced work and personal life like no one else – in fact he was a Master at that. He always found time and love for his family, to teach, and to do research.

Whenever I had a professional or personal standoff, I always thought, “How would Menin act in this situation?” He inspired me, directed me, reassured me and gave me security. I was his supervisor when he was an undergraduate student. I lose a son of the heart. Science loses a professional of the greatest competence, seriousness and dedication. Education loses a teacher, in the deepest sense that the Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire gave to this profession. And the World loses a good person, in the best essence of what being good means.

But … Menin will stay alive in each of us! In our memories, in the parts of each of us that he helped to build, and in the lessons that he left – not in words but by his actions, by his conduct.

And yes, we are feeling immense pain for his passing, but we will be inspired by his strength, his resilience, his persistence, his calm, his patience and his joy. This will help us to move forward, taking his memory and his lessons to future generations!