Scientific autobiography in Linzer biologische Beiträge


Hannes F. Paulus - a versatile biologist celebrates his 80th birthday

Paulus HF. 2024
Linzer biol. Beitr. 55/2, 495-622, available online


On the occasion of his 80th birthday on October 17, 2023, Hannes F. Paulus is putting together details of his scientific career. His path to entomology is described as a student, during his school days in Mainz and during his biology studies in Mainz and Vienna. The encounter with Prof. Friedrich Schaller in Vienna, and later with Prof. Günther Osche in Freiburg, shaped his further scientific path. Starting with his doctoral thesis on the eyes of Collembola, he expanded his research in Freiburg into the evolution of arthropod eyes. This ultimately led him back to Vienna as a full professor, as Schaller's successor. Here he finally started founding a new family and married Urte Paulus, who is herself versatile, creative and internationally successful. Two children, now grown up, are a result. Further research focused on the pollination biology of the orchid genus Ophrys. Here, important mechanisms of sexual deception were clarified with the help of his co-workers, mainly Manfred Ayasse, Florian Schiestl or Johannes Späthe. Systematics ran through his entire scientific life. He was able to describe a whole series of new species and genera of beetles and even over 40 new species in the genus Ophrys. All taxa of insects and orchids newly described by Hannes Paulus are listed. He was allowed to give numerous lectures, and exercises at his universities. Excursions with students, but especially for his research, took him primarily to the Mediterranean region. His scientific work consists of many publications, some books and films. All publications are compiled according to subject area. All his travels can also be found here in table form. Even at the age of 80, he still has many projects and plans for his future work.