In Memoriam: Dr. Kristian Fauchald

Dr. Kristian Fauchald

Dr. Kristian Fauchald, Curator Emeritus in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History passed away on April 4, 2015. He was 89. Born in Norway in 1935, Dr. Fauchald earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Bergen before going on to receive a doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1969.

Kristian Fauchald with Leonard Hersch in Cambodia in 2005.

Kristian Fauchald with Leonard Hirsch in Cambodia in 2005.

Dr. Fauchald was appointed assistant professor of biology at USC and curator of marine annelids at the Department of Biological Sciences and at the Allan Hancock Foundation, where he worked until 1979. He joined the NMNH as Curator of Polychaetes and served in that position until 2011. He also served as Chair of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology from 1995 to 2001.

Dr. Fauchald established himself early as a leader in the polychaete community, with more than 120 notable publications, including the iconic Pink Book in 1977 (for decades, a “must-have” for marine invertebrate field biologists) and the Diet of Worms in 1979. He continued a record of notable contributions at NMNH and attracted numerous doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to become leaders in polychaetology and invertebrate zoology. Dr. Fauchald was mentor and friend to hundreds in the polychaete community─He and his husband, Dr. Leonard Hirsch, were well known for providing hospitality for many students and other researchers visiting the Smithsonian. Dr. Fauchald’s influence and lasting contributions to the field are reflected in a 2005 tribute issue of the journal Marine Ecology.


Posted: 24 April 2015
About the Author:

The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.

One Response to In Memoriam: Dr. Kristian Fauchald