26 | 03 | 20

The Passing of Richard Shotbolt

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Richard Shotbolt (1958 – 2020)

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With great sadness we must inform the BMS membership of the death, on 25th March, of Richard Shotbolt. As well as excelling as a botanist, lepidopterist, astronomer and musician, Richard contributed greatly to the work of BMS. He was a passionate ambassador for wildlife conservation and a tireless promoter of the study of fungi.

Born in Cambridge, Richard studied electronics at the University of East Anglia and went on to design educational electronic equipment before setting up as an electronic hardware and software design consultant in 2005. On retiring in 2013, Richard generously made all of his software available online free of charge, and as a result many BMS members now use his MycoCam program to capture and store microscopy images, to take annotated measurements, and to perform image stacking.

A member of the BMS Field Mycology and Conservation Committee since 2018, Richard Shotbolt contributed occasional articles to Field Mycology and was a regular participant in BMS field events. He was local organiser of the BMS Autumn Study Week in East Anglia in 2013, patiently unscrambling and collating many thousands of records from this and other BMS field events. Richard also applied his considerable programming skills to help develop to our web-based fungus database (FRDBI), and he frequently coordinated efforts to help people with tricky fungus identification challenges via the BMS Facebook page. He was webmaster of the Huntingdon Fungus Group and supported the work of many other local fungus groups and conservation organisations in England, Scotland  and Wales.

Perhaps more than anything, Richard Shotbolt will be remembered by all who knew him for the cheerful, enthusiastic encouragement and unstinting assistance he gave to help others secure a foothold in field mycology. Richard was a dear friend, and his passing is a great loss to the mycological community.

Pat O’Reilly