We in the Cichlid Room Companion want to thank in a special way those people who over the years have made extensive contributions to the site. The way we have to do this is giving them a special status that we call fellowship, or make them fellows of the page.
For this year the decision became extremely difficult, as I could just not decide over the many people who have extensively contributed their time and expertise to the growth of the site. So I decided to take a different approach, asking the current fellows to choose for me over a group of five proposals. That did not turned out less difficult to carry on, as all five proposals deserve to be called fellows of the Cichlid Room Companion not less than the other. They all have made extensive contributions and it was very difficult to decide, but in the end we had a decision. For 2011 the fellow of the Cichlid Room Companion was chosen to be Anton Lamboj, from Austria.
Anton, for those who do not know, is a prominent world respected ichthyologist who specializes in West African Cichlids, having described as senior author no less than three genera and seventeen new cichlids species, so far. Quite an outstanding record!
Anton begun his career as an avid aquarist at the age of ten, at 24 he specialized in West African Cichlids and at 32 he could not hold it anymore and began his training as a professional ichthyologist, to pursue his love for cichlids fulltime. He carried out his studies in conjunction with a day time job at the Austrian Railway Company, where he worked 33 years before fully dedicate to ichthyology. Anton obtained his masters degree at the age of 37 and finally his Ph.D., at the age of 41.
Nowadays, besides his research, Anton teaches several courses on ichthyology at the University of Vienna, where he also works as a lecturer. So far, he has participated in more than 13 trips to Africa in search for cichlids, and has written over a hundred articles both scientific and popular, and two books. His book The Cichlid Fishes of Western Africa is the bible for the specialist. Anton is also an internationally sought after lecturer on Cichlids of West Africa, and is still an aquarist keeping 50 tanks in his basement. Finally, his dream became true!
Anton has participated and participates in several conservation efforts, being nowadays one of CARES Program Specialists.
For the Cichlid Room Companion, Anton has now been involved for several years as curator of many cichlid species profiles. As of today, he has filled up not less than 103 species and 27 genera records! A book by itself! He has also contributed hundreds of pictures to the cichlid and habitat catalogs. Overall, Anton is a good friend that has always been there for when there has been need to support the page. We feel honored he has accepted to be a fellow of the Cichlid Room Companion.