Our Team

Our Team

The Parosphromenus Project is a team­work between many indi­vid­u­als all over the world, — of ded­i­cated peo­ple who con­tribute in many ways, — as breed­ers, as researchers, as hob­by­ists, as sci­en­tists, as sup­port­ers. The Project would not excist with­out our many mem­bers and active people.

But to keep this together, coor­di­nate, inspire and con­tin­u­ally search for progress, a smaller group of ded­i­cated peo­ple have been con­tin­u­ally tak­ing on respon­si­bil­i­ties within the Project in our Steer­ing Group, and we would like to intro­duce our­selves on this page.

The Parosphromenus Project Novem­ber 2019

Founder and ide­o­log­i­cal leader

Proff. Dr. Peter Finke, Germany

Benjamin Wilden, Ger­many, Project Manager

My name is Ben­jamin, but I am known as Ben­nie in all fish-​related mat­ters. I am a Ph.D. stu­dent in ani­mal ecol­ogy at Biele­feld Uni­ver­sity (Ger­many) and work on ancient lakes around the globe. Fishes were always my favorite ani­mals. There­fore, I started fish­keep­ing as a hobby at age 11 and was a mem­ber of the Parosphromenus-​Project from the very start. In the project I pre­vi­ously worked as address coor­di­na­tor and cen­sus asses­sor. In 2014 I trav­eled to Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, and Suma­tra to explore Parosphromenus habi­tats. As a Project Man­ager, I am respon­si­ble for the strat­egy and tac­tics of the Parosphromenus-​Project.

Helene Schoubye Johansen, Den­mark, Project man­ager and webmaster

My aquatic inter­est started about 20 years ago, and after about 5 years or so I almost exclu­sively had Parosprhome­nus. I was fasi­nated by their beauty and intriged by the level of skills needed, — and I was also slowly learn­ing about their need for pro­tec­tion in nature, — in par­tic­u­lar through Prof. Dr. Peter Finke, who reached out for all that showed an inter­est in Paros. I got to know Peter Finke very well, and over some years we worked very closely together to estab­lish the home­page, as well as build­ing the struc­ture of the Inter­na­tional meet­ings, the newslet­ters etc. Today I work together with Ben­nie in the day to day man­age­ment, as Project man­ager. My respon­si­bilty is every­thing con­cern­ing the home­page, face­book and twit­ter, as well as the newslet­ter and mem­ber­ship data­bases, — but it extends into many other activ­i­ties and deci­sions, such as coop­er­a­tions with Zoo’s and organisations.

Went­ian Shi, China/​Germany, Nat­u­ral­ist, Field leader

I have in the recent years been actively involved in the field research of the Genus Parosphromenus and other labyrinth fish and sym­bi­otic species from Indone­sia and Malaysia. In the past 4 years, I have checked almost all the habi­tats of the 20 sci­en­tif­i­cally described species and explored many other unde­scribed new species and local types with the help of my team­mates (S.J.D. Team). A lot of long con­sid­ered lost species and types have been redis­cov­ered due to these efforts. One of the most impor­tant achieve­ments is the redis­cov­ery of the type species of genus Parosphromenus, P. deiss­neri, in 2017 after all known habi­tats are destroyed by human activities.

Now, besides the aca­d­e­mic works, as an offi­cial col­lab­o­ra­tor of the Research Cen­ter for Biol­ogy of the Indone­sia Acad­emy of Sci­ence, I also con­tribute myself to the con­ser­va­tion projects of the habi­tats of these species as the Field­work Leader of the Parosphromenus-​Project by using my field knowl­edges and local social network.

Rafael Eggli, Basel, Switzer­land, Respon­si­bel for Census

I cur­rently pur­sue a Master’s degree in Nanophysics at Uni­ver­sity of Basel. My inter­est in fish­keep­ing sparked in my child­hood. Read­ing about the Parosphromenus-​Project in the ger­man jour­nal DATZ had me fas­ci­nated by those beau­ti­ful yet highly endan­gered jew­els of the rain­for­est. How­ever, it took sev­eral years before my first encounter with liv­ing Parosphromenus linkei, the first species I kept and bred. As part of my grad­u­a­tion from high­school, I analysed the progress of the project, its pur­pose and chances of suc­cess and wrote a small study on my find­ings. It was an inte­gral part of this effort to quan­tify the projects achieve­ments by review­ing and ana­lyz­ing his­tor­i­cal data from the half yearly cen­sus. Join­ing the first inter­na­tional meet­ing in Ham­burg in 2015, I met Peter Finke and was intro­duced to the main part of the steer­ing group. After DATZ pub­lished my find­ings, I con­tin­ued to analyse the cen­sus and was asked by Peter to join the steer­ing group. Cur­rently only keep­ing Parosphromenus parvu­lus, I am respon­si­ble for orga­niz­ing and assem­bling the cen­sus in order to mon­i­tor the Parosphromenus-​population kept by mem­bers of the Project around the world.

Dorothee Jöllenbeck-​Pfeffel, Ger­many, Translating

My Name is Dorothee, I live in the south of Ger­many, near Freiburg. I work as a teacher for paint­ing, draw­ing, sculp­ture, archi­tec­ture and art his­tory at school. Even early in my life I had been fas­ci­nated by good worked aquar­ium tanks with healthy inhab­i­tants, and for 10 years now I have my own tanks. When I started, it was impos­si­ble to get dif­fer­en­ti­ated infor­ma­tion about the required hous­ing con­di­tions of dif­fer­ent fish and other fresh­wa­ter species, for exam­ple we had then the first hype about tylome­la­nia snails from Sulawesi. Often just “I take tap water”.Looking for cor­rect water and tem­per­a­ture para­me­ters for choco­late guramis, I found the home­page of the Parosphromenus Project. Here I found the dif­fer­en­ti­ated and proven para­me­ters for black water species I had looked for. Shortly after I was able to bring my first Parosphromenus linkei on the return trip from a North Sea vaca­tion. The off­spring of these are still swim­ming around in one of my aquariums.

Brian Martineau

Brian Mar­tineau Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the US paro-​community

Greet­ings Paro-​friends! I grew up in Rhode Island, USA, and from my very first mem­o­ries I remem­ber lov­ing ani­mals, and hav­ing a strong sense that I wanted to take care of them. Through the expe­ri­ence of keep­ing count­less pets grow­ing up, my career-​track was solid­i­fied, and for nearly all of my work­ing life, I’ve been tak­ing care of animals!

I’ve been in love with Parosphromenus since hav­ing a chance encounter with them at a pet shop, over a decade ago, and the affair con­tin­ues to this day.Although the chal­lenges to these fish in their nat­ural habi­tats is daunt­ing, I truly believe that we, conservation-​hobbyists, are an inte­gral part of the effort to save them from extinc­tion, and I’m com­mit­ted to doing what I can to help!

My respon­si­bil­i­ties (as the US rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the PP) involve assist­ing the US Paro-​community with net­work­ing, sourc­ing fish, and work­ing toward more fully inte­grat­ing the US com­mu­nity into the inter­na­tional Parosphromenus con­ser­va­tion effort!

Christian Koppitz

Chris­t­ian Koppitz

As an engi­neer for con­ser­va­tion and land­scape plan­ning my main inter­est focus net­works of knowl­edge to solve com­plex global envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems. The “Par­sphromenus Project” can be used as an inter­est­ing model for teach­ing a broad tar­get group with­out a direct access to trop­i­cal peat lands about the dra­matic con­se­quences of habi­tat loss by global marked dri­ven peat land dev­as­ta­tion in South East Asia.
Beside gen­eral expert advice in ques­tions of con­ver­sa­tion the main goal of my col­lab­o­ra­tion in the Parosphromenus Project is focused on the devel­op­ment of con­cepts to uti­lize these fish as com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools in dif­fer­ent enti­ties of edu­ca­tion for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment like nat­ural his­tory muse­ums, zoos and envi­ron­ment cen­tres to improve the abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate prob­lems and needs in the global bio­di­ver­sity and cli­mate crisis.

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