Adrian Kin (1979–2012)
A month and a half after having received a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplantation at an oncological clinic in Katowice, Adrian Kin died of pulmonary complications on 26 June 2012. He had been fighting leukaemia since mid-2010, suffering temporary relapses. Only 33 years of age when he passed away, he and his wife Kasia had enjoyed married life for a mere 18 months. The news of Adrian's demise hit all who knew him very hard, particularly so because the transplantation promised to turn out successful and there was even talk of sending him home.
Adrian was born on 12 February 1979 at Łódź, central Poland. From an early age he showed an interest in nature, both modern and fossil, and the wooden house next to his parents' place in the Uleja Targowa proved to be a perfect storage room for his collections. From the start, he set his mind on becoming a professional palaeontologist; his parents, his younger brother and his girlfriend (and wife-to-be) helped him realise that dream. He entered Warsaw University and obtained his B.Sc. (June 2003) and M.Sc. (September 2005) degrees there, in the meantime traversing Poland in search of new, often temporary, outcrops (building sites, road works) and hoping for new discoveries.
From 2003 our contacts with Adrian intensified, first at Sosnowiec University, later at Opole. Field work was done together at various localities in southern Poland, most often with students accompanying us. In addition, we marvelled at his new treasures, both in the boot of his characteristic car (four-wheel drive, naturally) and at the wooden house (and future museum) in Łódź where the floors were strewn with Late Jurassic and mid- and Late Cretaceous ammonites and other macrofossils. Material collected from temporary digs at Hrebenne near the Poland/Ukraine border comprises the best suite of early Maastrichtian amonites, Acanthuscaphites in particular, known to date. On the basis of these specimens, as well as subsequently collected lots, Adrian worked out his idea of “phenotypic plasticity”. First in his mind, later on paper—to be honest, his views were not particularly well received in the literature. His wish to see “the larger picture”, rather than concentrate on the material at hand, at times came close to blurring his views. Of course, we all forgave him the “teeny” instances of exaggerated statements. As instigator of the Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciół Nauk o Ziemi PHACOPS, he co-operated with numerous geo- and dinoparks in Poland, and made countless efforts to allocate funding for expansion of geological knowledge and for the construction of a formal musem. Press releases, radio interviews and (local) television appearances followed. Although, on various occasions, the views that Adrian expressed were not shared by his fellow workers.
One of his catch phrases was “No problem”. He never ever shied away from supplying study material to master students at Sosnowiec and Opole universities, gave material on loan for a special exhibit on trilobites (2011–2012) at the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, and donated entire collections to the Institute of Paleontology (PAN, Warszawa). His newest discovery was the “Polish Solnhofen” near Owadów Brzezinki; two papers on this late Tithonian sequence have already appeared in print and more will follow.
Adrian was in love with palaeontology and worked as much as he possibly could to allow other people to share his passion. His interest in the well-being of his friends and close colleagues was genuine and his greetings were cordial, even in his last email message to us, dated 19 June. Unfortunately, the Polish palaeontological community lost another of its young members.