Steve Hopkin was a senior lecturer in zoology at Reading University and scientific associate in entomology at the Natural History Museum in London. He is cited here because the information given on these webpages relies on his files, following his revision of the taxonomy of UK Collembola (springtails). He produced a key to UK species that forms the basis of the linked maps and that will remain a major reference for many years to come. Additionally he wrote a compendious review of the global biology of these ancient creatures.
Steve’s interests ran widely; in addition to Collembola he was an authority on spiders, millipedes and woodlice. He combined these taxonomic interests with a love of art and of natural history photography, producing many high-quality images of soil arthropods. These ‘minibeast’ photos were notable for being used in textbooks, on taxonomic websites and for commercial sale on postcards. He was also a noted ecotoxicologist, using in particular the clonal springtail Folsomia candida as an experiment subject. He said that his interest in Collembola was sparked when working on the ecological impact of a metal smelter fallout on the fauna of woodland leaf litter and realised that the dominant soil arthropods lacked a current, unified and reliable key.
Steve was killed in a car accident in May 2006 aged 50. Roehampton University is deeply grateful to Mrs Ailsa Hopkin for permission to use the taxonomically useful images of Collembola and their associated text, which have been copied from Steve’s personal website to the Roehampton University website to be maintained by Peter Shaw of the Centre for Research in Ecology.
Centre for Research in Ecology website
HOPKIN, S.P. (1991). A Key to the Woodlice of Britain and Ireland. AIDGAP (Aids to the Identification of Difficult Groups of Animals and Plants) Field Studies Council Publication No. 204. 52pp. + 16 colour plates (reprinted from Field Studies, 7, 1-52) (ISBN 1-85153-204-8).
HOPKIN, S.P. & READ, H.J. (1992). The Biology of Millipedes. Oxford University Press, 223pp. (ISBN 0-19-857699-4).
HOPKIN, S.P. (1997). Biology of the Springtails (Insecta : Collembola). Oxford University Press. 330pp (ISBN 0-19-854084-1).
WALKER, C.H., HOPKIN, S.P., SIBLY, R.M. & PEAKALL, D.B. (2006). Principles of Ecotoxicology. Taylor & Francis, 321pp. (ISBN 0-8493-3635-X) 3rd edition.
HOPKIN, S.P. (2007). A Key to the Springtails (Collembola) of Britain and Ireland. Field Studies Council (AIDGAP Project).245pp. ISBN-13: 9781851532209