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CAS Member, Protozoologist SHEN Yunfen, 74, passes away

Date: Nov 8th, 2006
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SHEN Yunfen, a renowned protozoologiest and CAS Member with the CAS Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB), died on Oct.31 at the age of 74. Her farewell ceremony was held on Nov. 4 in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province.

State leaders including President HU Jintao, Premier WEN Jiabao and CAS President LU Yongxiang, who is also vice chairman of the standing committee of the country's top legislature NPC, extended their deep condolences to Shen's passing away and heartfelt regards to her relatives.

SHEN, born in 1933, was graduated from the Department of Biology, Nanjing University in 1953 and received her Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Zoology, the former USSR Academy of Sciences in 1960. During the years working at the IHB, she had held the positions of research assistant, research associate, associate research professor, and research professor before elected CAS academician in 1995.

Specializing in taxonomy and ecology of free-living protozoa, Shen's research into protozoan fauna in about 22 Chinese provinces and autonomous regions had led to the identification of more than 2,000 species and the discovery of 35 new ones. Her book Aquatic Invertebrates on the Tibetan Plateau documented 458 species of protozoa among which 80% were unprecedented records, and discussed their geological distributions and ecological characteristics for the first time. The book is now widely recognized as a classic in the field.

By closely observing the planktononic and periphytic protozoa in Donghu Lake of Wuhan for over 30 years, Shen revealed the structural and functional evolvement of the protozoan communities through the lake's eutrophication process. Meanwhile, according to her research experiences on some 10 different kinds of water bodies, Shen developed a new standard of water quality evaluation called 'Water Quality ¨C Microbial Community ¨C PFU (Polyurethane Foam Unit) Method' which can judge the cleanness of drinking water resources and predict the environmental effects of different projects in a highly efficient and economical way. It became the first national standard of water evaluation issued by the State Environmental Protection Administration of China, and wins worldwide recognition in the field of microbial assessment.

SHEN was the president of the Chinese Protozoological Society, member of the standing committee of Chinese Zoological Society and member of the International Commission of Protozoology. She was also associate editor of Toxicology and Industrial Health, an international journal printed in the U.S.