Lutra 61(1)_Broekhuizen et al_In Memoriam Chris Smeenk_2018

Chris Smeenk - 1942-2017

On 23 March 2017, Chris (Christiaan) Smeenk, aged 74 years, passed away in Leiden. He was born on 6 July 1942, in ‘Oost- en West-Souburg’, a small community near Vlissingen at Walcheren (Zeeland, in the Dutch delta area). After he graduated from gymnasium-α, in 1961, Chris commenced with his biology studies, first at Utrecht University and later at the University of Leiden where he met Nellie Enserink whom he married in 1971. During his studies Chris investigated differences in the prey choice and clutch size of tawny owls (Strix aluco) and long-eared owl (Asio otus; Smeenk 1969b), supervised by Professor K.H. Voous. The results of these investigations (Smeenk 1972) were such that Voous nominated Chris for a comparative study of the ecological relationships of five species of raptors in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya (1970-1973). These studies formed the basis of his PhD, which he successfully defended in 1974 at the Free University in Amsterdam (Smeenk 1974).

From 1974 to 1976, Chris was employed as a wildlife manager at the Pandam Wildlife Park in Nigeria and, when he returned to the Netherlands, he became conservator of the mammal collections of...