This week post is slightly different. Today I would like to share some memories about a great parasitologist, Dr Guy Barnish, which recently passed away. Guy worked for years at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and I am so glad he was one of the teachers of the Master course I did there about 10 years ago.
I have very fond memories of him. He was very knowledgeable and kind, and a truly “hardcore” field parasitologist. I remember that day when he brought to the lab one of those huge wedding photo albums (or at least we thought it was…): it was filled with pictures (some of them very graphic, but we are talking about parasites after all) from his field trips in Papua New Guinea. I could listen for hours, mesmerized, about the difficulties he experienced (such as climbing down from an helicopter in the middle of the jungle) and all the beautiful places and people he met during his journeys. Guy was very passionate about his job, and he was an amazing teacher too: always very clear and straight to the point, but at the same time capable of surprising you with colorful and interesting anecdotes. He was also a funny person, always ready to make jokes at the right time during our intense diagnostic parasitology sessions at the microscope.
I want to conclude with this picture:
It’s the cover of a fictional novel, drawn by David Giesbrecht (one of my classmates in the Master course and a dear friend of mine) during our time in Liverpool. I remember we conceived it as a tribute to Guy and field parasitologists, while we were also reflecting on the increasing shift of parasitology from fieldwork towards the molecular sciences.
When I learnt about the passing of Guy, I immediately went through my things and I dug up this drawing (I particularly love the fire-breathing trypanosome on it!). I see it as a little funny homage to a great parasitologist, which will keep living in all the people who had the honour to meet him. We will miss you Guy!
Click here for the italian version.