Thanks to the windfall of the Rolex Award, I was able to collect an abundant amount of materials; thousands of insects... Ninety per cent of museum collections are provided by amateurs like me.
Pierre Morvan, a Paris taxi driver until 1989, is a prime example of how the Rolex Awards often recognize unsung heroes who are doing things outside the mainstream. As he points out, the Award is the only funding he has received in a half-century
of making expeditions, chiefly to the Himalayas, and becoming a world expert in ground beetles.<br><br>Morvan has overcome the occasional impediment posed by his independent researcher status by virtue of his persistence
and perfectionism. By 2009, he had collected tens of thousands of beetles: from the mountains of Iran and the Caucasus; in the Himalayas in Nepal, Bhutan and China; and in the Appalachians in the United States. He has discovered hundreds
of new species and come up with five new <i>genera</i>, and even a sub-family.<br><br>Since his last expedition, Morvan has concentrated on examining the specimens in his collection and developing a species
identification key, based on the female reproductive system that could result in a way to determine the relationships between species. He also founded the first Breton journal of entomology, and has written 50 scientific publications.
The Natural History Museum in Paris invited him to join its research team.