EcoMinga friend Andreas Kay has died

I’m sorry to report that my friend and EcoMinga associate Andreas Kay, who was suffering from incurable brain cancer (see this post), has died today. His friends will make sure that his work lives on.


Note added Oct 21 2019: Heinz Schneider, our partner at the University of Basel Botanical Garden, has set up a website in memory of Andreas, with a detailed directory to his online photos, organized by subject:



EcoMinga asociate and friend Andreas Kay has brain tumor removed, needs help


Photo: Andreas Kay

Andreas Kay, well-known macro photographer, friend, and close collaborator of EcoMinga, has just had a golf-ball-sized tumor removed from  his brain here in Quito. He is in great pain and under heavy medication. He posted the following message on his Facebook page, and I would like to share it here:

“Dear friends of Ecuador, I had an unexpected brain tumor and surgery by Dr. Danilo Pasternak in Quito and await the biopsy at the hospital now for further treatment.
I hope to be able to share more photos and videos from Ecuador soon. Especially I have plans to improve my footage in field macro videophotography.
If you want to support my recovery a donation would be highly welcome:
I also have a TransferWise account by private message.
Thank you so much for your help.”

No photo description available.

Andreas’ brain tumor


Andreas has discovered many new species of plants, and several are named after him, including the orchids Lepanthopsis kayii and Lepanthes kayii. He also re-discovered and photographed the toad Atelopus coynei, once thought to be extinct:

and he helped us set up our Dracula Reserve. He is best known for his magnificent collection of 29,048 macro insect and  plant photos from Andean Ecuador, published on his “Ecuador Megadiverso” Flickr site:

This vast collection of breathtaking photos surely contains many more species new to science.

Modified by CombineZP

Lepanthes kayii. Photo: Andreas Kay

Andreas has lived a simple life devoted to nature photography.  His brain tumor was not discovered until it was very large, and he is currently under heavy medication. We await the biopsy report in the next few days. Meanwhile we are trying to arrange additional medical care for him. Any help would be appreciated and should be sent directly to him. (Be aware that he may be under too much medication to respond promptly.)

Lou Jost, Fundacion EcoMinga