Stéphane Peigné passed away on December 4, 2017 after a long and courageous struggle against a devastating illness. He was hopeful of having defeated it in 2016, but it inexorably caught up with him again. Stéphane was born in 1973 in a small town in eastern France and completed his studies in that region, where he obtained his Baccalauréat. His higher studies began at the University of Nancy with a course in life sciences, which he followed up at the University of Bourgogne, receiving his licenciate in biology there, followed by a master in ecology. Not satisfied with a research direction towards evolutionary biology and ecology and wishing to include the time dimension in his study of evolutionary processes, he turned to paleontology, especially vertebrate paleontology, and continued his studies at the University of Montpellier. This change in direction led to his meeting Thanh Thuyh Nguyen Tu, who later became his wife and mother to his two children. In 1996 he moved to the University of Poitiers, where he began work on a thesis supervised by one of us (LdeB). This was successfully defended in 2000. Ten years later he obtained his ‘Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches’, also in Poitiers.