[Excerpt] He was always a modest man, but Ken was a genius and the toughest man we knew. He was also extraordinarily generous of spirit. The way he gave of himself, his time, and his hard-won stores of knowledge, was legendary amongst his friends and colleagues. We admired him and we loved him. Ken was a world-renowned comparative anatomist, vertebrate systematist, palaeontologist, and zooarchaeologist. He was a problem solver like few we’ve ever met, and a fieldworker and world traveller par excellence. Ken’s personal and professional outlook embraced the whole world, in all its true facets and flavours, its complexities and eccentricities—he took the world, and all of us in it, as we came. His intellectual reputation extended well beyond Australia and was known to thousands of colleagues who may never have had the chance to meet him.
Helgen, Kristofer M., Julien Louys, and Sue O’Connor. 2020. The lives of creatures obscure, misunderstood, and wonderful: a volume in honour of Ken Aplin 1958–2019. In Papers in Honour of Ken Aplin, ed. Julien Louys, Sue O’Connor, and Kristofer M. Helgen. Records of the Australian Museum 72(5): 149–160.