A tribute to Prof. DSc Elissaveta Bozilova on the occasion of her 80th birthday

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<ul><li><p>SHORT COMMUNICATION</p><p>A tribute to Prof. DSc Elissaveta Bozilova on the occasionof her 80th birthday</p><p>Spassimir Tonkov</p><p>Received: 9 December 2011 / Accepted: 9 February 2012 / Published online: 22 February 2012</p><p> Springer-Verlag 2012</p><p>One of the outstanding European palynologists and palaeo-</p><p>ecologists, Prof. DSc Elissaveta Bozilova celebrates her</p><p>80th birthday on March 17th 2012. For more than 50 years</p><p>she has been actively involved in science and teaching in</p><p>the Faculty of Biology at Sofia University St. Kliment</p><p>Ohridski. Her interest in botany, and subsequently in paly-</p><p>nology, was encouraged and supported by her masters</p><p>degree supervisor Prof. Boris Kitanov in the mid 1950s and</p><p>also by her family members. The remarkable scientific and</p><p>teaching career of Elissaveta Bozilova started in 1958</p><p>when she joined the academic staff of the Department of</p><p>Botany as an Assistant Professor.</p><p>The initial years of her research were devoted mostly to</p><p>the investigation of the pollen morphology of various</p><p>gymnosperm and flowering plant taxa, but subsequently</p><p>this knowledge was applied to the study of the late Qua-</p><p>ternary history of the Bulgarian flora and vegetation, and</p><p>gradually expanded to aeropalynology, melissopalynology,</p><p>archaeobotany, marinopalynology and pollen monitoring.</p><p>Numerous pollen analytical studies were conducted by her</p><p>on lake, mire and peat sediments in the glaciated and non-</p><p>glaciated Bulgarian mountains, along the Black Sea coast,</p><p>the Danube valley and inland plains as well as on marine</p><p>cores. Elissaveta Bozilova and her co-workers postulated</p><p>for the first time the main chronological stages in the late-</p><p>glacial and Holocene vegetation development in different</p><p>parts of the country and contributed to the elucidation of</p><p>important scientific issues such as location of glacial tree</p><p>refugia and migration routes, fluctuations in the tree line,</p><p>formation of recent vegetation belts and specific plant</p><p>communities, pollen dispersal mechanisms, climate chan-</p><p>ges, sea-level fluctuations, human impact on the natural</p><p>environment since prehistoric times, etc. She also laid</p><p>the foundations of contemporary aeropalynological and</p><p>melissopalynological studies in Bulgaria.</p><p>An important premise for the recognition of Elissaveta</p><p>Bozilova as a leading Bulgarian palynologist was the estab-</p><p>lishment of personal and fruitful long standing scientific con-</p><p>tacts with outstanding foreign specialists, including Prof. H. -J.</p><p>Beug, Prof. G. Lang, Prof. B. E. Berglund, Dr. A. Smit, Prof.</p><p>K. Fgri, Prof. H. J. B. Birks, Prof. M. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa,</p><p>Prof. Y. Vasari, Prof. B. Ammann, Prof. L. -K. Konigsson,</p><p>Prof. S. Hicks, Prof. J. -L. de Beaulieu, Prof. K. -E. Behre, Prof.</p><p>N. Athanasiadis, Prof. C. -A. Haeggstrom, Prof. H. Jungner,</p><p>Prof. A. Gerasimidis, and many others, who shared generously</p><p>their knowledge and expertise in palaeoecological and</p><p>botanical research, both in the field and in the laboratory.</p><p>One of the most important professional merits of Elis-</p><p>saveta Bozilova, in addition to her intensive research and</p><p>teaching activities, was the organization of the Laboratory</p><p>of Palynology at the Department of Botany, which she</p><p>administrated successfully until 2000. The laboratory</p><p>established itself as the leading national centre in funda-</p><p>mental and applied palynology and palaeoecology, where</p><p>Elissaveta Bozilova supervised over 25 master and doctoral</p><p>students from several generations, most of them being</p><p>engaged today either in research or teaching in the broad</p><p>Communicated by F. Bittmann.</p><p>Electronic supplementary material The online version of thisarticle (doi:10.1007/s00334-012-0353-3) contains supplementarymaterial, which is available to authorized users.</p><p>S. Tonkov (&amp;)Laboratory of Palynology, Department of Botany, Faculty</p><p>of Biology, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski,</p><p>8 Dragan Tzankov Blvd, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria</p><p>e-mail: stonkov@abv.bg; tonkov@biofac.uni-sofia.bg</p><p>123</p><p>Veget Hist Archaeobot (2012) 21:243244</p><p>DOI 10.1007/s00334-012-0353-3</p></li><li><p>field of botany at universities, academic institutions, labo-</p><p>ratories, museums and governmental organizations.</p><p>On the European palynological stage Elissaveta Bozi-</p><p>lova has led the Bulgarian working group within the IGCP</p><p>Project 158B Palaeohydrological changes in the temperate</p><p>zone during the last 15,000 yearslake and mire envi-</p><p>ronments (19801988), devoting much of her time to</p><p>introducing the new standardized approach to palaeoeco-</p><p>logical investigations of late Quaternary deposits in Bul-</p><p>garia. The palynological data from the established set of</p><p>national reference sites (lakes, mires, peat-bogs, marine</p><p>cores) was later on successfully incorporated into the</p><p>European pollen database where Elissaveta Bozilova</p><p>served actively for two successive terms (19941998) as a</p><p>member of the advisory board. The experience and respect</p><p>that Elissaveta Bozilova has gathered in contacting and</p><p>organizing scientists helped her to play an active role in the</p><p>international research initiative Pollen monitoring pro-</p><p>gramme since 1996 (Fig. 1).</p><p>In the course of several decades, as a scientist and expert</p><p>with profound knowledge of different aspects of palynol-</p><p>ogy and palaeoecology, Elissaveta Bozilova has attended</p><p>upon invitation numerous congresses, conferences, meet-</p><p>ings, workshops and field trips in nearly all European</p><p>countries. In her long and productive scientific career she</p><p>has published alone or jointly over 170 research contribu-</p><p>tions in monographs, books, national and international</p><p>journals, magazines, symposia and workshop proceedings</p><p>(see Electronic Supplementary Material).</p><p>After her symbolic retirement in 2000 Elissaveta</p><p>Bozilova continues active palynological research on national</p><p>and international projects. It deserves mention that a number</p><p>of high quality research papers by her, focused on high-</p><p>resolution pollen records from lakes and peat-bogs, have</p><p>recently appeared in international and national scientific</p><p>media.</p><p>The endless enthusiasm and active role of Elissaveta</p><p>Bozilova in modern palynological and palaeoecological</p><p>science are a logical answer to the present-day challenges.</p><p>We all, her students, colleagues, friends and many others,</p><p>with whom she has worked and shared knowledge, express</p><p>our thanks and gratitude, and would like to congratulate her</p><p>cordially on the occasion of her 80th birthday.</p><p>Fig. 1 Left Elissaveta Bozilova sitting at the microscope, right at Lake Arkutino with Sheila Hicks during a meeting in the frame of the pollenmonitoring programme (PMP) in Bulgaria 2005</p><p>244 Veget Hist Archaeobot (2012) 21:243244</p><p>123</p><p>A tribute to Prof. DSc Elissaveta Bozilova on the occasion of her 80th birthday</p></li></ul>