Vladimir Il’yich Chikatunov — 80th anniversary
Keywords:Biography, coleopterists, entomologists, personalia, scientists, Coleoptera, Israel, Tadjikistan, USSR, Central Asia, Middle Asia
Prof. Vladimir I. Chikatunov was born on September 8, 1940 in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan (then Tajik SSR, USSR). His parents originated from Ukraine. His father, Eli (Ilya) was a military doctor, perished near Kharkov in 1943, and, unfortunately, almost nothing else is known about him. His mother Rachel (1904–2000), was born in Kremenchug, graduated from the Kharkov Medical Institute, and was sent to serve as a pediatrician in Tajikistan, were she remained for nearly all her life. Vladimir’s grandparents and most of his relatives remained in Ukraine and were killed in the Holocaust. Since his early childhood Vladimir developed a strong interest in nature and natural history. As a youngster he participated in the work of the Young Naturalists’ Station in Dushanbe (1952–1958), acquiring skills that got proved to be very instrumental to him in the future. Vladimir studied zoology at the Tajik State University, Dushanbe (1959–1967). He obtained his PhD in 1967 from the Tajik University and the Zoological Institute, St Petersburg, Russia (then USSR), under supervision of Prof. I.K. Lopatin, a famous zoologist and entomologist. Vladimir’s PhD thesis combined two of his main passions, zoology and mountaineering, and was on the Composition and ecology of insects of the Alpine part of the Gissar Range. Vladimir received his DSc degree in 1981 from the Institute of Zoology, Kiev, Ukraine, by submitting a thesis on the Coleoptera of the mountain regions of Central Asia. Since 1967, Vladimir worked in his alma mater as a lecturer, then as a senior lecturer and associate professor (1970), full professor (1982), Head of the Department of Zoology (1980–1992), and Rector and Vice-Rector (1987–1991). He devoted his time to research and teaching zoology, entomology, biogeography, ecology, microevolution, phenetics and evolution theory, supervising PhD and MSc students, both local and from abroad. In 1992, Vladimir and his family left Tajikistan and arrived in Israel, where he became employed as Curator of Coleoptera collection of the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History (then part of the Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University), where he proudly works until present.
Cite as: Friedman, A.-L.-L. & Mostovski, M. 2020. Vladimir Il'yich Chikatunov — 80th anniversary. Israel Journal of Entomology 50 (2): i–xxii.
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