V.L. Kontrimavichus

     

      Vitautas Leonovich Kontrimavichus (1930-2016) – is a widely known scientist in helminthology and general parasitology; a graduate of Lithuanian Viterinary Academy and Leningrad Veterinary Institute, a follower of academitian K.I. Skryabin. The main sphere of his research – fauna, systematics, ecology, zoogeography and population biology of parasitic worms of vertebrates, especially of land mammals and birds. Since his postgraduate years Kontrimavichus’ scientific activity had been inextricably connected with the North.

       The woldwilde reputation came to Kontrimavichus due to his study of helminths’ fauna of mustelids and ways of its formation, which was also translated into English. The research of helminths of mustelids of world fauna had outstanding practical importance and let Kontrimavichus reveal a whole range of fundamental questions connected with evolution and phylogeny of parasitic worms including the phenomenon of parasitism in general.

       Vitautas Leonovich was an initiator of biological science development in the North. In 1968 he became the head of Department of Biological Problems of the North (North-Eastern Complex Research Scientific Institute, Far-Eastern Scientific Centre, USSR Academy of Sciences). This department turned into the Institute of Biological Problems of the North thanks to his executive talent. Having rallied around him a group of enthusiasts, Kontrimavichus built an active and highly qualified team of specialists in a very short period of time, who still make up the basis of leading scientific society of biology profile in the North-East of the country. Kontrimavichus was elected a corresponding member of USSR Academy of Sciences for his remarkable contribution to the development of parasitology and general biology.

       Kontrimavichus was the head of IBPN during 10 years (till 1982) He successfully managed to combine executive science activities. He initiated the development of broad international connections both for IBPN and FESC. In 70s he was a member of two work groups: the Soviet – American commission of environmental protection and the Soviet-Canadian commission of the Arctic exploration.

       He also made a great contribution to modern ecological parasitology. In the series of his widely known publications (the beginning of 80s) Vitautas Leonovich attracted attention of biologists to population problems of parasitology, to recognition of the parasites role in maintaining stability of ecosystems, and moreover, he significantly developed the conception of Beklemishev about parasitic systems.