Academician Vladimir Stevanović passed away

It is with great sadness that the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts announces the passing of its full member Vladimir Stevanović (b. Belgrade, 1 December 1947) age 77, on 19 March 2024, in Belgrade, one of our most prominent biologists, botanists, ecologists and biogeographer.

He graduated from the Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics in Biology at the University of Belgrade in 1972. His doctoral thesis titled ‘The Ecology, Phytocoenology, and Floristic Structure of Mt.  Fruška Gora  Steppe  Vegetation’ he defended in 1986. In 1974, he was elected to be a teaching assistant at the Department of Plant Ecology and Phytogeography at the Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics. At the Faculty of Biology of the University of Belgrade, he worked in all university teaching positions, having been elected as a full professor in 1999. He taught the following courses at the academic, master and doctoral levels: Plant ecology and phytogeography, Eco-systems of the Balkan peninsula, Biodiversity preservation, Vegetation ecology, and Flora and Fauna of the Balkan peninsula. He also held lectures at the Faculty of Geography of the University of Belgrade, as well as the universities of Novi Sad and Banja Luka. From 1989, he was the Head of the Department of Plant Ecology and Phytogeography at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Belgrade. Also, he was the head of the Plant Ecology and Ecology of the environmental protection division at the same faculty.

He received further education having been professionally trained as a member of the ’1 Iter Mediterraneum’, the International Botanical Expedition in Andalusia, Murcia and Almeria, organized by the University of Seville in the period June-July 1988; International botanical and phytocenological excursion in the Alps of Switzerland, organized by the Swiss Botanical Society (June 1991);  VII Iter Mediterraneum, a Botanical expedition on Peloponnese, organized by the University of Patras in the period June−July 1995; International botanical expedition to Armenia organized by the Botanical Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia in June 1996 and Botanical excursion in southern Finland organized by the University of Helsinki in July 1997.

His field of study encompassed plant ecology and phytogeography, floriculture, vegetation ecology and protection of biodiversity. His rich scientific bibliography includes over 223 bibliographic units both in domestic and foreign journals, with three monographs among which ‘Biodiversity of Yugoslavia with an Overview of Internationally Relevant Species’(co-authored with Vojislav Vasić) stand out, as well as six chapters in international monographic publications and 19 chapters in domestic monographs, as well as over 150 expert papers.

As a corresponding member of the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, he was elected in 2006 and its full member in 2012. Within the Academy, he was a member and the president of the Academy Board for the Study of Flora and Vegetation of Serbia, a member of the Board for the Study of the Fauna of Serbia and the president of the Board ‘Man and the Environment’. He carried out the duties of the secretary of the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences from 2017. He was a SASA representative in the National Committee ‘Man and Biosphere’ within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the leader of the project titled ‘Chorological and Ecological Factors of Taxon Differentiation in Orophytic Flora of Serbia and Adjacent Territories of the Central Part of the Balkan Peninsula’ within the SASA Fund.

He was a member of the Serbian Biological Society, Yugoslav Biosystematics Society and the president of the Serbian Ecological Society. He carried out notable work as the editor-in-chief of scientific journals such as Phytologia Balcanica (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia) Botanika Chronika (University of Patras, Greece); Botanica Serbica (Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade); Ekologija; Zaštita prirode. He also peer-reviewed several leading international botanic and ecological journals including Annales Botanici Fennici; Nordic Journal of Botany; Biodiversity and Conservation; Novon and Turkish Journal of Botany.  From January 2010, he was an editor for the fields of biology, geology, chemistry and forestry in the Serbian Encyclopaedia and the author of over 40 entries in the first and second volumes of this publication.

He compiled the Red Data List of Charophytes in the Balkans and together with associates he made valuable contributions to ‘The Red Data Book of Flora of Serbia’ and ‘Important Plant Areas in Serbia’. He presented the research results on the genome size and ploidy level of the endemic-relics of the Ramonda genus in the Balkan Peninsula. Several times he held lectures at national and international conferences, among which the presentations of the preliminary research results on the molecular phylogeny of the genus Edrianthus on the Balkan Peninsula can be highlighted.

With his scientific and pedagogical work, he greatly contributed to the development of Serbian and global science, while his expertise and dedication furthered the work of the Academy. His departure is a great loss for the overall Serbian society and scientific community.