in memoriam - Andres Aguilar Santelises (1946-1999)
Prof. Andres Aguilar Santelises. Past President of ISSS, passed away on November 5, 1999. Born in Mexico City, he began his studies al ihe Instituto Politecnico Nacional. at the Escuela National de Ciencias Biologicas. where he obtained Ihe title of ‘Licenciado’ ( 1970). He carried out his postgraduate studies at the University of Wageningen. Netherlands (MSc. 1973 and Ph.D.. 1981). From 1974 on he held ihe position of Professor at the Escuela Nacional de Agricullura and also at the Universidad Auto’noma Chapingo, where he was Professor in Chair for soil chemistry, soil chemical analysis, and soil fertility.
In his research work, he headed several projects in ihe fields of chemical analysis, soil acidification and application of lime lo soils, and soil productivity. He promoted a great number of research projects, succeeding in obtaining Financial support from outside for their realization, among them many projects of special importance through international participation, as e.g.: INSTRUCT (Canada. Ecuador y Mexico): ELISA development of soil quality indices (EEC. Costa Rica. Nicaragua and Mexico). He was also the leader of the working group that created the Atlas Ecologico de la Cuenca Hidrogrofica del Rio Lerma (Ecological Atlas of the Hydrographical Basin of Rio Lerma).
As the Secretary-General of the Mexican Society of Soil Science (Sociedad Mexicana de la Ciencia del Suelo) from 1987tol988. and as its President from 1989 to 1990. he gave new impulses to research in soil science in Mexico. He also was President of the Mexican Society of Soil Science from 1989 to 1990. He headed a group of scientists who succeeded in making Mexico the venue of the XV World Congress of Soil Science, which was organized under his presidency in the year 1994. From 1990 to 1994 he was President of the International Society of Soil Science. At the Universidad Autonoma Chapingo he was the founder and co-ordinator of the Research Program on Natural Resources and Ecology (Programa de Investigaeion en Recursos Naturales y Ecologia) (1995- 1998).
Until his death he was the Editor in Chief of the scientific journal ‘Terra’, the official bulletin of the Mexican Soil Science Society. He was Deputy Director of Research and Director of Internal Affairs of the Department of Soils. He also had a leadership function within the Academic Assistance Program of the Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo from 1984 to 1987.
Prof. Aguilar is survived by a wife. Ina and a daughter. Lydia, to whom we express our eartfelt condolences. The sudden death of Prof. Aguilar leaves a great gap – not only in the Mexican, but also in the international soil science community, for which he was always active. He participated in many developments, including the new administrative and scientific structure of IUSS. We will miss him as a scientist and a friend. He will be remembered for his important contributions to soil science and he will be sorely missed by his family, friends and colleagues all over the world.
Winfried E.H. Blum