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in memoriam - Dr. Anna Ivanovna Romashkevich (1926-2005)

Anna Romaskevich Dr.Sc, a world-known specialist in soil micromorphology passed on May 24, 2005 (at the age of 79). Anna Romashkevich was a graduate of the Timiriazev Agricultural Academy in Moscow, where her scientific studies as student were concentrated on the stationary lysimeters arranged by Prof. Williams. Later on, being in the staff of the Dokuchaev Soil Institute she became interested in micromorphology and mineralogy; her highly respected teacher was Iraida Feofarova who pertained to the first generation of Academician B.B. Polynov’s school.

Dr. Anna Ivanovna Romashkevich (1926-2005)

Among the early publications of A. Romashkevich was a paper on the micromorphological indications of soil erosion – the first in this area, which, unfortunately, is mostly beyond the scope of micromorphology.

In 1956, she defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘Soils of the Krasnodar kray’, where micromorphology already served as an important tool to reveal the genesis of brown forest soils and identify their variants.

When by I.P. Gerasimov organized the Laboratory of Soil Genesis in the Institute of Geography (Ac.Sc. USSR) in 1961, A.R. was among its first and very active members, and she worked there until her retirement. As micromorphologist, she substantiated the studies of Gerasimov on soils of humid (sub)tropical regions, and published her second book on soils and weathering crusts in Western Georgia in 1974.

In the same time, she was the ‘conceptual’ leader of Russian micromorphologists in the period (late 60-ies – 70-ies) when new ideas and approaches of Kubiena and Brewer reached the Russian ‘soil’, namely, a rich factual background (‘database’) and traditions. They were very actively discussed: assimilated, rejected, modified. She was among the most creative authors of the National Guide to micromorphological description of soils and terminology (1979), and together with T.Tursina and M.Gerasimova participated in preparing a contribution to the well-known International Handbook of 1985.

A broad experience in micromorphology of diverse soils and her personal genetic-geographic mentality, as well as the ideology of the Laboratory she worked, were the reasons to write her third book ‘Micromorhology and Soil Formation’ (1982, with M. Gerasimova), which is oriented on the diagnostics of pedogenetic processes in thin sections. In the 90-ies, she drastically changed the sphere of her interests and addresses to mountainous landscapes and geomorphology.

Unfortunately, because of political restrictions in the USSR, Anna Romashkevich had few chances to contact her foreign colleagues: she was among the most popular persons during Wroclaw (1969) and Moscow (1974) International Meetings on Soil Micromorphology. Last year in Adana (Turkey), during the 12th meeting, Ahmed Mermut in his Opening speech said many warm words about her, and people of that generation who knew and highly respected her will transfer to the younger ones her scientific ideas and her image of an extremely honest scientist and charming lady.

in memoriam

Dr. Anna Ivanovna Romashkevich

Anna Romaskevich Dr.Sc, a world-known specialist in soil micromorphology passed on May 24, 2005 (at the age of 79). Anna Romashkevich was a graduate of the Timiriazev Agricultural Academy in Moscow, where her scientific studies as student were concentrated on the stationary lysimeters arranged by Prof. Williams. Later on, being in the staff of the Dokuchaev Soil Institute she became interested in micromorphology and mineralogy; her highly respected teacher was Iraida Feofarova who pertained to the first generation of Academician B.B. Polynov?s school.

Among the early publications of A. Romashkevich was a paper on the micromorphological indications of soil erosion – the first in this area, which, unfortunately, is mostly beyond the scope of micromorphology.

In 1956, she defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled ? Soils of the Krasnodar kray?, where micromorphology already served as an important tool to reveal the genesis of brown forest soils and identify their variants.

When by I.P. Gerasimov organized the Laboratory of Soil Genesis in the Institute of Geography (Ac.Sc. USSR) in 1961, A.R. was among its first and very active members, and she worked there until her retirement. As micromorphologist, she substantiated the studies of Gerasimov on soils of humid (sub)tropical regions, and published her second book on soils and weathering crusts in Western Georgia in 1974.

In the same time, she was the ?conceptual? leader of Russian micromorphologists in the period (late 60-ies – 70-ies) when new ideas and approaches of Kubiena and Brewer reached the Russian ?soil?, namely, a rich factual background (?database?) and traditions. They were very actively discussed: assimilated, rejected, modified. She was among the most creative authors of the National Guide to micromorphological description of soils and terminology (1979), and together with T.Tursina and M.Gerasimova participated in preparing a contribution to the well-known International Handbook of 1985.

A broad experience in micromorphology of diverse soils and her personal genetic-geographic mentality, as well as the ideology of the Laboratory she worked, were the reasons to write her third book ?Micromorhology and Soil Formation? (1982, with M. Gerasimova), which is oriented on the diagnostics of pedogenetic processes in thin sections. In the 90-ies, she drastically changed the sphere of her interests and addresses to mountainous landscapes and geomorphology.

Unfortunately, because of political restrictions in the USSR, Anna Romashkevich had few chances to contact her foreign colleagues: she was among the most popular persons during Wroclaw (1969) and Moscow (1974) International Meetings on Soil Micromorphology. Last year in Adana (Turkey), during the 12th meeting, Ahmed Mermut in his Opening speech said many warm words about her, and people of that generation who knew and highly respected her will transfer to the younger ones her scientific ideas and her image of an extremely honest scientist and charming lady.