Honorary Members

Biotechnological Hub of the NIB (BTH-NIB)

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Honorary Members of the National Institute of Biology

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The National Institute of Biology awards this esteemed title The Honorary Member of the National Institute of Biology to researchers who are not employed at the Institute, yet who, through their years of hard work, have contributed to its reputation and scientific excellence.

The plaque of Prof. Dr. Miroslav Zei was designed by academic sculptor Vladimira Štóviček.

Ceremonial certificate for the Honorary Member of the National Institute of Biology Award and the Miroslav Zei Plaque (Photo: Žiga Ivanc)
Professor Dr Kazimir Tarman set off on his scientific research path in biology in the fields of invertebrate taxonomy, morphology and physiology, and went on to gradually broaden his work to include research of organisms in interactions with the environment. His vast scope enabled him to adopt a scientifically grounded approach to a number of ecological problems caused by social development - from an understanding of the mission of ecology to problems pertaining to natural preservation in the broadest sense or to individual organisms. He has selflessly and continuously offered his knowledge to students at his lectures and as a mentor for undergraduate, masters and doctoral theses. He has also shared his knowledge in his numerous books. The height of his work in generating ecological awareness among the Slovenian public is the first Slovenian textbook on ecology, Osnove ekologije in ekologija živali (The Basics of Ecology and Animal Ecology), although to him, this important book is probably just one of many milestones on his scientific and professional path. The National Institute of Biology never had the honour of welcoming Professor Tarman as its member. Regardless, with his work and ideas he is ubiquitous at the Institute and has a considerable heritage there. Considering the pronounced lack of ecological culture and knowledge in society, Professor Tarman’s work has provided the sole professional basis for many researchers at the Institute. He has never shied away from taking responsibility as an outside mentor or a project leader. The acceptance of honorary membership in the National Institute of Biology by a researcher and intellectual as esteemed as Professor Kazimir Tarman is also a tremendously important honour for the Institute itself.

Prof. dr. Kazimir Tarman (Photo: Archive NIB)
Doctor Guy Van Den Eede’s research career started at the laboratory of Genetics at Ghent University in Belgium, where the bases for gene transfer to plants were discovered. For the last 20 years, Dr. Van Den Eede has been working at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy. He is the head of the Molecular Biology and Genomics Unit, which is the reference laboratory for the genetically modified food and feed and provides a scientific and technical support to policy development from the field. As a head of the European network of GMO laboratories doctor Van Den Eede, has been cooperating tightly with us since we have started with the detection of genetically modified organisms and he has opened us the door to this network. Our intensive cooperation with him resulted in several reputable publications. His support is also important for the National Institute of Biology when it comes to its role of the National Reference Laboratory, providing scientific and technical assistance to the competent authorities for the implementation of official control. With his visits to the National Institute of Biology, lectures and opinions, Guy Van Den Eede importantly influenced the establishment of the Biological Safety System in Slovenia; doing so also during NIB’s heading of the UNEP-GEF project, which was one of the key steps in the implementation of the system. At the European Union level he gave the initiative for common research work on co-existence and traceability of GMOs resulting in a sixth framework's project COEXTRA, in which the institute held one of the key roles in developing new technologies for GMO detection. Doctor Van Den Eede served as an auditor during the Institute’s self-evaluation process, and his constructive comments importantly contributed to our Institute's further steps and strategies.

Dr. Guy Van Den Eede (Photo: Archive NIB)
The research path of Prof. Dr. Ron van Noorden spans 35 years of active work at the Department of Cell Pathology and Histology at the University of Amsterdam. He gained recognition as an expert in enzyme histochemistry and metabolic mapping. Over the past 25 years, he has applied quantification using image analyses to these research fields.

Professor Ron van Noorden’s cooperation with the National Institute of Biology began 15 years ago in the field of research of proteases in cancer and their role in tumour progression. Professor van Noorden regularly visits the Institute to conduct joint research and to consult the Institute in the field of proteases and also in the field of exotoxicology research of the characteristics of cyanobacterial blooms. Recently, he has been helping the Institute develop an animal model for zebrafish for use in cancer toxicology and biology. Additionally, he is generally a strong supporter and promoter of the Institute’s activities in the international arena.

Director of the National Institute of Biology, Prof. Dr. Tamara Lah Turnšek presents the Award to Prof. Dr. Ron van Noorden. (Photo: Žiga Ivanc)
Prof. dr. Tom Turk is a top-notch researcher of bioactive substances produced by marine organisms. Strictly speaking, Turk is involved in the scientific study of biochemical processes, while in a broader sense his professional endeavours take place in the sphere of biology and marine ecology. Turk has made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of marine biodiversity of the Slovenian sea and the Adriatic and can be considered a pioneer in the field of Adriatic opistiobranch gastropod research. Turk is a major authority on Adriatic and Mediterranean marine fauna ; this aspect of his activities resulted in the publication of two comprehensive monographs: »Živalski svet Jadranskega morja« [Fauna of the Adriatic Sea] and »Pod gladino Mediterana« [Under the surface of the Mediterranean].

Prof. Turk devotes a great deal of attention to scientific outreach activities and environment protection. He is an active member of editorial boards of National Geographic Junior and National Geographic Slovenia. His engagement in outreach activities is also apparent in two publications marked by a particular artistic touch: »Ambasadorji morja« [Ambassadors of the Sea] and »Piran, kjer si podata roko morje in mesto« [Piran, where the sea holds hands with the town). To acknowledge this aspect of his activities, Turk he has been awarded the “Prometheus of Science Award” in 2006. As an enthusiastic diver and an excellent underwater photographer, Turk has been awarded the bronze plaque of the Slovenian Divers Association.

Turk has co-authored several textbooks for university and secondary school students. One among the latter has been awarded the bronze medal at the Frankfurt Book Fair in the scope of the best textbook of 2012 competition. In his professional career Turk was Head of the Chair for Biochemistry at the Biotechnical Faculty for several years and served several terms as the Vice Dean of the Biotechnical Faculty for the field of Biology and a member of both the Senate and the Management Board of the Biotechnical Faculty. Performing these duties, Turk was constantly aware of the importance of maintaining intensive cooperation between the Biotechnical Faculty and NIB and actively promoted NIB. During all his terms as the Vice Dean Turk actively supported the productive cooperation between the Department of Biology and NIB, even when particular interests of both organisations diverged to a certain extent. His conviction that cooperation between the two institutions is extremely important for general progress in the field of Biology, despite some difference of opinion between individual researchers and teachers, has been manifested in a number of joint projects, BSc, MSc and PhDs theses as well as inclusion of NIB researchers into the pedagogical process at the University of Ljubljana.

The award Honorary Member of NIB Award was awarded to Prof. Tom Turk.