Prof. Vladimir I. Chikatunov
Curator of Coleoptera, the Steinhardt Museum
Prof. Vladimir I. Chikatunov is a curator of Coleoptera at the Steinhardt Museum. Vladimir received his PhD from the Tajik University, Dushanbe, and the Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia (then USSR), in 1967 under supervision of a famous zoologist and entomologist, Prof. I.K. Lopatin. Vladimir’s PhD thesis combined two of his main passions, zoology and mountaineering, and was devoted to the Composition and ecology of insects of the Alpine part of the Gissar Range. Later, Vladimir received his DSc degree from the Institute of Zoology, Kiev, Ukraine, by submitting a thesis on the Coleoptera of the mountain regions of Central Asia.
Shortly after his arrival to Israel in 1992, Vladimir was employed as a coleopterist in the insect collection of the Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University (presently part of the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History), where he remained a curator of the Coleoptera until his retirement. Vladimir undertook a Herculean job turning scattered beetle holdings into one well-curated and mostly identified collection. Vladimir also undertook numerous field trips all over Israel, from Mt. Hermon in the north to Elat in the south (including a week-long expedition to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt), collecting and mounting thousands of beetles, many of them representing species new to the Israeli fauna or undescribed. Vladimir published over 50 articles dedicated to the coleopteran fauna and zoogeography in Israel, including three books on the beetle faunas of Nahal Oren and Nahal Keziv. After his retirement Vladimir continues his curatorial activities in the collection.