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Svoboda Josef (Foreign Fellow)

Profesor, PhD, D.Sc. Hon causa
Born July 16, 1929 in Prague, † November 21, 2022 in Burlington (Ontario, Canada) 
Married, two children

  • Plant Ecology, arctic plant ecology, and arctic ecosystems structure and function.
  • Member of Learned Society since 2011

Educational and professional preparation

  • Student of Biology and Philosophy at Masaryk University, Brno 1948–49 (Studies interrupted due to 9 y. political imprisonment and rejection of new applications.) Continued at Charles University, Prague 1966–68.
  • B.Sc. (hon), University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, 1970.
  • PhD in Plant Ecology, University of Alberta, Edmonon, Alberta, Canada. 1974.
    Thesis: Primary production of a polar semi-desert at Devon Island, NWT, Canada. Advisor Prof. Laurence C. Bliss.
  • Visiting Researcher at the Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany, 1979–80

Employment and academic positions

  • 1994– Professor Emeritus
  • 1985–94 Professor, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Ont.
  • 1978–85 Associate Professor,
  • 1974–78 Assistant Professor. Appointed to Graduate School.
  • 1973–74 Visiting Assistant Professor, U. of Toronto at Mississauga, Ont.
  • 1965–68 Technician, Botanical Institute, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Brno.

Membership and positions in international organizations and societies

  • Arctic Institute of North America (1972) a Fellow
  • The Ecological Society of America Membership Committee (1974–94)
  • Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (1973)
  • Society for the Study of Human Ideas on Ultimate Reality and Meaning (URAM), and Associate Editor, Biology Section of the URAM Journal (1985)
  • Botanical Society of the Czech Republic (1994–) Honorary member
  • Reviewer for Arctic and Alpine Research, Can. J. Botany, Ecoscience, J. British Ecological Society, etc., (ongoing).
  • Reviewer of research proposals for the US/NSF, NSERC, AINA, etc. (ongoing).

Notable awards

  • 2010 A ten-part series of broad-topic interviews (30 min ea.) broadcasted in April by the Czech Radio, Praha
  • 2010 A personal portrait “Nunatak” (25 min.) produced by the Czech Television in a series “Exemplary personalities”, broadcasted Sept. 20.
  • 2011 A biographical entry in a book: S. Štrbáňová a A. Kostlán (eds.): One hundred Czechs who made the difference abroad. Encyclopedia of prominent Scientists. (in Czech) Academia Praha
  • 1996 3rd annual J.L. Fischer lecture, Palacky University, Olomouc, Nov. 20. Invited speaker.
  • 1995 Honorary Doctorate of Biological Sciences & Golden Medal by the Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 1995 New Pioneers Award for Science and Technology. By Ontario Skills for Change. Toronto.
  • 1994 Northern Science Award & Centenary Medal. Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Government of Canada.
  • 1993 "Recognition” for meritorious work in the Arctic" by the Polar Section of the Czech Geographical Society. Brno.
  • 1992 - Canadian Who is Who
  • 1991 B. Crosariol: J.S. The triumphs of an arctic plant ecologist. In: Canadians who made a difference. Queen’s Quarterly Vol. 98: 80-100.
  • 1979 NATO Senior Science Fellowship.

Selected publications

  • Svoboda, J. 2011. Necessity and Freedom in Designs of Nature. In (Seckbach, et all., eds): Origins of Designs of Nature. Springer, N.Y. 19pp. September – In Press.
  • Svoboda, J. 2009. Evolution of Plant Cold Hardiness and its Manifestation along the Latitudinal Gradient in the Canadian Arctic. In: L.V. Gusta, M.Wisniewski, K.K. Tanino (eds.) Plant Cold Hardiness: From the Laboratory to the Field. pp.140-162. CAB International. 320 pp.
  • Svoboda, J. 2006. Life as an unfolding Biocosmos. A chapter in the book: J. Seckbach (ed.): Life as we know it. P. 431-444. Springer Verlag. New York.
  • Svoboda, J. 2001. Life, Ó Life, from where have you come? Where are you not? In: Algae and extreme environment. Nova Hedvigia, Beiheft 123. Inauguration paper p. 1-12.
  • Elster, Josef and Josef Svoboda. 1996. Algal Diversity, Seasonality, and Abundance, in and along Glacial Stream in Sverdrup Pass, 79°N, Central Ellesmere Island, Canada. Mem. Inst. Polar Res., Spec. Issue. 51: 99-118. Tokyo, Japan.
  • Svoboda, J. and B. Freedman, (eds.) 1994. Ecology of Polar Oasis Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Captus University Publications. Toronto. 268 pp. (includes 14 co-authored papers)
  • Svoboda, J. and G.H.R. Henry. 1987. Succession in marginal arctic environments. Arctic and Alpine Research 19 (4): 373-384.
  • Svoboda, J. 1986. Plants of the High arctic: How do they manage? Chapter in a book: S. Milligan and W. Kupsch (Eds.): Living Explorers of the Canadian Arctic. Outcrop Northern Publ. Yellowknife. 194-225.
  • Svoboda, J., E.A. Hutchison Benson and H.W. Taylor. 1986. Arctic cushion plants as fallout monitors. Journal of Environmental Radiation. 4:65 76.
  • Bliss, L.C., J. Svoboda and D.I. Bliss. 1984. Polar Deserts, their cover and plant production in the Canadian High Arctic. Holarctic Ecology 7:305 324.
  • Svoboda, J. 1977. Ecology and Primary production of raised beach communities, Truelove Lowland. p.185 216. In: Truelove Lowland, Devon Island, Canada. High Arctic Ecosystem. L.C. Bliss (ed.) University of Alberta Press. 714 pp.