In memoriam Prof. Ion Ioniță (1949 ‒ 2022)
In August 2022 the international geomorphological community lost, much too early, an eminent and outstanding Romanian soil erosion expert.
In 1983 I first met Prof. Ion Ionita in Romania during an international conference organized by the IGU-COMTAG Commission (International Geographical Union, Commission on Measurement, Theory and Application in Geomorphology). I recall that at that time during the field excursions in East Romania, Prof. Ionita being one of the co-organizers, very much impressed all participants with his experimental results on soil erosion rates and the impact of soil and water conservation measures. During the following decades I followed his scientific achievements and contacted him to share experiences and data on gully erosion. Prof. Ion Ionita is among the very few researchers worldwide that made long-term observations and detailed measurements about permanent gully dynamics. His dedicated gully monitoring program using various techniques resulted in a unique long-term dataset that sheds light on the initiation and development of large gullies in East Romania, a gully erosion hotspot. He presented his research results, experiences and insights during the successful 6th International Symposium on Gully erosion that he and his colleagues organized in 2013 at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi. Our research collaboration intensified during the following years and resulted in several scientific papers. I will remember Prof. Ion Ionita as a very kind, humane and open-minded person who made many thought-provoking reflections that stimulated intellectual discussions. We will miss his huge scientific experience. We present our sincere condolences to the family and in particular to his wife Violeta who much supported Prof. Ionita throughout his academic career. May his soul rest in peace.