It is my honor to be elected the President of the ISSLR with Mianping Zheng as the Vice-president, Wayne Wurtsbaugh as the Secretary/Treasurer, Tianlong Deng as the Editor, Elena Anufriieva as the young scientists representative and Faith Coleman, Bindy Datson, Zsofia Horvath, Peter Hudson, Katia Hueso and Lichun Ma as the Members-at-Large.
I am involved in salt lake research already for twenty years. My first experience with ISSLR was the active involvement into the organization of the 8th ICSLR which was held at Shira Lake in 2002. With great pleasure I visited the 11th ICSLR in Argentina (2011) and was impressed with diversity and quality of salt lake research around the world. After this conference, I was elected as the Board Member of the ISSLR. Later after 12th ICSLR in China (2014) I was elected the Vice-President of the Society. The next two conferences of the Society in Russia (2017) and Spain (2021) were organized with my active participation.
It is clear that the number of scientists that study inland saline lakes are rather small in comparison with freshwater or marine research communities. However, having not so many members, our society is alive and active. Life at the extreme conditions with astrobiology applications, climate change threats and worldwide salinization, medical and therapeutic properties of saline lakes and associated biota, provision of various ecosystem services from extraction of mineral resources to SPA procedures – all these and many other scientific, economic, environmental and social reasons will increase the interest towards studies of saline lakes in the nearest future.
As the President of the Society, I think our goal is first to keep our successful practices such as organization of regular conferences, prizes for young scientists (best paper awards and Bill Williams awards). Second, we need to attract more scientists to the society. To do this we should combine interests of the society with personal interests/carrier goals of members. I propose that for the next three years we as a society will focus on:
- Creating of working groups (depending on interests, e.g. geology group, soda lakes group, ecosystem services group) which will give an opportunity for many members to be involved in activities of the society
- Collaborative projects among members but also inviting any interested scientists. Collaborative project, which will result in good research and papers, is the best stimulus to join the society.
- Online course/series of webinars. As we are still live in the COVID-19 conditions, online activities can be an efficient and relatively cheap way to broaden our international reputation as a society of experts in saline lakes and related areas.
- Active participation in International programs (UN, EU, UNEP, IPBES, etc.) and projects related not only to studies of saline lakes but also conservation and management (including NGO participation).
- SMM strategy to make our social networks more coherent and visible.
Finally, I promise that, with the help of other board members, I will do what I can, to promote the level of salt lake research, and to expand the Society’s influence.
Institute of Biophysics, Krasnoyarsk Research Center, Russia, 2022