Professor Tomasz Wesołowski, 1950 – 2021

We recently received the sad news that Tomasz Wesołowski suddenly passed away on the 27th of July 2021. Many of us knew him as being the President of EOU from 2009-2013, and past president thereafter until 2017. His devotion to European ornithology greatly advanced the EOU, and our gratitude is immense for all his efforts to develop and strengthen our Union. Tomasz always tackled problems with a very positive attitude, recognising opportunities instead of threats. We have all lost a great source of inspiration, friendliness and devotion.

Tomasz devoted his scientific career to avian studies in the primeval forest of Białowieża as he was based in the University of Wrocław. He started his studies of the bird community of Białowieża in 1975 and made very significant additions to our scientific knowledge about bird behaviours and strategies in undisturbed conditions, for example without the use of nest boxes, through more than 150 original papers. His scientific legacy will be inspirational for many of us for a very long time.

Alongside with his scientific work in Białowieża, Tomasz was a very important voice for the protection of the primeval forest. Many of us were approached by Tomasz, who involved international conservationists in this important task. Thanks to the tireless efforts by him and colleagues, the oldest parts of the Białowieża forest outside of the national park had remained unmanaged for a long time, although the struggle still continues. Tomasz is a role model for us as a devoted conservationist with the ability to promote the value of the forest to scientists, politicians and the public. We hope that his students and colleagues can continue this important work.

Tomasz was a wonderful human being. Many of us will remember his unique combination of personal warmth, sharpness of mind, and a wonderful sense of humour. We have all lost a great friend and colleague whom we will deeply miss. Our thoughts are of course with his family in these sad moments.

On behalf of the EOU

Jan-Åke Nilsson, President

Barbara Helm, Past President