Dear Yu A!!!! I do not know if you can be considered fortunate to have to put up for so many years with the viper gang of your colleagues, who are ready to poke you with a couple of hairpins on every suitable occasion, starting by commenting on your blue eyes ("forget-me-nots in the milk") and finishing with your natural attention (always mutual!) to the best examples of humankind ("from 2 to 50", etc., etc. – of course all such comments are caused by envy!). No, it is not for us to judge whether or not you are fortunate. But nobody will argue that we are in luck to know you! An old friend (alas, in both senses), wise enough not to be offended by teasing, but quite the opposite, always playing along; not to forget the unfailing sense of humour which helps to reduce tension and alleviate the problems! Fascinated by his bugs, loyal to scientific ethics, productive paleoentomologist – a bright figure in our field, a fine example of youth, and now – also a teacher! Wishing you good health – do not get ill ever again! You have all the rest (happiness, good fortune, luck, love of those around you, far and near) already, but let it be more, more, and more! We love you!
Best memories in my old age are associated with expeditions, and the most pleasant ones were those with Yuri, especially when we went to a small field party. As their symbol I recall Popov, sitting on a hill on the background of flaming Mongolian sunset and displaying minor tunes on the block flute.
About Yuri Alexandrovich Popov
Dr. Yuri Popov is a leading world expert in taxonomy and evolution of fossil true bugs. He described more than 20 new families, subfamilies, and tribes and over 250 new genera and species, based on Mesozoic and Cenozoic amber inclusions and compression fossils from all over the world. Yuri Popov is well-known as one of the founders of higher taxonomy of Heteroptera: three of seven heteropteran infraorders have been established by him (Nepomorpha Popov, 1968, Gerromorpha Popov, 1971, and Leptopodomorpha Popov, 1971). He is involved in research projects with the colleagues from many countries and research institutions. For many years he was the head of the Joint Soviet-Mongolian Paleontological Expedition, and participated in many other field trips to collect fossil and living insects. He has more than 150 publications, including the book "Historical development of true bugs of the infraorder Nepomorpha (Heteroptera)" known to every specialist in the field.