Margalith Galun will be well known to all those present here today for her research into lichen symbiosis, the results of which have been a major feature of international conferences and journals over the years. As well as a considerable output of scientific papers and the editorship of “Symbiosis”, an international journal she was responsible for establishing in 1985, Margalith took on the onerous task of editing the “Handbook of Lichenology” for CRC Press. According to her husband, Esra, Margalith likes challenges, and this proved to be just that: I am personally aware of the hard work she put into this project, particularly when she found herself in the position of having to omit certain chapters, or write them herself, when a number of would-be contributors failed to honour their promises.
Margalith has worked tirelessly for the IAL, being a firm believer in the importance of international co-operations; not only has she attended many of its meetings, but she has also been an active member of its committee, serving as Vice-President from 1987 to 1993 and organizing the successful International Symbiosis Congress in Jerusalem in November 1991. The imposition of political and financial constraints have often put difficulties in Margalith’s way, but she has surmounted such problems, frequently at considerable self-sacrifice, with the result that Tel-Aviv is internationally acclaimed as a centre of excellence for the study of lichens. The outstanding success of Margalith’s many research students testifies to her inspirational guidance. In addition to all her lichenological activities, Margalith shoulders a heavy burden of administrative duties arising from senior academic positions held at the University of Tel-Aviv.
Margalith and I have been friends for many years and we have spent many happy and profitable times together; the time I spent with her in Israel in 1976 was an experience I shall never forget, and I know that many other lichenologists have similar fond memories of her warm hospitality and unquenchable enthusiasm for lichenology.
Margalith is unquestionable one of the world’s foremost lichenologists and is undoubtedly deserving of the Acharius Medal.
Shalom oo-veracha, Margalith
– Mark Seaward