Dr Kristina Toderich gained her PhD in 1988 (Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, Russia). Since then, she has worked on the cyto-embryology of Central Asian desert plants. As Head of the Desert Ecology Department and Water Resources Research (Uzbek Academy of Sciences, Samarkand Division), she has managed in a few years to organize a tight and efficient network of biological and environmental activities with scientists from all over the world, thanks to her personal efforts in communicating in English, Russian and other languages of the Central Asian region. She was awarded several grants both in Uzbekistan and abroad–on behalf of Nakajima Peace and International Matsumae Foundation (Japan), ‘Kasa Mianowskiego’ (Poland), CIRAD (France), IREX (USA), NATO and EU INTAS. She is the author of some 80 publications and is currently working on a monograph ‘Genus Salsola of Central Asian: structure, function and adaptive evolutionary trends’. Dr Kristina Toderich is an active and innovative scientist, well respected by her colleagues because of the quality of her scientific work, her friendly personality and good sense of humour.