Emil Makovicky passed his early academic years at the University of Bratislava in a circle of several well-known crystallographers. He obtained his PhD at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 1970; his postdoctoral stay was at the Yale University, New Haven, USA. Since autumn 1972 he has been teaching at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, in 1995-2014 as professor of mineralogy, afterwards continuing as emeritus. Crystal chemistry, modular classification and mineralogy in general and especially those of complex sulfides (‘sulfosalts’) were his main point of interest. This resulted in definition of a number of sulfosalt families, homologous and other series, fundamental crystal chemical rules for compounds with lone electron pairs and, with his close colleagues, in new structures and mineral species. Phase relations of platinum-group elements in magmatic ore deposits, element substitutions in the tetrahedrite family, layer-misfit structures, O-D phenomena, as well as symmetries of, and quasiperiodicity in, Islamic and other ornamental arts are other topics of his interest.