Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Berg, Lev Semenovich (Russia 1876-1950)
ichthyology, geography, natural history
from Wikipedia.org |Berg
may be ranked among the greatest Russian geographers of the twentieth
century. His some seven hundred publications, including several dozen
books, explored subjects ranging from biogeography, evolutionary theory
and taxonomy, to limnology, climatology, soils and the history of
geography--and to all these studies he must be counted an important
contributor. Berg first carved out a name for himself through his
ichthyological studies in Central Asia; this led to an increasing
interest in soils, geomorphology and climatology. In 1922 he authored
a controversial work entitled Nomogenesis which attempted
to downplay the role of natural selection in evolution, denied monophyletic
origins, and rather strongly invoked teleological forms of explanation.
Over the second half of his life he was in constant demand, holding
several important professional/administrative positions simultaneously
at any given time. Somehow Berg also found the time to take an interest
in the history of geography over the last third of his career, and
on this subject too he managed to turn out several books and a host
of significant shorter writings. Berg's writings on regional geography
are probably his most important overall--and especially those leading
to his system of natural regions classification (as described in the
most influential of his writings that was translated into English,
Natural Regions of the U. S. S. R.).
--born in Bendery, Bessarabia, Russia, on 14 February
--1898: takes first-degree diploma in zoology, Moscow University
--1899-1903: inspector of fisheries in the Aral Sea region
--1902-1903: studies oceanography in Bergen, Norway
--1904-1913: zoologist and director of ichthyology section, Zoological
Museum of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences
--1908: publishes his The Aral Sea
--1909: Ph.D. in geography
--1913-1918: professor of ichthyology, Moscow Agricultural Institute
--1915: awarded Konstantinovsky Medal of the Russian Geographical Society
--1917-1950: professor of physical geography, Petrograd University, Leningrad
--1918-1930: head of the lake department of the State Hydrology Institute
--1922: publishes his Nomogenesis
--1922: publishes his Climate and Life
--1922-1934: head of applied ichthyology section, State Institute
of Experimental Agronomy
--1927: publishes his Fundamentals of Climatology
--1928-1946: corresponding member, USSR Academy of Sciences
--1930-1934: associate, Geomorphological Institute, USSR
--1934: made Honored Scientist of the RSFS.
--1934-1950: head of the fossil fish section, Zoological Institute of
the Academy of Sciences
--1940-1950: president, All-Union Geographical Society of the USSR
--1946: elected academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences
--1947-1952: publishes his Geographical Zones of the U. S. S. R.
--1948-1949: publishes his Freshwater Fish of the U. S. S. R. and
--1950: publishes his Natural Regions of the U. S. S. R.
--dies at Leningrad, RSSR, on 24 December 1950.
--1951: poshumously receives the Stalin Prize
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 1 (1970).
--Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Vol. 3 (1973).
--Who Was Who in the USSR (1972).
--Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 97(1)
Review, Vol. 41(4) (1951): 673-675.
--Geographers: Biobibliographical Studies, Vol. 5 (1981): 1-7.
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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