Nikolai Mikhailovich Knipovich

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Nikolai Mikhailovich Knipovich
Nikolai Mikhailovich Knipovich
Born (1862-04-06)April 6, 1862
Sveaborg, Finland
Died February 23, 1939(1939-02-23) (aged 76)
Leningrad, Russia
Citizenship Soviet Union / Russia
Nationality Russian
Fields Marine zoology
Alma mater University of St. Petersburg

Nikolai Mikhailovich Knipovich (also Knipowitsch) (25 March (6 April)[note 1] 1862 Sveaborg (present-day Suomenlinna), Finland - 23 February 1939 Leningrad, Russia) was a Soviet ichthyologist, marine zoologist and oceanographer, notable as the founder of fisheries research in the Russian North.



Knipovich graduated from the Saint Petersburg State University in 1886 and went on to defend his master's thesis "Materials for the study of Ascothoracida" in 1892. He was then elected assistant professor of the University in 1893.

From 1894 until 1921 he worked at the Zoological Museum of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. He then became the Professor of biology and zoology in the First Women's Medical Institute (present-day Saint Petersburg State Medical University) in 1911, continuing to fill the position until 1930 .

He became an Honorary Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1935.

Scientific and Industrial Expeditions[edit]

Knipovich organised and led the Scientific Murman Expedition to a location on the Murman coast between 1898 and around 1908,[1][note 2] which marked the beginning of systematic study of the region's biological resources.[2] With the help of two vessels - "Andrey Pervozvanny" and "Pomor", hydrographic observations were carried out at over 1,500 stations and biological studies at about 2,000.[3]

In May 1990 he led an expedition to undertake hydrographic and biological observations from on board the steamship "Andrey Pervozvanny" along Kola from the Murman coast to 73°00'N. He then, in Autumn 1901, drew a chart of currents based on the data gathered on water temperature and salinity and isolated several warm streams. In 1902 he was the first to draw a conclusion on a relationship between distribution and migration of commercial fish in the Barents Sea and warm currents.[4]

His other expeditions included some to the Caspian (1886, 1904, 1912-1913, 1914-1915, 1931–32), Baltic (1902), and Black (1922-1927) Seas.[5] His request to carry out a scientific and industrial expedition to the Azov Sea and secure securing the ship "Besstrashny" was approved by Lenin personally.[6]

International Work and Activism[edit]

Knipovich had extensive experience in international collaboration. In 1901 he attended the Second International Conference of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea in Christiania (present-day Oslo) and was voted one of the vice-presidents of the Council.[7] Between 1926 ans 1927 he was a major proponent of German-Soviet cooperation in the studies of the Barents Sea and heavily involved in the Polar Commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences.[8]


He is the author of numerous monographs on hydrology and fisheries in the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Caspian Sea, Azov Sea, and Black Sea, as well as a number of studies on the taxonomy and ecology of marine invertebrates (molluscs and parasitic barnacles) and on the geological past of the northern seas.


  • Street renamed after him in connection with his 100th anniversary - from "Kol'skaya Street" to "Knipovich Street" in Murmansk, Russia.[5]
  • Mid-Atlantic Ridge named after him - Knipovich Ridge (between Greenland and Spitsbergen).[9]
  • Bay in the Arctic named after him - Knipovich Bay, High Arctic northern Taimyr.[10]
  • Cape named after him - Cape Knipovich (Francis Joseph's Land).[11]
  • Vessels named after him - sailing boat "Nikolay Knipovich", onboard of which regular oceanographic observations were carried out between 1928 and 1941 on the "Kola Section",[4] and R/V "Akademik Knipovich", a Russian research vessel, which collected materials between 1965 and 1967.[2][12]
  • The Knipovich Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO) was named after him in 1935.
  • Honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1935.

Selected Publications[edit]

  • Knipovich, N.M. (1892). Materials for the study of Ascothoracida (Materialy k poznaniiu gruppy Ascothoracida). St. Petersburg: Tip. V. Demakova. p. 155. 
  • Knipovich, N.M. (1902). Expedition for Research and Fisheries Investigations at the Murman Coast (1898-1990). p. 605. 
  • Knipovich, N.M. (1906). Principles of Hydrology in the European Arctic Ocean. St. Petersburg: Tip. M.M. Stasyulevich. p. 1518. 
  • Knipovich, N.M. (1914-15). Hydrological Explorations in the Caspian Sea. Petrograd. 
  • Knipovich, N.M. (1923). Identification guide of the fishes of the Black and Azov Seas (Opredelitel Ryb Chernogo i Azovskogo morei). Moscow. p. 144. 
  • "Hydrological investigations in the Black Sea.". Scı. work of the Azov-Black-Sea scientific producers expedıtion (Moscow) (10): 272. 1939. 

List of taxa named in honour of N.M. Knipovich[edit]


References and Bibliography[edit]

  1. ^ Horensma, Pier (1991). The Soviet Artic. Routledge. p. 18/228. ISBN 0415055377. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b A. F. Alimov, V. N. Tanasijtshuk and S. D. Stepanjants (1999). "The Collections of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences as the Basis for Studies on Species Diversity". Russian Journal of Zoology (International Academic Publishing Co (Nauka/Interperiodica)) 78 (9): 349–368. ISSN 1560-0912. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ Mills, W.J. (2003). Exploring Polar Frontiers [2 Volumes]: A Historical Encyclopedia. Oxford, England: ABC CLIO. p. 62/797. ISBN 1576074226. 
  4. ^ a b "Historical review of oceanographic observations in the Kola Section". Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Nikolai Mikhailovich Knipovich". Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO). Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ V.I. Lenin. On N.M. Knipovich's Note
  7. ^ "Second International Conference for the Exploration of the Sea, Christiania, 1901". International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. May 1901. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ Ludecke, Cornelia; Lajus, Julia (2010). "6. The Second International Polar Year 1932-1933". In Barr, Susan Barr and Ludecke, Cornelia. The History of the International Polar Years (IPYs). Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 150–51/319. ISBN 3642124011. 
  9. ^ Knipovich Ridge
  10. ^ "Effects of Climate Variation on the Breeding Ecology of Arctic Shorebirds" ed. Hans Meltofte (2007)
  11. ^ Cape Knipovich
  12. ^ AKADEMIK KNIPOVICH - IMO 6510356
  13. ^ Fishbase: Knipowitschia longecaudata
  14. ^ Fishbase: Knipowitschia mrakovcici


  1. ^ Julian/Gregorian calendar change occurred in Knipovich's lifetime. The date in brackets indicates the date on the Gregorian calendar.
  2. ^ Four sources stated four different dates: 1901 ("VNIRO"), 1907 ("The Soviet Artic"), 1908 ("Exploring Polar Frontiers: A Historical Encyclopedia") and 1909 ("he Collections of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences as the Basis for Studies on Species Diversity"). The source cited states 1907, but also adds: "around 10 years" as the duration of the expedition. This apparent confusion is possibly due to the fact that the expedition faced difficulties in its final years and it is therefore more difficult to establish the exact end date.

Further reading[edit]