7 November 1840|
Vārkava, Vitebsk Governorate
|Alma mater||University of Heidelberg|
Alexander Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Polish: Aleksander Kowalewski, 7 November 1840 in Vārkava, Vitebsk Governorate (present-day Vārkava Municipality, Latvia) – 1901), also written Alexander Kowalevsky, was a Russian embryologist of Polish descent, who studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg and became professor at St Petersburg.
Kovalevsky discovered that tunicates were not molluscs, but that their larval stage had a notochord and pharyngeal slits, like vertebrates. Further, these structures developed from the same germ layers in the embryo as the equivalent structures in vertebrates, so he argued that the tunicates should be grouped with the vertebrates as chordates. 19th century zoology thus converted embryology into an evolutionary science, connecting phylogeny with homologies between the germ layers of embryos, foreshadowing evolutionary developmental biology.
- Kowalevsky, A (1901). "Les Hedylidés, étude anatomique". Zapiski Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk. 12: 1–32.
- Ereskovsky, Alexander (2012). "Introduction to the Kowalevsky medal issue". Evolution & Development. 14 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1111/j.1525-142X.2011.00516.x.
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- Gilbert, Scott F. (2003). "The morphogenesis of evolutionary developmental biology" (PDF). International Journal of Developmental Biology. 47: 467–477.