Lev Osipovich Belopolsky

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Lev Osipovich Belopolsky
Belopolsky in 1941
Born(1907-07-04)July 4, 1907
DiedNovember 5, 1990(1990-11-05) (aged 83)
ResidenceRussian Empire
Soviet Union
EducationDoctor of Science (1954)
Alma materMoscow State University (1930)
Scientific career

Lev Osipovich Belopolsky (4 July 1907 – 5 November 1990) was a Soviet ornithologist and marine biologist who founded the Biological Station of the Zoological Institute in Rybachiy. He worked extensively on polar ecology especially in the Barents Sea and the Curonian Spit and produced works on the biology of the birds of the region.

Lev Osipovich Belopolsky was born in St. Petersburg. He studied at the Moscow State University graduating in 1930 and obtained a doctorate in 1945. He took part in oceanographic research aboard the icebreaker A. Sibiryakov (1932) and Chelyuskin (1933–1934), the latter expedition ended in disaster with the ship being crushed by ice and the rescue involved the survivors building a runway on ice for the rescue aircraft to land. The incident was famous in its time and used by Joseph Stalin for propaganda.[1][2] Belopolsky was one of the survivors and he received high honours from the Soviet Union for his participation. In early 1950 Belopolsky's brother was held on trial allegedly for spying for England and shot dead. Both his parents were arrested and sent to labour camps and in 1952 he too was sentenced for five years to Siberia. He had to return his awards and it was only after Stalin's death that Belopolsky was released from prison camp. He was rehabilitated and joined the Zoological Institute at Leningrad. The director Professor Eugeny Pawlowski allowed him to continue his research in the Baltic.[3][4]

Belopolsky described the subspecies Parus atricapillus anadyrensis in 1932.[5]


  1. ^ Бианки, B.B.; Паевский, B.A. (2007). "К столетию со дня рождения Льва Осиповича Белопольского (1907–1990)" (PDF). Рус. орнитол. журн. (in Russian). 16 (382): 1363–1392.
  2. ^ Dmitracova, Olesya. "Russia rediscovers story of icebound adventurers". Reuters.
  3. ^ Nowak, Eugeniusz (2005). Wissenschaftler in turbulenten Zeiten (in German). Stock & Stein Verlag. pp. 52–59. ISBN 978-3937447162.
  4. ^ Nowak, Eugeniusz (1998). "Erinnerungen an Ornithologen, die ich kannte". Journal of Ornithology (in German). 139 (3): 325–348. doi:10.1007/bf01653343. ISSN 0021-8375.
  5. ^ Belopolski, L. (1932). Parus atricapillus anadyrensis subsp. nov. Ornithologische Monatsberichte. 40(4):122.