Wladimir Besnard

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Wladimir Besnard (1890, St. Petersburg, Russia – 1960, São Paulo, Brazil) was a French biologist [1] and Brazilian oceanographer, and is considered to be the father of Brazilian oceanography.[2]

He was born in the Russian Empire of French parents.

As a biologist he is credited (together with Theodore Monod) with the discovery of the skeleton of the Asselar man in 1927 [2][3] (although various sources refer to him as M.M. Besnard or M.V. Besnard).

An oceanographic ship, some undersea features (Besnard Bank, Besnard Passage[4]), and a street in São Paulo (Rua Professor Wladimir Besnard) are named in his honor.

Oceanographic ship[edit]

RS Professor Wladimir Besnard

During 1967-2008 Brazil operated the "Professor W. Besnard", its only oceanographic vessel at that time. The ship was launched on August 18, 1966 from the shipyard Mjellem & Karlsen, Norway, and belonged to the Institute of Oceanography of the University of São Paulo. In 1988 the ship suffered damage from a fire. In 2012 a new ship, the Alpha Crucis, has replaced the "Professor W. Besnard".[2][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wladimir Besnard" at neglectedscience.com
  2. ^ a b c Homenagem aos mestres: esculturas na USP, vol. 5 of "Cadernos CPC", 2002, ISBN 8531406862, Biographical sketch of W. Besnard
  3. ^ "Théodore MONOD Souvenirs sahariens d'un vieux géologue amateur.", TRAVAUX DU COMITÉ FRANÇAIS D'HISTOIRE DE LA GÉOLOGIE - Deuxième série - T.4 (1986)
  4. ^ 22nd Meeting of the GEBCO Subcommittee on Undersea Feature Names Items 73a, 73d
  5. ^ "Novo navio oceanográfico da USP já está a caminho do Brasil"