Viktor Gavrilyuk (1928–2005) and his role in the study of Chukotka

O. V. Svystun, G. A. Chorna, T. V. Mamchur, M. I. Parubok



Viktor Antonovich Gavrilyuk (21.01.1928–26.11.2005) was a specialist in biology of plants of the Far North, by the will of the fate, devoted the most of his life to teaching activities. Saved personal diaries show how forming of an extraordinary personality occurred, overcoming the difficulties of life and study in the difficult war and post-war years, in Shadrinsk Agricultural Technical School, Kurgan Agricultural Institute at first, and then at Uman Agricultural Institute.

The teachers of V. A. were competent people, devoted to their work: Vera Platonovna Kushnirenko, Nikolai Mikhailovich Voskresensky, Valentin Fedo­rovich Nikolaev, Simon Samoylovich Rubin and many other specialists who managed to inspire the young man with the sciences about nature.

Entering post graduate school of the Komarov Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (BIN) led a young talented researcher to Chukotka, where he conducted stationary field works in 1956–1958 under the guidance by Boris Anatolyevich Tikhomirov, the Professor. V. A. Gavrilyuk studied the flora of the environs of Providence Bay, Chaplinskie hot springs, islands of Arakamchechen, Mechigmen Bay, Senyavin Strait, Senyavin and Lorino hot springs. Scrupulous field research in harsh conditions of the north-east of the Chukotka Peninsula, laboratory processing of extensive personal herbarium collections (used subsequently for the fundamental edition «Arctic flora of the USSR» allowed V. A. Gavrilyuk to defend successfully his dissertation for the degree of the Candidate of Biological Sciences in 1962 (Gavrilyuk,1962).

V. A., being one of the stuff of the Laboratory of Vegetation of the Far North (BIN), took part in botanical researches of the Koryak highland not far from the villages of Kultushnoye and Tilichiki, as well as in the Korfa Bay in the Koryaksky National District of Kamchatka territory in 1960. In 1961, he conducted phenological and eco-biomorphological studies at the Biological Station “Sivaya Maska” and visited the Rayiz mountain in the Polar Ural. Besides the observation kept in field diaries and herbarium, V. A. left watercolour pictures depicting amazing plants, some of which, made on Ladoga station of Leningrad State University, have been saved (Chorna et al., 2017, 2018).

After moving to Uman, more than forty years V. A. worked at first as a teacher and as an Assistant Professor and at last as the Head of the Department of Botany of Uman Agricultural Institute. He took over the leadership of the collection botanical nursery from his former teacher V. F. Nikolaev. Plans of the botanical nursery of 1964–1982, lists of seeds prepared for exchange (Index seminum) (Gavrilyuk, Romanshchak, 1978) indicated about a rich collection. In fact, the floristical nursery was a regional botanical garden cooperated with Moscow, Leningrad, Tallinn, Tartus, Nikitsky, Yerevan botanical gardens, he sent plant seeds to amateur growers.

Working in Uman city, V. A. continued extensive correspondence beginning in the Leningrad period. There were letters and cards of famous scientists addressed to him: Viktor Viktorovich Mazing, Alf Erling Porsild (Porsild, 1957), Doris Benta Maria and Askell Löve, Lawrence and Gweneth Bliss, Nora Korli.

V. A. published, by modern standards, not so many works, but they continue to be cited after a half of century. The fact that Chukotka is floristically one of the most studied region of the world is also a part of his activity. Published diaries of the young scientist can serve as a test for the applicability of beginning researchers of the nature: are they ready for the kind of devotion that was characteristic for V. A. Gavrilyuk.

Section: History of science

How to cite

Svystun O. V., Chorna G. A., Mamchur T. V., Parubok M. I. 2018.Viktor Gavrilyuk (1928–2005) and his role in the study of Chukotka // Vegetation of Russia. N 34. P. 147–153.

Received July 24 2018


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