Postels Alexander Filippovich

Russian mineralogist, naturalist, traveler, honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, participant of circumnavigation F.P. Litke, researcher of Kamchatka.
Born in a pastor's family in Dorpat. In 1816 he entered to study at the Main Pedagogical Institute, which was transformed into a university in 1819, but until 1824 acted according to the charter of the Main Pedagogical Institute, until the charter of Moscow University was introduced in it. In February 1823, he graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics with a candidate’s degree and a silver medal, and was left at the university as a master of mineralogy and geognosy.
In 1826, he began to teach the course of inorganic chemistry at the university, but in August of that year he set off on the Senyavin military sloop under the command of F.P.Litke as a mineralogist and draftsman on a trip around the world, from which he returned in 1829 with a large supply of natural-historical materials, the processing of which he devoted a number of subsequent years. Postels became the first scientist of St. Petersburg University to take part in a scientific expedition, the result of which was an extensive collection of animals, insects, birds, herbaria, a collection of rocks and minerals. All collections were equipped with sketchbooks. For his published works, Postels was awarded the full Demidov Prize from the Academy of Sciences, and also received the Order of St. Vladimir 4 degrees.
Since 1830, Postels has been an assistant to Professor Sokolov in the teaching of mineralogy; May 6, 1831 received the title of Associate Professor in the Department of Mineralogy and Geognosy of St. Petersburg University and was simultaneously invited to the Academy of Sciences as the curator of the Mineralogical Museum (which he remained until the end of 1837); later also was appointed keeper of the Ethnographic office. In February 1833, he became an adjunct in mineralogy at the Main Pedagogical Institute. He was also invited to teach mineralogy at the Practical Institute of Technology.
From January 1, 1835 to January 11, 1837 he was an inspector of private boarding schools and schools in St. Petersburg. In 1835 he taught mineralogy at the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology.
In January 1836, due to the abolition of the post of associate professor of mineralogy at the university, Postels became a teacher of natural sciences at the School of Law, as well as an extraordinary professor of mineralogy at the Main Pedagogical Institute (from August 31, 1839 he was an ordinary professor).
In 1837 he was appointed director of the 2nd St. Petersburg Gymnasium. Having accepted the gymnasium in a neglected form, he set about putting it in proper order, quickly reconstructed the gymnasium building, eliminated the old crampedness and other inconveniences of the premises, improved the maintenance of boarders, and requested the separation of three lower classes overcrowded into parallel departments, finding the funds needed for this, and in two years brought the gymnasium to a new level; according to one of the pupils of the gymnasium of that time, “with the introduction of Postels, significant transformations began in the gymnasium, attention was paid to both teaching teachers and pupils' classes, tutors were established on duty, attention was paid to learning new languages, and the moral level was raised”.
He also taught natural sciences to the Grand Duchesses Maria and Catherine and supervised the upbringing and education of the children of Prince Oldenburg. In 1845 he was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir of the 3rd degree.
Full member of the Russian Geographical Society since September 19 (October 1), 1845.
After 25 years of service, February 25, 1848 Postels was dismissed from the post of professor at the Pedagogical Institute; December 7, 1849 was promoted to full state councilors. In 1850, he was appointed a member of the Committee for the Review of Training Manuals, in 1855 - a member of the commission for the review of marine educational institutions, and on February 7, 1856 - a member of the Main Board of the schools, with the dismissal of the director of the 2nd St. Petersburg Gymnasium.
In 1862, he was a member of the Committee for drawing up a draft of a new education for maritime educational institutions and on April 17 was promoted to Privy Councilor. When the Main Board of the schools was abolished, on July 1, 1863 he was appointed a member of the Council of the Minister of Education. In 1866 he was elected an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences.
He died in Vyborg, was buried in St. Petersburg, at the Smolensk Lutheran cemetery.
Cape (Postels or Engelukan) in the southeast of Ytygran island in the Bering Strait. Named in 1826 by F.P. Litke.


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