Bruce William Spears
hydrobiologist, zoologist, arctic and antarctic researcher.
Born in Edinburgh in the family of a surgeon, received a medical
before completing the course of medical training in 1892, he went to
Antarctica at the Balana whaler. In
this campaign, Bruce conducted the first scientific observations of
that time in Antarctic waters, which aroused interest in Antarctic
1894, he received permission to participate in the whaling campaign
in the Ross Sea, but could not arrive in Melbourne on time.
At the end of the course, Bruce was engaged in zoological work in
Edinburgh, and in 1896 he joined the Jackson - Harmsworth
expedition to the Franz Josef Land Archipelago. During
the last year of the expedition, he participated in the survey of
the western part of the archipelago and explored the fauna of the
In 1898, Bruce traveled to Kolguev, Novaya Zemlya and
and immediately after returning he joined the expedition of the
Prince of Monaco to Svalbard. The
following year, the expedition to Svalbard repeated: Bruce led a
hydrographic survey of Red-Bay Bay.
During these arctic journeys, he did not give up the idea of
organizing an expedition to the Weddell Sea. In
1902, he finally managed to get material, though non-governmental
support and organize the "Scottish National Antarctic Expedition" on
the ship "Scotia", one of the fastest and most powerful ships,
specially built for polar work. He
commanded an experienced ice captain T. Robertson. The
expedition was provided with a full scientific staff for
oceanographic, meteorological and biological research. It
was they, and not the achievement of a record latitude, that was her
main goal. Two
summer seasons were studied in the Weddell Sea, which had not been
explored before. No
suitable harbor for safe parking was found, and the ship went to the
South Orkney Islands for the winter for research and mapping. Having
discovered the Coates Land at 74° S in
1904, the expedition showed that the coastline of Antarctica extends
several degrees north of its previously assumed position. A
long series of measurements of the depth of the bottom in the South
Atlantic and the Weddell Sea were carried out, in many cases
accompanied by dredging. Bruce
devoted the way back to putting in order and systematizing the
materials and data received. Publication
of the results of the work showed their enormous scientific
significance despite the fact that material costs did not exceed the
amount of 35,000 pounds sterling.
Bruce's long-time dream was the organization of the Ocean
Institute in Edinburgh. He
marked the beginning of his organization by creating the Scottish
In 1910, Bruce unveiled a plan for organizing another Antarctic
expedition, which was to conduct a bathymetric survey of the
Antarctic South Atlantic, and also make an intersection from the
Coats Land to the Ross Sea. Unfortunately,
despite all efforts, it was not possible to find funds for this
Between 1909 and 1920, Bruce made seven visits to Svalbard,
becoming the main authority on this region. His
work included detailed studies and mapping of the coastal zone of
the Prince Charles Land, a hydrographic study of the Stur Fjord, and
the search and study of coal deposits and other minerals.
Bruce was a man who did not chase rewards and fame. Insularity
and dislike of publicity made him little known to the general
public, but he was a gold medalist of the English Royal Geographical
Society (1910), the Scottish Geographical Society (1904), the Royal
Society of Edinburgh (1911), received a medal issued by the American
Geographical Society the centenary of David Livingstone. Bruce
was a member and honorary member of several institutes,
universities, committees, the author of numerous, including
fundamental scientific publications. On
expeditions, he was a real leader, never demanding more from his
comrades than from himself.
Bruce died after a long illness and bequeathed to
dispel his ashes in the high latitudes of the South Atlantic in an
area between 10 and 15° E.
the north of the island of George Land Archipelago Franz Josef Land. Named
expedition F. Jackson in 1897.
the east side of the Raudfjord, Biscay Peninsula, West Spitsbergen
coordinates are 79°
40'N 12° 00'E.
the circuit of Tempel Fjord, West Spitsbergen Island. The
coordinates are 78°
20'N 17° 00'E.
the southeastern coast of the island of Prince Karl forland,
coordinates are 78° 27'N 11° 47'E.