Bystrov Alexey Petrovich
outstanding Soviet biologist.
Born in the village of Tarasovo, Ryazan Province, in the family
of a village priest and teacher. Even
in childhood, the boy showed an interest in natural science. Later,
younger brothers and sisters, who also linked life with science,
followed in his footsteps.
Bystrov began his education at a rural school, then he graduated
from a religious school and entered the Ryazan Theological Seminary,
but in the spring of 1918 it was dispersed by the new government.
After serving in the Red Army, Bystrov, thanks to his outstanding
abilities, entered the Military Medical Academy in Petrograd, which
was incredible, given its "unfortunate" origin. After
graduation, he remained in her work.
Bystrov began with studies of human anatomy, published a
number of articles, in 1935, without defending his thesis, received
a PhD in medical sciences.
Gradually, his research interests shifted to paleontology. In
1937, after moving to Moscow, he began working in the department of
lower vertebrates of the Paleontological Institute. According
to the results of this work in collaboration with I.A. Efremov,
he published a monograph for which the authors were subsequently
awarded honorary diplomas from the Linnean Society in England.
In 1939, Bystrov returned to Leningrad, where he was elected
Professor of the Department of Normal Anatomy at the Naval Medical
1940, he defended his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Biological
During the war, on the night of December 1, 1941, Bystrov, along
with other members of the Academy, on ice of Lake Ladoga emerged
from besieged Leningrad. Evacuation
to Kirov and work in a military hospital followed, but even in these
difficult years he did not stop his scientific activities: during
the war years he explored 4.5 thousand human skulls.
Bystrov on the background of skulls
After the war, Bystrov returned to Leningrad and moved to
Leningrad State University, where he taught a course in
1946 he was elected editor of the State All-Russian Paleontological
Society and a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, in
1947 he headed the paleontological laboratory of the Leningrad State
University. In the post-war period, Bystrov published a whole series
of scientific works, among which a fundamental monograph “The past,
present, future of man”, which took more than ten years to take,
occupies a special place. Published
in 1957 at the very end of the author’s life, in 1959 it was
recognized as the best scientific work of 1957–1958 at Leningrad
University, awarded the Prize of the Academic Council and nominated
for the Stalin Prize.
Awarded the Order
of the Red Banner.
Bystrov died in Leningrad and was buried at the Serafimov
Jackson Island in the archipelago of Franz-Josef Land. The
name was given by the Arctic and Antarctic Research
Institute glaciologists in 1960 and approved by the
Arkhangelsk Regional Executive Committee in 1963 (Decision No. 651).