Mesyatsev Ivan Illarionovich

A zoologist and oceanologist, in the early years of Soviet power, organized the research work of floating laboratories, created a scientific school of Soviet oceanologists, headed large marine institutes.
Born in the Krasnodar Territory, early became an orphan. After graduating from the Vladikavkaz Gymnasium, he entered the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology. Vigorous revolutionary activity prevented him from learning - he was arrested four times. In 1909, he was denied access to metropolitan institutions, and he continued his studies in the natural department of Moscow State University. One of the practices took place in Aleksandrovsk-on-Murman (now Polar), where he worked at a biological station.
In 1912 he graduated from the University in Mesyatsev, and from that period he established two hobbies: field research and experimentation in the field of cytology, histology, and embryology. Becoming an assistant at the Department of Zoology at Moscow University, he was engaged in research and teaching.
After the revolution,  Mesyatsev returned to the problems of the North. He was one of the initiators of the creation and the first director of the Plavmornin Committee (now the All-Russian Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography). In 1921 he organized and led an oceanological expedition in the Barents Sea on the icebreaker ship "Malygin". Much effort was made by  Mesyatsev to create a special vessel for ocean research. This ship was the famous "Perseus". In the 1920s not a single undertaking in the sea fishery managed without the participation of Mesyatsev. He led many campaigns on the Perseus: to the New Land and the Land of Franz-Joseph, to the Barents and Kara Seas.
In 1929 Mesyatsev became a professor and director of the State Oceanographic Institute, initiated the creation of two of its branches: in Arkhangelsk and Kandalaksha.
He was a general scientist. He studied amoeba and mollusks, the fauna of Baikal and the Caspian Sea, was a morphologist, anatomist, histologist, embryologist, ichthyologist and oceanographer, and to all this - an excellent teacher. In the last years of his short life, Months headed the department of zoology at the Moscow City Pedagogical Institute and the Department of Darwinism at the State Pedagogical Institute.
He died in Moscow, buried in the wall of the Novodevichy Monastery.
Cape in the north of the island of Eva Liv in the group of islands of White Land north of Franz Josef Land. Named by cartographers in the 1950s.


Eva Liv Island. In the background you can see the peninsula with Cape Mesyatsev

(photo by N. M. Stolbov)


Ps. On September 7, 2018 the Arctic expedition team on the yacht "Alter Ego" discovered that Cape Mesyatsev is an island separated from the island of Eva-Liv by a strait.  It is proposed to call this strait by the name of the pioneering vessel - Alter Ego.


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