Middendorf Alexander Fedorovich 

Russian naturalist and traveler, academician. 
Born in Petersburg. His ancestors settled in Livonia at the beginning of the XVI century, were merchants, and his great-grandfather and grandfather were pastors. Middendorf's father graduated from the University of Jena, served as a home teacher, after moving to Petersburg in 1803, he taught German at the provincial gymnasium. By the time his son was born, he worked as a teacher of German and Latin literature at the Pedagogical Institute in St. Petersburg. Since the marriage of the parents was not registered, and this could adversely affect the career of the father, the mother and the children lived separately. Only nine years after the birth of Middendorf, the parents formed their relationship, and the family was reunited in St. Petersburg. 
During the years 1824–1832  Middendorf studied at the 3rd St. Petersburg Gymnasium, at a private school and at the Main Pedagogical Institute, and in the period 1828–1831 he combined his studies with the office of clerk in the department of manufactures and domestic trade of the Ministry of Finance. In 1832–1837  he completed a course at Dorpat (Tartu) University, graduating from which he defended his thesis for the degree of doctor of medicine. After that, to deepen his knowledge, he went to Germany and Austria, where he worked under the guidance of the greatest scientists of that time. 
After returning to Russia in 1839  he became a professor of zoology at Kiev University. 
Since 1852  Middendorf is a full member, and since 1865 - an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, since 1845 a member and since 1883 an honorary member of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. 
In 1840  together with K.M. Baer Middendorf traveled around the Kola Peninsula. 
In 1842–1845 on behalf of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences  Middendorf traveled across Siberia, passed along the Yenisei from Krasnoyarsk to the lower reaches, crossed the Taimyr and descended to the mouth of the Taimyr. He was essentially the first researcher to provide basic information on the geography and orography of the Taimyr region. Returning to Krasnoyarsk, Middendorf, through Yakutsk, reached the Shantar Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk. His report was the most complete natural historical description of Siberia. Especially important were his findings on the distribution of permafrost and the zonal distribution of vegetation in Siberia. He compiled an extensive ethnographic description of the population of Taimyr, the Yenisei region, the Amur region, and others. The Russian Academy of Sciences gave a brilliant assessment of the activities of the Siberian expedition of Middendorf. 
Later he explored the Barabinsk Steppe and the Fergana Valley.


Middendorf Stone


In 1861  the Imperial Russian Geographical Society awarded Middendorf with its highest award, the Konstantin medal. 
In 1867 Middendorf accompanied Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich in Russia, in 1868 - Vladimir Alexandrovich, and in 1870 - Alexei Alexandrovich in touring the White Sea and Novaya Zemlya, and made important observations regarding the Gulf Stream to the east of the Nordkap.


Middendorf Cave

(named N.N. Urvantsev)

Middendorf owns a number of valuable studies on the Russian fauna of modern and fossil, in geography, especially physical. In 1888 , he was awarded the highest award of Russian zoologists - the  Gold Medal  K.M.Baer. 
The Siberian expedition, full of hardships, had a very negative effect on Middendorf's once mighty health. He was often ill, but still led a very active lifestyle for many decades, and only in the early 1880s began to complain of poor health. In one of the letters, Middendorf reported that he feels badly that his body, “which in the past was well tolerated both by the adversities of the polar countries and by the heat of the Fergana Valley, is now tired ...”. He developed an acute form of rheumatism, he lost the ability to move independently, and from the beginning of the 1890s he was forced to use an armchair on wheels. At the end of 1892  Middendorf could no longer walk, sit or read. 
He died at his estate in Gellenorm (Dorpat County) and was buried in the family cemetery. At the request of Middendorf, an unworked stone was placed on his grave with the inscription “Dr.Alexander von Middendorf" with dates of birth and death.The cemetery and the grave are still preserved. 
Cape southwest of Icy Harbor Bay on the east coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named in 1870 by the captain of the Norwegian schooner "Polar Star" Mack. 
Cape in the Taimyr Gulf in the Nordensheld archipelago. Named in 1878 by  N.A.- E. Nordenskiöld. 
Cape (Gellenorm) in the Taimyr Gulf in the Nordenskjold archipelago. Called  by E.V. Toll in memory of his teacher Middendorf, who was buried in the village of Gellenorm in Estonia (now Hellenurme). 
Cape on the north coast of Greenland in the Lincoln Sea. 
Mountain on the island of Edge Svalbard archipelago. The coordinates are 78° 10'N   21º 30'E. Named in 1871  by the zoologist T. Geyglin.

Glacier on the island of Rudolf archipelago Franz Josef Land. Named in 1874 by Yu. Payer. 
Bay and cape on the shore of Khariton Laptev. The bay named in 1900 by E.V. Toll.


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