Vladimir Lipskiy

Vladimir Lipskiy

Ukrainian scientist, botanist, member of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences
Date of Birth: 11.03.1863
Country: Ukraine

Vladimir Lipsky Biography

Vladimir Lipsky was a Ukrainian scientist, botanist, and member of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences. He was born on March 11, 1863, in the village of Samostrely in the Rovno region of Ukraine. Lipsky came from a family of priests, with his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all serving as clergy. In 1873, the Lipsky family moved to Zhytomyr.

Lipsky attended Zhytomyr Gymnasium, and in 1881, he graduated from the Pavlo Halagan Collegium with a gold medal. In 1887, he completed his studies at Kiev University. One of the key influences on Lipsky's career as a scientist was I. F. Shmalhausen, the head of the department of plant systematics and morphology. From 1887 to 1894, Lipsky held various positions at the botanical garden of Kiev University, including curator and assistant professor.

Starting in 1889, Lipsky participated in scientific expeditions to the Caucasus and Northern Iran. From 1894 to 1917, he worked at the Main Botanical Garden in St. Petersburg, where he held positions as a junior and senior curator of the herbarium, chief botanist, and eventually head of the living plants department. He took part in scientific expeditions to the Caucasus, Altai, and Central Asia to study the high-mountain flora of these regions.

In 1917, Lipsky returned to Ukraine and played an active role in the establishment of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. He chaired the botany department of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and served as its president from 1922 to 1928. From 1928 to 1933, he served as the director of the Botanical Garden in Odessa. Lipsky's scientific works focused on floristics, plant systematics and geography, herbarium work, principles of organizing botanical gardens, and the history of botany. He was one of the first scientists to provide a scientific description of the flora of Indonesia, Tunisia, Algeria, and Central Asia. Lipsky described four new genera and 220 new plant species, with 45 of them named in his honor. He authored 82 scientific papers.

After completing his university education, Lipsky participated in numerous scientific expeditions in Podolia, Bessarabia, Crimea, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. In 1889, he published his first scientific work, "Research on the Flora of Bessarabia," which included the description of a new plant species, Valerianella bessarabica Lipsky. Lipsky's expedition reports were published in the "Notes of the Kiev Society of Naturalists."

From 1889 onwards, Vladimir Lipsky visited the Caucasus multiple times to study the region's plant life. He also traveled to Northern Iran to study the unique flora and conduct comparative research. At the recommendation of the first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, V.I. Vernadsky, Lipsky was elected as the director of the new botanical garden in Kyiv on December 30, 1918. In addition to overseeing the Botanical Garden, Lipsky also led the department of flowering plants at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and actively participated in the organization of various academic structures, particularly those related to natural sciences.

In 1919, Lipsky was unanimously elected as a full member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, becoming a member of its board in 1920 and vice-president in 1921. He initiated the creation of the Botanical Garden of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, developing its plan and initiating its practical establishment in the courtyard of the Academy's Presidium on Volodymyrska Street in Kyiv. The current Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences was established in 1935 in the Zverinec district of Kyiv.

In August 1919, when the secretary of the second department of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, S.P. Timoshenko, left the country, Lipsky assumed his responsibilities. In October 1921, Lipsky was elected as a companion of the Academy's president. However, the Soviet government's interference in the activities of scientific organizations affected Lipsky's career. A commission from the People's Commissariat of Education of Ukraine was formed to assess the work of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. The commission accused the academy's leadership, including Lipsky as the president, of violating Soviet laws, labeling their actions as political offenses.

In 1928, Lipsky resigned from his position as president of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. He moved to Odessa on June 21, 1928, and became the director of the Odessa Botanical Garden. During his time in Odessa, Lipsky made significant contributions to the revival and expansion of scientific work in the garden, the training of young scientists, and the organization of its herbarium.

From 1927 to 1930, Lipsky studied algae in the Black Sea, particularly in the area near the Karadag Hydrobiological Station. He researched the impact of vegetation in the Atmanai Estuary of the Sea of Azov on the formation and deposition of salts. He also participated in the work of the Ukrainian Institute of Rubber and Rubber-bearing Plants, with a particular focus on studying red algae. Lipsky's efforts led to the establishment of the first iodine plant in Ukraine in 1931, utilizing a type of red algae as a raw material for iodine and agar-agar production.

Lipsky served as the director of the Odessa Botanical Garden until 1933 when he resigned due to his disagreement with the ideas of T.D. Lysenko. He continued to work as a scientific consultant for the botanical garden in Odessa until his death. In 1936, he embarked on his final scientific trip to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Vladimir Lipsky passed away on February 24, 1937, in Odessa.