Cashier:

Excursions:

Activity:

Schedule:

  • mon: Museum is closed
  • sat: 09:00—18:00
  • sun: 10:00—18:00
  • tues-fri: 10:00—18:00

Schedule:

mon:

Museum is closed

sat:

09:00—18:00

sun:

10:00—18:00

tues-fri:

10:00—18:00

FYODOR BOGDANOVICH SCHMIDT

190 years since the birth of the Russian botanist, geologist and paleontologist.

Fedor Bogdanovich Schmidt (1832-1908) - an outstanding Russian botanist, geologist and paleontologist, who made a significant contribution to the study of Sakhalin. January 15 was the 190th anniversary of his birth.

The future scientist was born in his father's Kaisma estate in Livonia province. His childhood spent in the countryside, long walks in the woods, meadows and marshes with their diverse flora contributed to the boy's interest in the study of nature, especially the flora.

In gymnasium his interest grew stronger, but due to a lack of funds to continue his education Schmidt was forced to accept the scholarship of the Estonian nobility to enter the History and Philology Department of the University of  Dorpat. The condition for receiving it was to teach Russian in a grammar school at the end of the course. This did not prevent Fyodor Bogdanovich from continuing the study of natural sciences, and later circumstances helped him to get rid of teaching duties. In 1855, at the age of 23, he received his master's degree in botany, having successfully defended a work containing the results of processing the flora of the Baltics.

The degree allowed Schmidt to occupy the post of assistant director of the Botanical Garden of Dorpat a year later. For three years in this position he was engaged in processing the collections brought by K. Maksimovich from the Far East. He also prepared a number of scientific works that made his name famous in scientific circles.

In 1859  Schmidt accepted the invitation of the Russian Geographical Society to explore the Amur River system and Sakhalin Island in natural history. He chose two assistants for the expedition: botanist P. P. Glenn and ethnographer A. D. Brylkin. The scholar reached the island in May 1860: he sailed from Nikolaevsk to Sakhalin on the steamer "America", entered De Kastri Bay, and arrived at the post of Due May 29. Here he was struck by a dramatic change in climate and vegetation. On the Okhotsk coast, in particular in De-Kastri Bay (now Chikhachev Bay), nature had not yet awakened, and the entire coast was covered with fog. On Sakhalin (at Due post) the sun was shining brightly, and a variety of luxuriant vegetation covered the valleys. The grasses were so lush and tall (taller than human height) that they hindered the traveler's excursions and prevented him from crossing the mountains into the valley of the Tymi River.

Schmidt worked on this expedition until 1862 in the most difficult and sometimes life-threatening conditions. The result was rich botanical, geological and ethnographic collections. The scientist's herbarium included 530 species of Sakhalin vascular plants. Later, based on the results of his research, Fyodor Bogdanovich published the work "Sakhalin Flora," which became the first summary of the island plants. It included descriptions and characteristics of 608 plant species, as well as some data on their distribution. Schmidt described a large part of these species as new to science.

In addition, the expedition participants discovered for the first time the Cretaceous deposits at Cape Zhonkier in the north of Sakhalin. Fedor Bogdanovich described an interesting species of fossil bivalve inoceramids and assigned it to Inoceramus digitalis Sowerby. The species was later re-described by Michael (1899), who named it Inoceramus schmidti after F.B. Schmidt. In the exposition of the Sakhalin Regional Museum of Local Lore, there is a map showing the areas where the Cretaceous sediments reached the island surface, where fossil fauna was found, and Cape Zhonkier, where a geological outcrop was described and the first collection of fossil remains of Cretaceous mollusks was assembled.

In the Far East, the hardest tree (iron birch), the Schmidt birch Betula schmidtii, and four species of herbaceous plants are named after Schmidt: sedge Carex schmidtii, veronica Veronica schmidtiana, wormwood Artemisia schmidtiana and elderberry Ligularia schmidtii. Also, the northern tip of Sakhalin, the Schmidt Peninsula, which is about 50 kilometers long, is named after the scientist.

The scientific merits of  Fyodor Bogdanovich were appreciated by scientists all over the world, and his works still have weight in the field of natural science.

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