Vladimir Shimkevich

Shimkevich, Vladimir Mikhailovich


Born July 28 (Aug. 9), 1858, in Karachevo, Orel Province; died Feb. 23, 1923, in Petrograd. Russian zoologist. Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1920; corresponding member, 1906).

Shimkevich graduated from the University of Moscow in 1881. Beginning in 1889, he was a professor and chairman of the subdepartment of vertebrate zoology at the University of St. Petersburg; in 1921–22 he was the university’s rector.

Shimkevich’s principal works dealt with the morphology, embryology, and taxonomy of invertebrates. Shimkevich described the germ layers of arthropods, primarily the germ layers of arachnids; he demonstrated the trisegmental structure of Oligomera and Enteropneusta. A number of his works were devoted to the taxonomy and evolution of marine spiders (Pantopoda). Shimkevich advanced broad phylogenetic generalizations about the major paths of evolution in animals, in particular, about the origins of various groups of worms and chordates. He published theoretical articles on evolution, in which he defended and developed Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Shimkevich helped popularize biological knowledge. He was an active organizer of science and higher schools and was also interested in problems related to teaching biology in secondary schools. He was the author of text-books on general biology and comparative anatomy of vertebrates for universities and a textbook of zoology for secondary schools.


Biologicheskie osnovy zoologii, 5th ed., vols. 1–2. Moscow-Petrograd-Leningrad, 1923–25.
Kurs sravnitel’noi anatomii pozvonochnykh zhivotnykh, 3rd ed. Moscow-Petrograd, 1922.
Mnogokolenchatye (Pantopoda), fases. 1–2. Leningrad, 1929–30.


Deriugin, K. M. “Biografiia i nauchnye trudy V. M. Shimkevicha.” Trudy Leningradskogo obshchestva estestvoispytatelei, 1926, vol. 56, issue 2. (Contains references.)
Raikov, B. E. “Iz istorii zoologii v Leningradskom gosudarstvennom universitete.” Vestnik LGU: Ser. biologii, 1953, issue 2, no. 4.
Fedotov, D. M. “Akademik V. M. Shimkevich: K stoletiiu so dnia rozhdeniia.” Ibid., 1958, issue 4, no. 21.
Fedotov, D. M. “Vydaiushchiisia russkii zoolog-darvinist.” Priroda, 1958, no.11.
Polianskii, Iu. I. “Vydaiushchiisia russkii morfolog-darvinist.” Arkhiv anatomii, gistologii’, embriologii, 1963, vol. 45, no. 12. (Contains references.)