Elenkin, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich
Born Sept. 4 (16), 1873, in Warsaw; died Apr. 19, 1942, in Kazan. Soviet botanist.
Elenkin graduated from the University of Warsaw in 1897. From 1898 he worked at the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden (since 1931 the Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR), where he founded the herbarium of lower plants and bryophytes; he created a school of specialists on lower plants. Elenkin made a great contribution to the study of algae (the monograph “Blue-Green Algae of the USSR,” parts 1–2, 1936–49), fungi, lichens (the theory of endoparasito-saprophytism, according to which the fungi in a lichen parasitize the living algae and feed saprophytically on the dying ones), and mosses (Moss Flora of Middle Russia, 1909). He proposed a new principle of classifying taxons (the combinatory system).