Zakhvatkin, Aleksei Alekseevich
Born Dec. 1 (14), 1906, in Ekaterinburg, now Sverdlovsk; died Dec. 14, 1950, in Moscow. Soviet zoologist. Member of the CPSU from 1947.
Upon graduation from Moscow State University (MGU) in 1926, Zakhvatkin joined the Uzbek Plant Protection Station in Tashkent. From 1931 he worked at the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Plant Protection, and from 1933 at the Zoological Institute of MGU, where he became a professor in 1941. His best-known works are on the ecology of mites and ticks, in which he showed that the principal harmful species (including flour mites) may exist outside storehouses under natural conditions; this led to effective control measures against mites. Zakhvatkin proposed a new taxonomy of ticks and mites, and he propounded a new theory of the origin of multicellular animals from colonies of flagellates based on the comparative method and the data of protozoology. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 and 1951.