Lavrenko, Evgenii Mikhailovich
Born Feb. 11 (23), 1900, in Chuguev, in present-day Kharkov Oblast. Soviet geobotanist and botanical geographer. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1968; corresponding member since 1946).
Lavrenko studied in the natural sciences division of the University of Kharkov until 1922. From 1921 to 1928 he worked at the Kharkov Botanical Gardens and from 1926 to 1929, at the Kharkov Institute for Nature Conservation. He began working at the Kharkov Agricultural Institute in 1929 and became a professor there in 1931. He joined the Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1934. He was president of the All-Union Botanical Society from 1963 to 1973.
Lavrenko’s principal works deal with the vegetation of the steppes and deserts of the USSR, the Mongolian People’s Republic, and parts of the People’s Republic of China (the geography and ecology of certain species, vegetation typology, the principles of botanical geography). He worked out a zonal and provincial division of the steppes and deserts of Eurasia and North Africa. A number of his works deal with the regionalization and mapping of vegetation (maps of the world, of continents, of the USSR, and of parts of the USSR) and the general problems of biogeocenology. Lavrenko introduced the concept of the phyto-geosphere as a part of the biosphere. Lavrenko has twice been awarded the V. L. Komarov Prize of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1950, 1963). He has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, an Order of the Patriotic War Second Class, and various medals.
WORKS“Stepi SSSR.” In Rastitel’nost’ SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
“Stepi Evraziatskoi stepnoi oblasti, ikh geografiia, dinamika i istoriia.” In the collection Voprosy botaniki, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.
Osnovnye cherty botanicheskoi geografii pustyn ’ Evrazii i Severnoi Afriki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.