History of the Department of Botany

The Department of Botany of Novorosiysky University was founded simultaneously with the founding of the university in 1865 and all changes that took place during the development and establishment of the university in some way reflected in its history. But there has always worked conscience, botany committed people who sought not only to know the world around themselves, but also to encourage the younger generation, which in turn brought new students.

During nearly 45 years after the founding the Department was called the Department of Botany. Following about 70 years it was divided into two Departments: Morphology and Systematics of plants and Plant Anatomy and Physiology. Since 1978, it again one Department of Botany.

Department history connected with the names of many prominent botanists who have made great contribution to science, methodology of teaching and educating students. We will focus only on the most significant names.

The first head of department was Tsenkovskiy L. S. (1822-1887), who had not only a great personality and could be an example of how, giving himself entirely to science, can remain attentive interesting person. He was the founder and first president of the Novorosiysk Society of Naturalists, an honorary member of almost all Russian natural-historical societies, microbiological Society of London, a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, the German Botanical Society. His ideas and scientific achievements formed the basis for the creation and development departments of Botany, Hydrobiology, Microbiology of the University. He first showed the relationship between plants and animals, developed a method of vaccination against anthrax and others. L.S. Tsenkovskiy founded the botanical laboratory at the Department of Botany and Hydrobiological station in Sevastopol. It was first who introduced the microscope to the educational process, was an excellent lecturer who could, in the words of Mechnykov, sacred fire excite the audience.

At the same time at the Department worked О. О. Yanovich (1831-1871), who defended his doctoral thesis on the problems of mycology, E. M. Delaryu - subsequently Professor of Kharkov University, I. F. Koschuga, M. K. Sredynskiy - in later known as specialist in railways planting.

Ya. Ya. Waltz (1841-1904) worked in Novorosiysk University in 1871-1881's. at first full professor, and later head of the Department of Botany. It was a brilliant scientist, talented person, promoter and organizer of science, president of the Novorosiysk Society of Naturalists. He was one of the first in Russia who have studied the problem of ontogenesis algae and fungi. His name V. A. Rotert called one of the Vaucheria species. Simultaneously, at the Department worked O. M. Volkov (1849-1928), whose research on geotropism problems entered to the well-known textbook by A. Saks. However, due to illness in 1880, he resigned and started painting. By the way, his pictures he drew under the name Russov had great success especially in England.

In 1880 - 1885 Department of Botany and Botanical Garden led L. Reinhard (1847-1920), who started the detailed algological study of region. His research interests include morphology, structure, development of Charophyta, Volvocophyceae, and especially Diatoms. L. A. Rishavi (1851-1915) replace L. Reinhard on the post of Head of Department of Botany in 1885. His scientific interests are related to the study of plant tropism history, morphology and taxonomy of sea algae. It was he who suggested the Mediterranean origin of Black Sea algal flora. His work on the problems of plants respiration included in the textbooks of that time. Then at the Department worked of M. L. Okinshevych in description dendroflora of Bessarabia, M. D. Vahtel – in the problem geotropism, V. F. Chmielevskiy - in study of algology of Bessarabia and others.

In 1893, the department began to head Fedir Kamenskiy (1851- 1912) - a scientist who was interested in solution to many problems including the features Charophytes, the first description of this phenomenon in plant life as mycorrhiza. Among other teachers of the department at the time should indicate the name of Novorosiysk University graduate M. M. Albov (1855- 1897) - later known as researcher of the flora of South America, Henkel O. G, subsequently Professor of Botany, University of Perm and others.

Heads of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology of plants in the ХХ century worked V. A. Rotert, V. V. Polovtsov, F. M. Porodko, G. A. Borovikov, S. I. Lebedev, M. V. Dombrovskaya, G. V. Tkachenko, and of the  Department of Morphology and Systematics of plants – B. B. Grinevetskiy, M. M. Zelenetskiy, D. O. Svirenko, G. Y. Potapenko, I. I. Pogrebnyak.

In 1978 the department were merged into the Department of Botany, headed by V. T. Koval’, from 1999 - G. A. Shvets, and from 2014 – F. P. Tkachenko.

V. A. Rotert - brilliant lecturer, highly workable intelligent man with his disciples (hereinafter professors) – G. A. Borovikov, I. D. Scherbak, F. M. Porodko laid the foundations for further development of the theory of phytohormones. Among his brilliant students was also A. O. Sapegin (1888- 1946) - subsequently Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences, a graduate of the University of Novorosiysk, at first biologist who take a great interest in moss, and a prominent breeder and geneticist. A. M. Krishtofovich (1885-1953) – in the future full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, corresponding member of the USSR, laureate of the State (Stalin) Prize of the USSR in 1946, the eminent scientist paleobotanist, after the first was at the department professors grant holder (postgraduate student), then a laboratory assistant and associate professor.

Professor B. B. Grinevetskiy (1875-1963) at the university studied the flora and vegetation of the Caucasus, Poland, Lithuania and worked on studying stomata, where his works have become classics. Later he became a full member of the Academy of Sciences of Poland and the founder and first chairman of the Polish Botanical Society and the League of Conservation.

I.V. Novopokrovskiy (1880-1951) worked in Novorosiysk University in 1905-1906's., studying flora outskirts of Odessa. In the history of biology, he remained as a paleobotanist and botanist, an expert on the flora of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Biology, Head of the Central Asian herbarium of the Botanical Institute.

F. M. Porodko (1877-1948) head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology of plants more over 30 years (1916-1948), dean of biological faculty, D. I. Ivanovskiy student, author of two volumes of "Roots hemotropism" series of works on seed germination. Incidentally, the latest scientific direction developing its graduate students to further Sc.D., B. M. Avksent’ev and A. I. Demina. Continuing this trend and now in contemporary studies department.

From 1916 at the Department worked I. L. Serbinov (1872-1925) - known mycologist, microbiologist, phytopathologist, founder of the study of bacterial plant diseases, author of many books on microbiology.

M. M. Zelenetskiy (1859-1923) headed the department of morphology and systematics of plants during the Civil War. It was a talented researcher, known florist and herbaryzator, a great lecturer and mentor of young people. His students were O. M. Morozova-Popova, V. F. Pasternats’ka, L. D. Basars’ka, G. Y. Potapenko - further known botanists in the region and the country.

D. O. Svirenko (1888-1944) lead the Department of Morphology and Systematics in the 1923-1928 - one of the largest algologists in Soviet Union, Corresponding Member of the USSR, outstanding research and teaching and public figure, who formed in Odessa algological school where worked postgraduate students P. P. Shirshov, V. G. Tanfil'yev, O. D. Andreev and others who have achieved great success in science.

One of the most talented students of G. I. Tanfil'yev, M. M. Zelenetsky and V. V. Polovtsov was G. Y. Potapenko (1889-1982), a graduate of the University of Novorosiysk, which in the 1928-1943 headed the Department of Morphology and Systematics of plants. His students included I. I. Pogrebnyak, A. Z. Zharenko, L. A. Shaposhnikova, M. V. Dombrovs’ka, O. A. Gurs’ka and others. I. I. Pogrebnyak (1908-1982) - Doctor of Biology, Head of Department of Morphology and Systematics of plants over 30 years, known algologist and expert on nonvascular plants of Odessa Bay of the Black Sea and the Black Sea estuaries, exacting researcher who trained future doctors, such as M. O. Guslyakov, F. P. Tkachenko, who continued the tradition of its teacher, many domestic and foreign graduate students. M. O. Guslyakov (1950-2004) – at first lecturer, then head of the Department of Hydrobiology in 1990-2004, author of more than 100 scientific papers, scientific director of PhD theses of V. P. Gerasimyuk, O. Nevrova and others. Problems of algal flora in the department also studied N. M. Pashkovs’ka, O. A. Gurska, S. M. Milutina, A. K. Aref'eva who investigated the mushrooms and dendroflora and others. Great contribution to the study and enrichment of dendroflora of region made Associate Professor A. Z. Zharenko, while L. A. Shaposhnikova, M. G. Kozhura studied the features of herbaceous plants, and Professor A. I. Demina - diversity of medicinal plants especially wormwoods of southern Ukraine.

S. I. Lebedev (1904-1992) - OSU rector and head of the Department of Plant Physiology in 1953-1959, researcher of the physiological effects of carotene in plants, the physiological effect of trace elements, pigment systems and productivity of algae of Black Sea. Supervisor PhD theses of O. I. Sannikova (1926-1999), M. V. Golubtsova (1925-1974), I. O. Yartseva (1918-1997), who became OSU associate professors, K. M. Sytnik and M. V. Morgun, who have become academicians, and other domestic and foreign scientists.

In the 1959-1960 the Department of Plant Physiology ruled M. V. Dombrovs’ka, and then from 1961 to 1978 - prof. G. V. Tkachenko, whose research interests were related to the study of physiological and biochemical reactions grape plants to use physiologically active substances, trace elements, phosphate fertilizers and so on. Among those whose work was carried out under his leadership, we note Associate Professor V. T. Koval’, G. A. Shvets, S. G. Kovalenko, later Doctor of Sciences V. G. Kuryata and others.

As mentioned above, the association of the departments was in 1978 and headed the newly created Department of Botany by V. T. Koval’ (1936-1999), who in 1982-1987 was Dean of the Biological faculty. It was highly respectable, intelligent, demanding to themselves and others people, careful researcher physiological effects of trace elements, vitamins influence the penetration of membranes of mitochondria and so on. From 1999 to 2014 the Department was headed by G. A. Shvets. Since 1978 until now at the Department worked I. P. Ruzhyts’ka (1937-2009), S. G. Kovalenko, S. Ye. Dyatlov, O. B. Kutsyn, M. O. Lesina, S. E. Zaharieva, V. O. Kuznetsov, S. M. Milutina, L. I. Yuleshkina. Now head of the Department is Professor F. P. Tkachenko. To present employees of the Department are associate professors V. P. Gerasimyuk, O. B. Pauzer, O. M. Popova, T. V. Vasil’yeva, V. V. Nemertsalov, I. P. Jakuba, , Ju. S. Nazarchuk, N. A Kirilenko, O. Ju. Bondarenko and L. V. Mursanova, O. L. Budnyak.

Graduates adequately continue traditions laid in Novorosiysk University. Over the years, the Department has prepared many scientists and educators who have worked and are working not only in Ukraine but also in Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Laos, Cuba and other parts of the world. As seen from the short list, the main directions of research department were related to the study of algal flora, lichenobiota, terrestrial flora of the region and the definition of a number of physiological parameters under the action of plant physiologically active substances, trace elements and abiotic factors. Research areas that are developed at the department is related to the study of terrestrial and aquatic flora of Black Sea, the identification and protection of rare and endangered species, determining the physiological effects of trace elements and germination of seeds of different crops, greening issues of different territories.


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