Zoology (зоологія; zoolohiia). A complex biological science that studies the diversity of animals, their relationship to the environment, their activities, their evolutionary development, and their interaction with the human species.
There are three identifiable periods in the development of zoology in Ukrainian history: (1) the period of isolated early works, (2) the period of systematic studies of Ukrainian fauna, and (3) the modern period, which reflects the political upheavals of the 20th century.
Early treatises on Ukrainian fauna by local writers and foreign travelers, supplemented by ancient chronicles of the Kyivan Rus’ period, provide a wealth of information about Ukrainian animals—wild bull, European bison, elk, stag, chamois, wild boar, brown bear, lynx, fox, Old World beaver, ermine, European otter, swan, common crane, black grouse, hazel grouse, wild horse, and others, some of them now extinct species. Some animals were drawn on pottery or on building walls. There is little material from the period between the end of the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia and the 18th century except for the memoirs and diaries of Western European travelers. During that time yearly Turkish and Tatar raids on Eastern Europe had a detrimental effect on any scholarly ventures.
Toward the end of the 18th century the first systematic studies of Ukrainian natural sciences began to appear, spearheaded by graduates of the Kyivan Mohyla Academy, such as Antin Prokopovych-Antonsky, Petro Prokopovych, and M. Terekhovsky, as well as by G. Rzączyński, H. Junker, F. Herman, Baltazar Hacquet, and others. The tsarist government began to support expeditions to catalog the fauna of its Russian Empire, including Ukrainian territory. The treatises of S. Gmelin, Johann Anton Güldenstädt, and Peter Pallas provided valuable data on the animals of the steppe zone, the Crimea, and Caucasia. The fauna of Western Ukraine was studied by the faculty at the Kremianets Lyceum, Antoni Andrzejowski, Willibald Besser, F. Bauer, K. Eichwald, A. Behr, A. Demidov, J.H. Blasius, and G. Belke.
The establishment of Ukrainian universities gave fresh stimulus to Western methods of investigating various zoological problems in Ukraine. Numerous scholars did research: at Kyiv University, K. Kessler (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish of the Kyiv region), Aleksandr Kovalevsky (embryology and physiology; in 1871 he established the first marine hydrobiological station, in Sevastopol), K. Rumshevych (the embryology of the development of the eye), Mykola Bobretsky (the embryology of invertebrates), Volodymyr Bets (anatomy), L. Artemovsky (the histology of bone marrow), Alexander Walter (the nerves regulating circulation of blood), A. Korotniv (lower marine animals), and S. Kushakevych (the simplest animals); at Kharkiv University, Ivan Krynytsky (spiders and birds of Ukraine), Aleksandr Chernai (fauna of the Kharkiv region and southeastern Ukraine), whose students included Opanas Maslovsky (histology and embryology), V. Yaroshevsky (dipterology), V. Reinhardt (histology), P. Stepanov (parasitology), and Illia Mechnikov, and the physiologists Vasyl Danylevsky, M. Biletsky, Ivan Kalenychenko, Oleksander Nikolsky, P. Sushkin, N. Somov, and T. Tymofiiv; at Odesa University, where research centered on Black Sea fauna along with that of the Crimea and the nearby steppes, O. Nordman, V. Shmankevych, Volodymyr Zalensky, Oleksander Brauner, and the ornithologists B. Walch, I. Podushkin, and H. Borovikov.
A special role in the development of zoology in Ukraine was played by research associations organized in the 1870s—the Kyiv Society of Naturalists (which established the Dnipro River Biological Station in 1909), the Kharkiv Society of Naturalists, and the Odesa Society of Naturalists, which studied the fauna of the Black Sea and its estuaries.
In Western Ukraine the development of zoology was centered at Lviv University and, to some extent, at the Dzieduszycki Museum and the Copernicus Society of Naturalists in Lviv. At a later stage the mathematical-natural sciences-medical section of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv took over the leadership in those efforts. Individual scientists active during the period were A. Zawadzki (vertebrates of Galicia and Bukovyna), R. Kner (local fish life), S. Syrski (the reproductive organs of eels), B. Dybowski (morphology and anatomy), J. Nusbaum-Hilarowicz (animal histology), the cytologists and embryologists Ya. Hirshler, K. Sembrat, Ya. Poliushynsky, and M. Monne, and the entomologists M. Nowicki-Siła, Marian Łomnicki, H. Kinel, R. Kuntse, and J. Noskiewicz. Significant contributions to Ukrainian terminology were made by Ivan Verkhratsky.
After the First World War the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (VUAN) gave a significant impetus to the development of modern zoology in Ukraine, especially with its zoological museum (est 1919). A number of zoological organizations, museums, and institutions were established. Several journals were published by the VUAN— Zoolohichnyi zhurnal Ukraïny (1921–3), Zbirnyk prats' Biolohichnoho instytutu (1926–32), Zbirnyk prats' Zoolohichnoho muzeiu (1926–63), and Zbirnyk prats' Dniprovs'koï biolohichnoï stantsiï (1926–31, renamed Trudy hidrobiolohichnoï stantsiï (1934–40), and Trudy Instytutu hidrobiolohiï/Trudy Instituta gidrobiologii (1947–61).
During the 1920s and 1930s the number of Ukrainian zoologists increased greatly in the Ukrainian SSR. The following is a partial list of investigators who were active: in the field of physiology, N. Bordzylovska, M. Zelynska, K. Kzhyshkovsky, Valentyna Radzymovska, Volodymyr Pravdych-Nemynsky, and Oleksander Skovoroda-Zachyniaiev; in cytology, B. Aleksenko, Mykola Bilousiv, S. Velish, and S. Shakhiv; in genetics, T. Dobzhansky, Mykhailo Vetukhiv, and H. Karpechenko; in pathophysiology, Oleksander Bohomolets; in comparative anatomy, Ivan Shmalhauzen, Dmytro Tretiakov, V. Balynsky, and Mykhailo Voskoboinykov; in the simplest animals, S. Kushakevych and Serhii Krasheninnikov; in zooplankton, H. Vereshchagin, Yu. Markovsky, Yakiv Roll, and Heorhii Melnykov; in sponges, M. Hrymailivska; in insects, S. Paramoniv, I. Bilanovsky, V. Gross-Haim, Fedir Kyrychenko, V. Sovynsky, Yurii Kleopov, V. Khranevych, Lev Sheliuzhko, H. Artobolevsky, S. Medvediev, Volodymyr Karavaiv, and O. Makariv; in beetles, Dmytro Zaitsiv, M. Taran, H. Petrushevsky, and Ye. Savchenko; in mollusks, S. Panochini and V. Lindholm; in ichthyology, D. Beling, Mykhailo Ovchynnyk, Yefym Slastenenko, F. Velykokhatko, P. Balabai, F. Ovsiannykov, K. Tatarko, O. Isachenko, and I. Syrovatsky; in amphibians and reptiles, F. Sukhov and B. Voliansky; in birds, Mykola Sharleman, O. Kistiakivsky, V. Herchner, M. Burchak-Abramovych, L. Portenko, M. Shcherbyna, M. Havrylenko, and Volodymyr Artobolevsky; and in mammals, V. Khranevych, I. Tarnani, Viktor Averin, Oleksii Myhulin, I. Barabash-Nikiforov, Ya. Zubko, B. Bilsky, and Ivan Pidoplichko.
The Stalinist terror of the 1930s and ensuing Second World War arrested the further development of Ukrainian science in general, including zoology. The autonomous Ukrainian scientific organizations were subordinated to the USSR All-Union Academy of Sciences in Moscow; publication of most of the professional journals was terminated. Many leading scientists were committed to labor camps or executed.
In Western Ukraine entrance to Lviv University was closed for Ukrainians by the Polish government. Active scientific programs were initiated only after 1945, when Western Ukrainian territories were incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR.
The postwar period witnessed a switch to practical applied zoology, with a concentration on agricultural problems, veterinary science, and evolutionary issues. Scientists worked in the following fields: leguminous plant pests, O. Petrukha; sugar beet pests, M. Ulashkevych, O. Zhytkevych, B. Bilsky, and Yevhen Zvirozomb-Zubovsky; parasitology, O. Stankov, N. Shchupak, M. Pyvynsky, O. Prendel, R. Reinhard, and Oleksander Markevych; comparative anatomy and morphology, Volodymyr Kasianenko, B. Dombrovsky, K. Tatarko, and P. Balabai; histology, Oleksander Leontovych, Dmytro Tretiakov, Ye. Malovichko, and Vladimir Rubashkin; regeneration, E. Umansky, Mykola Savchuk, H. Mashtaler, and N. Shevchenko; and zoogeography, Mykola Sharleman, Oleksii Myhulin, V. Zhadin, and O. Kistiakivsky.
The principal centers of zoological studies were the Institute of Zoology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, Institute of Hydrobiology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, and Institute of Ecology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, the Kharkiv University Institute of Biology, the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Fish Farming in Kyiv (est 1930), the Azov-Black Sea Scientific Research Institute of Fish Farming and Oceanography in Kerch, and the Odesa Biological Station and Sevastopol Biological Station.
In Western Ukraine zoological work was carried out at Chernivtsi University, Uzhhorod University, and Lviv University, and the zoological departments of some pedagogical institutes and scientific research institutes, where there is concentration on specific local fauna. Principal investigators in this group include O. Markevych, I. Andreiev, O. Kistiakivsky, M. Kucherenko, F. Strautman, V. Abelentsev, I. Sokur, and K. Tatarynov.
An important achievement of Ukrainian zoology is the publications of a monumental, 40-volume monograph series Fauna Ukraïny the Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. This series meets the highest standards of modern systematics and it identifies every family, genus, and species of animal species on Ukrainian and adjacent territories and provides for them a diagnosis, classification table, synonymy, a description of its distribution and ecological traits, and so on. By 2019, 29 volumes in 73 issues had been published.
A number of noted zoologists emigrated from Ukraine, beginning in the 1920s and continuing after the Second World War, including T. Dobzhansky, Mykhailo Vetukhiv, F. Velykokhatko, Edvard Zharsky, Yurii Rusov, Yefym Slastenenko, Alexander Granovsky, S. Paramoniv, Dmytro Zaitsiv, V. Lazorko, and Serhii Krasheninnikov. Many of them continued their work at the Ukrainian Technical and Husbandry Institute.
Zbirnyk prats' Zoolohichnoho muzeiu AN URSR, 32 vols (Kyiv 1926–63)
Sharleman', M. Zooheohrafiia URSR (Kyiv 1937)
Fauna Ukraïny (Kyiv 1956–)
Markevych, O. Zoolohichni doslidzhennia na Ukraïni za roky radians'koï vlady (Kyiv 1957)
Zoologi Sovetskogo Soiuza: Spravochnik (Moscow–Leningrad 1961)
Kornieiev, O. Vyznachnyk zviriv URSR (Kyiv 1965)
Biologi: Biograficheskii spravochnik (Kyiv 1984)
Topachevskii, V. (ed). Zhivotnyi mir (Kyiv 1985)
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]