Kovalevsky, Aleksandr

Kovalevsky, Aleksandr [Ковалевский, Александр; Kovalevskij], b 7 November 1840 in Shustianka, Dinabur county, Vitsebsk gubernia (now Latvia), d 9 November 1901 in Saint Petersburg. Russian zoologist; member of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences from 1890. Kovalevsky received his PH D from Saint Petersburg University in 1867 and was a professor at Kyiv University (1869–74), Odesa University (1874–91), and Saint Petersburg University (1891–4). He also cofounded and directed the Sevastopol Biological Station (1892–1901), which is now named in his honor. An evolutionist, he was the founder of comparative embryology and experimental and evolutionary histology. Kovalevsky’s work dealt with the embryonic growth and the physiology and anatomy of invertebrate and chordate animals. He first established the existence of a common pattern of development in all multicellular animals, providing important evidence of evolution. Kovalevsky’s collected works, Izbrannye raboty, were published in 1951.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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