A. K. Skvortsov working at the Harvard University Herbaria for the Flora of China Project.
Photo A. Zinovjev 1998.

Alexey K. Skvortsov
(9 February 1920—8 May 2008)

A prominent and influential Russian botanist and naturalist, a world-renowned specialist on amentiferous plants—willows (Salix), poplars (Populus), and birches (Betula) as well as plants of the evening primrose family (Onagraceae), A.K. Skvortsov was, at the same time, well known in Russia as an editor in Priroda (Nature) Magazine (1971-2005) and author of many popular articles on botany, evolutionary biology, and Darwinism. A botanist of vast erudition, Skvortsov was a surveyor and important contributor to many regional floras and a tireless collector of plant specimens. He collected at least 80,000 plant samples while walking across nearly all of the Soviet Union including the most remote regions of Russia and adjacent republics. He traveled in many other countries, including Northern and Central Europe, the United States, India, and China. The establishment of the Herbarium at the Main Botanic Garden in Moscow as a world-class depository with a vast foreign exchange program is largely due to Skvortsov's efforts. He also made many significant additions to the living collection of the Main Botanic Garden. His comprehensive approach toward botany and evolution inspired him to undertake experimental work in plant introduction. Together with a team of colleagues and students, he successfully worked on domesticating and improving the taste of blue honeysuckles (Lonicera Section Caerulea). He also developed a cultivar of an apricot hardy in Moscow. Skvortsov played an important role as a conservation advocate proposing and facilitating the establishment of a new national park in his homeland, Kaluga and Smolensk Oblast of Central European Russia. He cared about the natural heritage of his country, but also about preservation of the Russian language. Time and again he spoke out for high language standards in scientific publications. Generations of Russian scholars consider themselves students of Skvortsov. He will be remembered as a scientist, writer, and citizen.

More about Skvortsov at this site
List of publications by A.K. Skvortsov (yet incomplete)
Translations of Skvortsov's articles: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
Skvortsov's monograph on willows in English (6Mb PDF)

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