- Dokuchaev , Vasily Vasilievich
- (1846–1903) Russian soil scientistDokuchaev was born in Milyukovo near Smolensk, Russia, the son of the village priest. He too was originally trained for the priesthood but later turned to the study of science at St. Petersburg University where he graduated in 1871. He was immediately appointed to the faculty, initially as curator of the geological collection but he also served as professor of geology until poor health forced him to retire in 1897.Dokuchaev made the first comprehensive scientific study of the soils of Russia, details of which are to be found in his Collected Works (9 vols. 1949–61). He also, in the 1890s, set up at the Kharkov Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, the first department of soil science in Russia.In the West he is mainly known for his work on the classification of soils, his insistence that soil is a geobiological formation, and his use of soil to define the different geographical zones.It is also owing to Dokuchaev that the Russian term chernozem, used to describe a black soil rich in humus and carbonates, has entered most languages.
Scientists. Academic. 2011.