1063-0740/05/3102- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2005, pp. 134–140.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Biologiya Morya, Kafanov.
O.G. Kusakin provided great contributions into
many ﬁelds of marine biology and zoology, but he is
probably the most well known as a biogeographer, who
persistently developed the ideas of his former advisor,
Prof. E.F. Gur’yanova. It is no wonder that the labora-
tory in the Institute of Marine Biology, which he
headed for several decades, was named the “Laboratory
of Chorology.” Large-scale investigations into the inter-
tidal biota in the Far Eastern seas of Russia performed
under the supervision of and with the direct participa-
tion of O.G. Kusakin [15, 33], which have no analogues
in world science, and the comprehensive revision of the
fauna of isopods of cold and temperate waters of the
World Ocean provided a solid foundation for the devel-
opment of the modern zonal–biogegraphical trend in
marine biogeography, for biogeographical zonation of
the shelf in Far Eastern, Arctic, and Antarctic seas, and
also for solving the problem of the genesis of deep-sea
The excellent biogeographical erudition of Kusakin
was determined by his progress in the taxonomy and
faunistics of many groups of marine invertebrates. In
the preface to his fundamental 5-volume review on iso-
pods [24–26, 28, 29], Kusakin explained his interest in
this group of animals by, ﬁrst of all, their importance
for biogeographical analysis. “This is related, ﬁrst of
all, to the fact that this group, unlike, for example,
Decapoda, is abundantly and uniformly distributed in
both cold and warm waters. Moreover, the isopod crus-
taceans mostly are bottom animals, which are not capa-
ble of signiﬁcant migrations and bearing their young on
themselves” [24, p. 3]. However, the composition of the
isopod fauna changes signiﬁcantly from low to high lat-
itudes and from shallow to deep depths .
Kusakin also studied professionally the taxonomy
and faunistics of another group of crustaceans, namely
the tanaidaceans (Tanaidacea) [20, 36, 37, 66] and gas-
tropod mollusks [8–10]. Being an experienced ﬁeld
biologist, he understood perfectly not only the faunis-
tics, but ﬂoristics as well, which allowed him to reveal
correctly a new endemic genus of laminarian algae, the
, in the intertidal area of Yankicha Island, in
the middle Kuril Islands . All of these provided the
accuracy of the biogeographical conclusions of
Kusakin, which I would like to discuss brieﬂy now.
Principles of biogeographical zonation.
always warned against mixing together faunistic and
zonal–geographical principles of zonation:
“…despite…comprehensive literature, until now great
disagreements still exist in the determination of both
the limits and the ranks of major biogeographical divi-
sions. One of the main reasons for these disagreements
is probably the result of using different principles of
biogeographical zonation, which was discussed in
detail by A.P. Andriyashev  (and L.S. Berg —
A.K.). Following him and many other biogeographers,
we believe that the faunistic (or ﬂoristic) principle of
zonation should be put into the basis of our construc-
tions. The temperature–zonal or zonal–geographical
principle of zonation, as it is correctly pointed out by
Andriyashev, corresponds, to a greater extent, not to
zoogeographical zonation of the land, but rather to
landscape–geographical zones of the latter” [24, p. 91].
However, later on, Kusakin was not so imperative and
already accepted the possibility of “different
approaches to biogeographical zonation” [17, p. 3].
On the other hand, the traditions developed in Rus-
sian marine biogeography forced Kusakin to use in
practice just the temperature–zonal (or zonal–geo-
Oleg Grigor’evich Kusakin
As a Biogeographer
A. I. Kafanov
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received May 18, 2004
—Oleg Grigor’evich Kusakin (1930–2001) was one of the greatest specialists in marine biogeogra-
phy. His contribution was especially signiﬁcant in the geographical zonation of cold and temperate waters of
the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, into the uniﬁcation of biogeographical terminology and nomenclature
of the units of biogeographical zonation, and into the solution of the problem about the age and modes of the
origin of the deep-sea fauna in the World Ocean.
biogeography, terminology, O.G. Kusakin.