ISSN 1062-3604, Russian Journal of Developmental Biology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 6, pp. 387–388. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2008.
Original Russian Text © S.G. Vassetzky, B.F. Goncharov, O.G. Stroeva, 2008, published in Ontogenez, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 6, pp. 475–476.
On June 4, 2008, passed away at the age of 97 years
Olga I. Schmalhausen, PhD and, until age retirement,
research worker at the Filatov Laboratory of Experi-
mental Embryology, which was headed for many years
by Tatiana A. Dettlaff.
O.I. was born on May 12, 1911 in Kiev. She was a
representative of the fourth generation of a highly cul-
tured family of russiﬁed Germans. For several genera-
tions, representatives of the Schmalhausen family
played noticeable roles in development of the Russian
science. Her great grandfather was assistant chief
librarian of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St.
Petersburg, her grandfather was a well known botanist
corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sci-
ences, and her father academician Ivan I. Schmal-
hausen was an eminent evolutionary morphologist,
whose work still retains its relevance.
There, in Kiev, O.I. graduated from the secondary
school and art technical school but, in the end, became
a biologist. After graduation from the Kiev Higher
Institute of Education in biology in 1934, O.I. entered
the postgraduate school. But in 1935, her family moved
to Moscow, where O.I. became a research worker at the
Institute of Evolutionary Morphology, which was
headed by her father.
O.I. was a biologist of wide proﬁle and her scientiﬁc
interests were linked with both comparative anatomy
and experimental embryology. She carried out experi-
mental studies of developing olfactory and acoustic
organs in various amphibians and she discovered a new
(for that time) phenomenon of multiple interacting
component sin morphogenesis of these organs. This
work was a ﬁnished PhD thesis but the circumstances
of that time did not allow O.I. to get the degree.
During World War II, O.I. was evacuated to Kazakh-
stan and was working in quite another ﬁeld, hydrobiol-
ogy. She studied plankton in many lakes of the State
Reserve Borovoe in order to clarify the possibility of
ﬁsh culture in these lakes.
After return to Moscow in 1943, O.I. worked in the
laboratory headed in the laboratory headed by
S.G. Kryzhanovsky under the guidance of N.I. Drago-
mirov and, from 1967, in the laboratory headed by
T.A. Dettlaff at the Kol’tsov Institute of Developmental
Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences. The result of
her many year work were summarized in an excellent
LOSSES OF SCIENCE
Olga I. Schmalhausen (1911–2008)