1063-0740/04/3005- © 2004
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 30, No. 5, 2004, pp. 361–362.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by Biologiya Morya, Zhuravleva.
Professor Teodor Saulovich Rass, an Academician
Emeritus of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences
(RANS), was a prominent ﬁgure among biologists and
ichthyologists of the twentieth century. His scientiﬁc
contributions changed the course of ichthyology in the
Teodor Saulovich Rass was born on December 3,
1904, in the small town of Kremets, Volynsk oblast.
Both his parents were doctors. His father was an oto-
laryngologist, and his mother was a dentist. The family
moved to Moscow, where the prominent scientist lived
for about 80 years. There were three children in the
family, but Rass surpassed the others in wisdom, pas-
sion for reading, love for animals, and in other talents.
The parents tried to do their best to give their boy a
proper education. After graduating from high school as
a youth of 17 years old, he was admitted to Moscow
University, where outstanding professors lectured at
that time. Rass was keen on philosophy and history, but
he was most interested in the natural sciences. His advi-
sor was B.S. Matveev, a former student of the famous
evolutionist A.N. Severtsev. Under the tutelage of
Matveev, Rass studied the circulatory system of the
starlet spending a lot of time with his microscope.
Later, he decided to study the organization of the ﬁsh
brain. At that time, Rass got into the habit of careful and
thorough study and worked that way for the rest of his
life. He entirely devoted himself to science, as he had
every intention of becoming a professional researcher.
In 1925, Rass graduated from the Biological Divi-
sion of the Faculty for Physics and Mathematics of
Moscow State University, where he had majored in ver-
tebrate zoology. As a student, he collected material for
his research at Murmansk Biological Station (MBS).
G.A. Klyuge, the director of the Station, invited the tal-
ented young scientist to join the MBS as an ichthyologist.
In 1925–1926, he was a research fellow at the Mur-
mask Biological Station of Narkompros (People’s
Commissariat of Education) in Aleksandrovsk (nowa-
days known as Polyarny).
In 1926–1929, Rass worked as a postgraduate stu-
dent at the Research Institute of Zoology, Moscow
State University (MSU) under the supervision of
From 1930 until 1933, he held a position as Senior
Researcher and Research Advisor at the Floating
Marine Institute, which was later reorganized as the
State Institute of Oceanography and then as the Insti-
tute of Oceanology. From 1934 to 1947, Rass served as
Head of a Laboratory at the Research Institute of
Marine Fisheries and Oceanography. From 1948 until
his death, he worked as a Senior Researcher, Head of a
Laboratory, Director of a Department, and Chief
Researcher at the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.
From 1924, Rass regularly participated in research
expeditions on board research and ﬁshery vessels (Far
Eastern seas, Black and Caspian seas, and the Paciﬁc,
Indian, and Atlantic Oceans) and in numerous interna-
tional expeditions, including the Soviet–Chinese
(1959) and Soviet–Cuban (1967) Expeditions, as well
as the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE,
1967–1968) and SIKAR (Mexico, 1970).
Rass always paid great attention to his teaching
duties, which included a vertebrate zoology course at
the Moscow City Pedagogical Institute and specialized
courses on ﬁsheries and ichthyogeography at MSU
(1939–1986). Although he taught large undergraduate
courses on ﬁsheries geography and ichthyology, his
lectures largely avoided simple recitation of facts and
instead focused on the principles and ideologies of con-
temporary science. Only a person who had a thorough
On the Centenary of the Birth of Teodor Saulovich Rass