Aleksandr Markevich

Oleksandr Prokopovych Markevych
Born 19 March 1905
Ploske, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire)
Died 23 April 1999(1999-04-23) (aged 94)
Kyiv, Ukraine
Fields zoology, parasitology, carcinology, helminthology
Institutions Kyiv University,
I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology
Alma mater Kyiv University
Doctoral advisor Valentin Dogiel
Other academic advisors Ivan Schmalhausen
Doctoral students Vladislav Monchenko


Oleksandr Prokopovych Markevych (Ukrainian: Олександр Прокопович Маркевич), in English more often Aleksandr Prokofyevich Markevich (Russian: Александр Прокофьевич Маркевич) (19 March 1905 – 23 April 1999) was a Ukrainian zoologist, and a prolific helminthologist and copepodologist. He was professor and an Academician of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.


Markevych was born 19 March 1905 in the village of Ploske, Kiev Governorate. His father Prokofiy Markevych served as a parish clerk in a rural church. His mother Maria Bordashevska came from a family of the impoverished nobility. During his studies at the Pedagogical Technical School (1921–1925) in Belaya Tserkov, he was engaged in research on ichthyology. He continued his studies at Kiev University, where he worked in the laboratory of I. I. Schmalhausen and simultaneously at the biological station of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Academy of Sciences, situated on the Dnieper River.

His keen interest in fish parasites led him to work at the Ichthyological Institute of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Leningrad (now the Research Institute of the Lake and River Fish Industry), where he completed his post-graduate studies under the guidance of professor V. A. Dogiel. In the 1930s a team of scientists at the Laboratory of Fish Diseases, headed by Dogiel, laid the foundations of Soviet ichthyoparasitology. At this laboratory the young Markevich began to study the then little known and very complicated group Copepoda parasitica, with extraordinary diligence and perseverance. He studied the fauna of this group living in lakes Ladoga and Onega, in the Caspian and Azov seas and in a number of smaller water bodies.

In 1935 he returned to Kiev, where at first he headed the Invertebrate Morphology Department of the Zoological Institute, in the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences, then in 1937 became head of the newly established Parasitological Department of that Institute.

Scientific career and publications

Markevich was one of the first Soviet parasitologists to begin a systematic study of fishpond culture. He was the first to publish that the dangerous fish parasite Chilodonella cyprini reproduces massively in the winter and not in the summer, as supposed earlier. His key papers described the new species of parasitic copepods

After returning to Kiev in 1935 Markevich continued his ichthyoparasitological investigations. In 1951 he published an extensive monograph on the parasite fauna of freshwater fishes of the Ukrainian SSR. This monograph received a strong response in the USSR and abroad. In 1963 it was published in English under the title "Parasitic Fauna of Freshwater Fish of the Ukrainian SSR". He continued to be actively interested in the research of Copepoda parasitica, and his latest monograph on the parasitic Copepoda of fish in the USSR was published for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation (USA) by the Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre (1976).

Proceeding from a series of solid scientific works on fish parasites (ichtyoparasitology) he formulated some theoretical fundamentals after complex studies on parasites of aquatic animals (hydroparasitology). As part of a scientific program, he identified studies needed on the ecology and development of the parasites of aquatic animals, studies on their influence on their host and vice versa, and studies on their dependence on abiotic and biotic factors.

The theory of parasitocenosis, formulated by E. N. Pavlovsky, found a follower in A. P. Markevich. Attracted by Pavlovsky's concept of parasitocenosis, Markevich analyzed new facts obtained by parasitologists and microbiologists since Pavlovsky's publications, wrote several papers on this issue, and defined the task of parasitocenology as the "elucidation of objective patterns of life of parasitosymbiocenoses as well as biocenotic groupings of free-living parasite stages, in order to elaborate methods for directing the formation processes of parasitic communities"[1]

Markevich e created a school of parasitologists in Ukraine and sparked the interest of a number of zoologists and botanists in the research of Carpathian fauna and flora. For several years he was Vice-president and later President of the Biological Sciences Department of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences. He also made outstanding contributions to the research of parasite fauna of fish in Egypt, where he worked as expert and professor at Cairo University (periodically 1964 to 1967).

International activities and honors


Species named in Markevich's honour

Markevich's authority among colleagues, students and followers, is evident from the many organisms named in his honour:

For helminths, he is honored by:

And for myxozoans:

Biographic bibliography

Resources of the Internet

Media related to Aleksandr Prokofyevich Markevich at Wikimedia Commons


  1. Markevich, Vestnik zoologii, 1974, №1, p. 6
  2. Checklist of the Parasites of Fishes of Latvia By Muza Kirjušina, Kārlis Vismanis
  3. Checklist of the Metazoan Parasites of Fishes of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (1873-2000) by Frantisek Moravec
  4. Parasitology of Fishes by Valentin Aleksandrovich Dogel
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