A prominent researcher, the founder of marine radioecology, a world famous scientist, a man of great soul, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Doctor of Sciences, Professor, chief researcher of the department of radiation and chemical biology (DRChB) of the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas (IBSS) of N.A.S. of Ukraine, Gennady Grigoryevich Polikarpov died on 11, August, 2012.
G.G. Polikarpov was born on the 16th of August, 1929, in the village of Bolshaya Glushitsa of Samara District, Russia. As a student he got his higher education at biological faculty of Belarus State University (1948-1951) and N.G. Chernyshevsky Saratov State University, biological-soil sciences faculty (1951-1952) on the specialty “zoology”. G.G. Polikarpov began his carrier in 1952 as a teacher of biology and chemistry in the secondary school. In 1953-1956 G.G. Polikarpov studied at the post-graduate school of N.G. Chernyshevsky Saratov State University. He spent the second and the third years of study, and completed writing his dissertation in M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU).
In 1956, G.G. Polikarpov was invited to A.O. Kovalevsky Sevastopol biological station of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, as a research assistant. After having organized laboratory of biophysics he became its head. The same year this laboratory was converted into the laboratory of radiobiology.
In 1957, at the Dissertation Council of the biological-soil sciences faculty of the MSU, Moscow, G.G. Polikarpov brilliantly defended his thesis "Peculiar reactions of the after-effect radiation (Investigating hydras)", the speciality "Biophysics (radiobiology)". In 1964, by the decision of the Dissertation Council of the United Scientific Council, Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, Kiev, he was conferred the degree of the Doctor of Sciences after defending the thesis on the theme "Problems of Marine Radioecology", the speciality "Radiobiology".
In 1965 on the basis of the laboratory of radiobiology at the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas (IBSS) Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (AS UkSSR), the Department of Radiobiology was founded under the supervision of Gennady Polikarpov. The department was reorganized into the Department of Radiation and Chemical Biology (DRChB) in 1979. Since that time it has become an internationally acknowledged research center of marine radioecology.
In 1966, G.G. Polikarpov launched a new branch in the world science – "Marine Radioecology”. The investigation of the balance in the radiochemoecology carried out under his supervision and leadership, enabled studying the marine ecosystems’ self-cleaning ability with respect to radioactive and chemical contamination. These studies confirmed the validity of academician V.I. Vernadsky’s hypothesis, which was formulated as follows: in the process of reproduction of living matter, chemical conditions of its habitat are reproduced as well.
In 1967, Gennady Polikarpov was elected the Corresponding Member of AS UkSSR in the field of “Hydrobiology of Sea”. Since 1990 he was a Full Member (Academician) of AS of the UkSSR, specialty “Radiobiology”. In 1969-1973 he was the title of the national correspondent of the USSR in UNESCO on the biology of the Mediterranean Sea (Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of USSR, IBSS of AS UkSSR, Sevastopol). Since 1968 Gennady Polikarpov was the Professor in the field "Radiobiology and Hydrobiology".
In the late 1950s Gennady G. Polikarpov suggested constructing a radiobiological building of IBSS of AS UkSSR in Sevastopol to support research in the field of marine radioecology. This very ambitious and important project was implemented under his supervision in 1974.
The methodological and theoretical basis and potential of Gennady G. Polikarpov’s scientific school, his highest personal responsibility for the scientific solutions, enabledtscientists to adequately face the problem of buring radioactive wastes in the deep hydrogen sulfide zone of the Black Sea. The highest scientific and practical contribution of Gennady G. Polikarpov in protection of the Black Sea – this unique marine area, against radioactive and chemical pollutants were based on the fundamental knowledge and in-depth analysis of radioecological consequences of the possibility of implementing these proposals. Working in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and IAEA as an expert on monitoring global radioactive precipitations from nuclear explosions, particularly when London convention on damping of radioactive wastes (1950-1960) was adopted, G.G. Polikarpov took part in working out the international moratorium for discharging solid radioactive wastes into seas and oceans at the international level in 1973 and in 1984-1985 with further adoption in 1985.
In 1977 when working in the International Laboratory for Marine Radioactivity of IAEA (Monaco) G.G. Polikarpov formulated the conception of zonal character of chronic action of existing and possible capacities of the ionizing radiation doses at all levels of life organization (in foreign literature they are called "zones of Polikarpov").
After the catastrophic accident on April 26, 1986, Academician G.G. Polikarpov was the member of the "Standing Commission of the Presidium of the AS UkSSR on issues related to the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant". He organized and led the working group on aquatic radioecology from the specialists of different academic institutions and other organizations to forecast and give practical advice on managing consequences of the ChNPP accident. Under supervision of G.G. Polikarpov a radioecological response of the Black Sea to this problem was investigated. For this purpose a new radiotracer and radiochronological methods for studying of biooceanographical characteristics of this marine basin was worked out.
Multiple fundamental study, conducted under the leadership of G.G. Polikarpov enabled him together with DRChB researchers to reveal in 1984 and study during 1984-1992 highly productiveness of the deep waters from the hydrogen sulfide zone of the Black Sea for marine algae. In 1989, together with Dr. Sc. V.N. Egorov and other colleagues he detected the intensive methane gas emissions and big coral-looking bacterial constructions.
In 2007-2008, Polikarpov G.G. in collaboration with academician of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU) Yu. P. Zaitsev and the colleagues from the IBSS Odessa branch and DRChB revealed and investigated a biospheric and space role of unknown earlier phenomenon in a hydrogen sulfide bathyal of the Black Sea: an availability of living spores and cysts of the aerobic plants (marine and freshwater algae and land fungi), for a long time being in the deep-water sediments in the state of rest. In 2009 academician Polikarpov G.G. proposed to use hydrogen sulfide conditions of the Black Sea as an anoxic analogue of the ecological conditions at other space bodies and as experimental site for standing space biology – exobiology, which permitted him in 2012 to work out “Conceptual model of the extreme biogeocenosis of the Black Sea hydrogen sulfide zone” and to formulate the base of a formation of the extreme marine biology of the hydrogen sulfide thickness and bathyal of the Black Sea for complex studies of the laws of functioning of this large natural extreme biogeocenosis. The grounds of the proposed by Polikarpov Gennady conceptual model were preseted in his fundamental work “Extremal life and created by itself region of life in the Black Sea bathyal”, published in “Marine Ecological Journal” (No 3, Vol. XI, 2012).
An outstanding scientist and researcher, G.G. Polikarpov paid great attention to the scientific-organizational work. In 1965, under supervision of Gennady Polikarpov the Department of Radioecology at the Institute of Oceanology, Academy of Sciences of Cuba (Havana) was founded. In 1968-1972 Polikarpov G.G. was the Deputy Director of the IBSS.
The contribution of Gennady Polikarpov to marine science was highly estimated on the national and international levels. He was a member of the Oceanographic Commissions of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the UkSSR, the State Committee on science and engineering of the USSR (1971-1975), expert of the International Maritime Organization (IMO, London) and IAEA on London Convention on radioactive wastes damping (Vienna, 1973), a member of the Soviet-American working group on marine biology, as USSR (Moscow, 1974), co-worker and member of the Secretariat of IAEA (Vienna), senior scientific worker (P-5), the head of the section of environment investigations in the International Laboratory on Marine Radioactivity of IAEA (Monaco-Ville, the Principality of Monaco, 1975-1979), a member of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) associated with the working group for the ocean health revision (Geneva, Swiss, 1978-1988); the permanent member of the IUR (Brussels, 1991-1996), Vice-President of IUR (1991-1994, 1999-2002), the board member of the IUR (Brussels, 2003-2006), the honorary member of the IUR (Cadarache, France, since 2006); the permanent member of the International Institute of Ecology (Section Marine Ecology) (Oldendorf/Luga, Germany) (1985), the Vice-President of the Advisory Committee for the Protection of the Sea (ACOPS) (London, 1989-1995), Academician of the UkSSR Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Devision of General Biology (since 1990); the founder in 1998 (with Prof. O. Kinne) of the International Union Eco-Ethics (EEIU) (President – Prof. O. Kinne); the founder of the Sevastopol branch of the N.V. Timofeev-Resovsky Scientific Society "Biosphere and mankind" in 2000.
Academician G.G. Polikarpov had the highest national and international awards, including a medal of the UN "In commemoration of the peaceful uses of atomic energy" (1977), Honorable Diploma of the Supreme Soviet of the UkSSR "For many-year fruitful scientific work and successes in development of marine radioecology" (1979) , Diploma of the Supreme Soviet of the UkSSR "For active participation in liquidation of consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant" (1986), Diploma of the Soviet Committee on UNESCO Programme "Man and Biosphere" for active work in realization of the UNESCO National Programme of "Man and Biosphere" in the Ukrainian SSR (1987), Diploma and a memorative medal of Prof. N.V. Timofeev-Ressovsky "For working-out the problems of marine radioecology" (1995), Honorable Diploma of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Central Committee of Trade Union "For many-year fruitful work, considerable personal contribution into development of the A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Biology of Southern Seas NAS of Ukraine"(1996).
Polikarpov G.G. was awarded the medal "For Selfless Labour" (1970), "Badge of Honor" (1971), he was confered the Honorary state title "Honoured Scientist" (1998), the State Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology (2007), Badge of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine "For scientific achievements" (2008), Award of V.I. Vernadsky from IUR "Appreciation of outstanding contributions into development and dissemination of Radioecology" (IUR, 2008), V.I. Vernadsky golden medal from IUR "For great contributions into radioecology" (IUR, 2008), the Order "For merits» III degree (2009).
G.G. Polikarpov supervised 29 candidates of science and 3 doctors of science. One of them is Dr. Sc. V.N. Egorov who was elected a member (Academician) of NAS of Ukraine in 2012.
Gennady G. Polikarpov published more than 900 scientific papers personally and with co-authors, including 28 monographers, big reviews and inventions. Lots of them have become classical scientific works, republished in Ukraine and abroad.
Gennady Polikarpov was a scientist with an active life position. He was involved in social activity at national and international levels.
As a man of a great soul, high moral characteristics, an excellent mentor and teacher, tireless enthusiast of science, Gennady G. Polikarpov will always remain for us an example of benevolence and humanity, selfless work for the sake of science and persistency in the application of scientific advances addressing practical problems for the benefit of people.
Bright memory about Gennady, as the great scientist and wonderful person, will remain forever in our hearts.