Obituary: Eugeny E. Syroechkovski (1929-2004)

Published on 01 May 2006 in Obituaries

I first met Professor Dr E. E. (Eugeny) Syroechkovski, Sr. ten years ago, when I joined the Russian Arctic expeditions, organised and led by his son E. E. Syroechkovski, Jr. Since then, I have visited the Russian Arctic almost every summer and become a friend of the family. On many occasions, either before or after the expedition, I have stayed in their flat in central Moscow on the Zubovski Bulvar, an impressive 12-lane road, and impossible to cross on foot. The contrast with Russia’s vast wilderness areas, the conservation of which was Eugeny’s prime field of expertise, could not be more striking. His flat, located on the upper floor, contained four rooms, all filled with literally thousands of books, housed mostly in large glassfronted wooden bookcases. Every possible space was filled with books and reports, increasingly reaching the interior of each room in large piles, including many documents in different languages. The books were surrounded by a few stuffed birds, including the much-envied Baikal Teal Anas formosa, and the Adèlie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae he brought back from Antarctica in the 1950s, when he worked at Haswell Island near the Soviet station Mirny. But he always found a place for me to stay. With my limited understanding of Russian, it was difficult to hold a serious conversation with Eugeny, who could not speak English, but his wife, Helena Rogacheva, and his son are both fluent in English, so we communicated mainly through them. Eugeny E. Syroechkovski was born on 23rd June

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