Ivan I. Schmalhausen (1884–1963)

  • Giulia RispoliEmail author
  • Flavio D’Abramo
Living reference work entry


Ivan I. Schmalhausen (1884–1963) was a Ukrainian geneticist and zoologist nowadays recognized as a central figure in the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis. He studied with Alexey Nikolaevich Severtsov, a leading biologist and the founder of the Russian school of evolutionary morphology, who made relevant contributions in the field of comparative anatomy. Following Severtsov’s teaching, Schmalhausen became an expert in evolutionary morphology of animals and directed his attention towards experimental zoology.

Author of over 150 scientific papers on the study of patterns of growth, correlation, and evolutionary theories, his most important book, Factors of Evolution, was published in Russia in 1947 and translated into English in 1949 with a foreword by Theodosius Dobzhansky.

At the core of Schmalhausen’s scientific production is the theory of the organism as a whole and the notion of stabilizing selection, which places his work next to that of the British biologist Conrad Waddington. Schmalhausen has been the recipient of several scientific awards and appointed member of both the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (1922) and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1935).


Stabilizing selection Evolutionary morphology Correlative systems Cybernetics Waddington 


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  1. Schmalhausen II (1923) Osnovy sravnitel’noj anatomii pozvonochnykh. GIZ, Moscow/PetrogradGoogle Scholar
  2. Schmalhausen II (1926) Problema smerti i bessmertiya. Seria Proroda i Kul’tura, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  3. Schmalhausen II (1938) Organizm kak tseloje v individualnom i istoricheskom razvitii. AN SSSR, LeningradGoogle Scholar
  4. Schmalhausen II (1939) Puti i zakonomernosti evoliutzionnogo protsessa. AN SSSR, Moscow/LeningradGoogle Scholar
  5. Schmalhausen II (1946a) Problemy Darwinizma. Sovetskaja Nauka, Moscow, (2nd edition: 1969)Google Scholar
  6. Schmalhausen II (1946b) Faktory evolyutsii: teoriya stabiliziruyuschevo otbora (1946) AN SSSR. Leningrad, Moscow, (2nd, 1968)Google Scholar
  7. Schmalhausen II (1949) Factors of evolution: the theory of stabilizing selection. Blakiston Co., Philadelphia, (reprinted in 1986 by Chicago University Press)Google Scholar
  8. Schmalhausen II (1964a) Proischozhdenie nayemnykh pozvonochnykh. Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  9. Schmalhausen II (1964b) Regulyatsiya formoobrazovaniya v individual’nom razvitii. Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  10. Schmalhausen II (1968) Kiberneticheskije voprosy biologii (cybernetic questions in biology). Nauka, NovosibirskGoogle Scholar
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG)BerlinGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Daniel Nicholson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Philosophy and AnthropologyUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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