Polozhiy (born Teterskaya) Antonina Vasilyevna (12.05(30.04)1917, Tomsk – 20.11.2003, Tomsk) – botanist, Professor, Head of the Herbarium. Born into a family of employees of the Office of the Tomsk Railroad. Studied at the seven–year school (1923–1930), from which she graduated at the age of 13, attended a drawing course (1931), and graduated with honors from the Faculty of Biology of the Tomsk State University (1934–1939.). Studied at a postgraduate school (1939–1940 and 1943–1945). Candidate of Biological Sciences (1946). Doctor of Biological Sciences (1966).
She worked as a drafter at Gorkomhoz survey bureau (1931–1932), and later in the railway administration (1932–1934), worked for a short while in the evening school of Krivoshchekova settlement, Novosibirsk region. Since 1940 – senior laboratory assistant at the Department of Systematics of Lower Plants, since 1942 – a laboratory assistant, then the assistant of the Department of Morphology and Systematics of Higher Plants. Since 1947 – associate Professor of the Department of Higher Plants, the head of the Department of Botany (1961–1964 and 1966–1989), Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Soil Science (1965–1969), Head of the Laboratory of flora and vegetation resources of Research Institute of Biology and Biophysics at TSU (1969–1970), Head of the P.N. Krylov Herbarium of TSU (1970–2002).
A.V. Polozhiy continued scientific work in the main direction of the Tomsk scientific school of botanical taxonomy of plants and studying the flora of Siberia and founded a new direction – the botanical resource studies. As an author and co–author has published about 200 scientific papers, including 28 monographs, 3 textbooks and 6 learning guides. She specified 15 species of plants, wrote significant theoretical work on the history of the formation of floras of separate territories of Central Siberia, on endemic and relict elements in the flora of Central Siberia, the meaning and methods of studying the history of the flora of intraspecific systematic forms, the scope and structure of the form in plants. A.V. Polozhiy actively studied the Yenisei Siberia flora and systematics of one of the largest families of flowering plants – Legumes. In the late 40s, A.V. Polozhiy was included in the team, which worked on the creation of “Flora of the Krasnoyarsk Territory” under the direction of V.V. Reverdatto and L.P. Sergievskaya. She wrote the issue no. 6 “Legumes – Papilionaceae” (1960), in 1970, she became the primary author and editor of this work. A.V. Polozhiy was also the editor and one of the primary drafters of three volumes of a 14–volume “Flora of Siberia” – “Rosaceae” (1988), “Legumes” (1994), “Scrophulariaceae” (1996), and the final volume of the “Additions and changes to the “Flora of Siberia” (2003). Since 1970, she had been the editor of scientific publications on plant taxonomy “Systematic notes based on the materials of P.N. Krylov herbarium”
A.V. Polozhiy paid much attention to practical issues related to the protection and rational use of plants: in the fifties she had been studying the taxonomic diversity and biology of weed plants in the southern and northern parts of the Tomsk region and finding ways to combat the infestation of crops; during the Great Patriotic War, together with Professor V.V. Reverdatto, her work was finding new sources of medicinal plants. In 1970–1980 she supervised the work on the “Resources of herbal medicinal materials in Siberia” of state program “Human Health in Siberia”, participated in the creation of the “Atlas of areas and resources of medicinal plants of the USSR” (1976, 1983), participated in the writing of the “Red Books” of RSFSR (1988) and the Tomsk region (2002), monographs “Rare and endangered plants of Siberia” (1980) and “Rare and endangered species of plants and animals of the Tomsk region” (1984). In the course of scientific works, a considerable amount of herbarium materials was collected, processed and added to the Herbarium collection.
A.V. Polozhiy conducted more than 10 expeditions to the areas of the Yenisei Siberia, including hardly accessible (Podkamennaya and Lower Tunguska, Priangarye, Zaangarye). Herbarium collections made by A.V. Polozhiy, significantly contributed to the collection of the Herbarium. During the supervision of A.V. Polozhiy, the Herbarium had the largest staff count; in the mid-80s, the Herbarium had more than 10 full–time employees. 70–80s were the most productive in terms of widening the collection of the
Herbarium, when in cooperation with the newly opened Research Institute of Biology and Biophysics under Tomsk State University conducted research on the stocks of raw herbal materials. During these years, numerous long expeditions were held, which brought rich material on the flora of Tuva, Altai, Transbaikalia, Kuznetsk Alatau.
During these years, and in particular, due to the creation of “Flora of Siberia”, a need appeared to specify type specimens from the herbarium collections. A.V. Polozhiy, realizing the significance of this work for the systematics of plants, she began this difficult and important process in the Herbarium of the TSU. Prominent type specimens formed the basis of the type collection, which has now grown repeatedly. Based on the first experience of typification of names of taxa described by Tomsk botanists, A.V. Polozhiy published a catalog named “Types of taxa in the P.N. Krylov Herbarium”.
In the 90s of the twentieth century, scientific studies started getting funding from grants and programs. Projects developed by A.V. Polozhiy, had almost always been supported, and the staff of the P.N. Krylov Herbarium performed research under grants of the Ministry of Education and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, in particular the “Flora of Siberia (Solanaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Plantaginaceae, Rubiaceae, Valerian, Campanulaceae)” (1995–1997), “Flora of Yenisey Island steppes” (1998–2000), “Flora of Khakassia” (2002–2004).
In addition to research, A.V. Polozhiy’s lifework was teaching. Antonina Vasilyevna was good at teaching and she really enjoyed it; she had such tremendous ability to present facts, even boring ones, so they attracted considerable interest. From the very beginning of her work in Tomsk State University until her death, Antonina Vasilyevna had been giving lecture courses on the taxonomy of lower plants, higher plant taxonomy, taxonomy and phylogeny of flowering plants, anatomy and morphology of plants, and botanical resource studies. In the framework of postgraduate and doctoral programs, and external doctorate she prepared 8 doctors and 23 candidates of biological sciences. In 1997, the scientific school of Siberia vegetation studies that she was in charge of received the status of Leading Scientific School of Russia. Antonina Vasilyevna generously shared her knowledge about plants, not only with students and graduate students, but also with the citizens of Tomsk and Tomsk region. She was an active lecturer of the “Knowledge” society, held lecture tours in the Herbarium for different population groups, traveled and lectured in different organizations. No delegation visiting the university went past Herbarium and everyone enjoyed listening to the Antonina Vasilyevna’s story about the history of Herbarium and the importance of studying the vegetation.
A.V. Polozhiy performed numerous duties that required much effort and time: from 1978 to 2000, she had been a chairperson of the Dissertation Council for PhD theses at TSU, then – a member of the council for doctoral dissertations (2001–2003.). For many years she had been a member of dissertation Council at the Central Siberian botanical Garden of SB RAS (Novosibirsk), a member of the expert commission of Higher Attestation Commission in botany (1980–1984), member of the section of botany under the head Council of Biology of the Ministry of Higher Education (1987–1990), for many years (1968–1998) supervised the Tomsk Branch of Russian (Union) Botanical Society (since 1993 – honorary Member of the Russian Botanical Society), was an active member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS).
Given all her activities at the University, A.V. Polozhiy devoted much time to her family. She was a wonderful wife, she knew how to cook and create home comfort, loved to read fiction and always shared her thoughts about books she read with the staff of the Herbarium at tea, had a great taste in fashion.
Long–term and fruitful scientific and pedagogical activity of A.V. Polozhiy in the Tomsk State University had been praised and recognized. In 1981 she was awarded the title “Honored Scientist of the RSFSR”, she was awarded the “Badge of Honor” (1976) and “Medal of Honor” (1999), medals “For Valorous Labor in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945” (1946), “For Valorous Labor in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin” (1970), “50 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic war of 1941–1945” (1995) “For merits to the Tomsk University” (1998). Laureate of Tomsk State University award for her work “Flora of Yenisei Siberia” (1982) and for the textbook “The taxonomy of flowering plants with the fundamentals of phylogeny” (2001). Four plant species were named in honor of A.V. Polozhiy: Astragalus polozhiae Timoch., Poa polozhiae Revjakina, Taraxacum polozhiae Kurbatski, Veronica polozhiae Revusch.
Gureeva I.I. In the memory of Antonina V. Polozhiy (1917–2003). Systematic notes based on materials of P.N. Krylov Herbarium of Tomsk State University, 2004, pp 1–3.
Gureeva I.I., Revushkin A.S. Antonina V. Polozhiy: the 90th anniversary of her birth (1917–2003). Bot. Zh. 2007. V. 92, No. 12. Pp. 1968–1973.
Gureeva I.I., Revushkin A.S. Antonina V. Polozhiy: the 95th anniversary of her birth (1917–2003). Tomsk: University Publishers, 2012. p. 52
Nekrylov S.A. Polozhiy Antonina V. Professors of Tomsk State University: A Biographical Dictionary Ed. S.F. Fomin. Tomsk, 2001. V. 3. Pp. 312–316.
Polozhiy A.V. P.N. Krylov Herbarium of Tomsk State University (the 100th anniversary of the foundation). Tomsk, 1986. p. 87