(1844 – 26 February 1907)

Nikolay Nikolayevich Speshnev was born in Italy, in Venice, in 1844. He finished secondary school in Pskov, Russia. Then he studied at St Petersburg University, and at the same time, worked as junior teaching staff professor assistant at the Chair of Botany under direction of Prof. A.N. Beketov.

In 1865 he went abroad together with Professor A.N. Beketov, where worked under guidance of Professors Hofmaister, de Bary and Sachs. In 1870s he returned to Russia and defended pro venia legendi. Then he was elected the senior lecturer of Kiev University, where gave a course of mycology and botany at Higher Women' Courses.

After that N.N. Speshnev moved to his patrimonial estate Fedosino of Pskov province and entered into the public life of province. In Pskov, N.N. Speshnev founded the Agricultural Society. He was elected head of the Society and also an honorary Justice of the Peace. Moreover, N.N. Speshnev became a member of Commission on Peasant Affairs and undertook some practical measures in agriculture. He spent a lot of means on experiments with progressive methods of plant cultivating and their propaganda among population, though without success. He tried to apply to practice some of his inventions and even founded special factory in St Petersburg, but went bankrupt and had to return to the state service.

In 1891 N.N. Speshnev went to the Caucasus as a senior wine-maker of the Independent Principality Department in Kakhetia, and in 1894 transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and State Properties as mycologist. He actively commenced on the investigation of fungal and other diseases of Caucasian culture plants. In this period N.N. Speshnev published most of his works in Russian press and abroad.

Besides mycological studies, N.N. Speshnev was member of Phylloxera Committee in Tiflis, Caucasian Agricultural Society, Society of Horticulture and others. He was in active correspondence with foreign scientists from Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain, America and Australia.

N.N. Speshnev died suddenly (from pneumonia) in Tiflis on 26 February 1907. With his death the Central Administrative Board of Land-Utilization and Agriculture on the Caucasus lost the excellent specialist-mycologist, and Tiflis Botanical Garden - one of the most prominent researchers.

This page is brief synopsis of the article "Private news. In commemoration of N.N. Speshnev", pp. 107-110 (with portrait).

Lists. Taxa. Kirk & Ansell form of name: Speschnew.

Previous page