Grigore Antipa

He was the first Romanian to reach the North Pole.

Grigore Antipa (27 November 1867, Botoşani – 9 March 1944 Bucharest) was a Romanian Darwinist biologist who studied the fauna of the Danube Delta and the Black Sea. Between 1892 and 1944 he was the director of the Bucharest Natural History Museum, which now bears his name.

He was the most appreciated disciple from all Ernst Haeckel’s students. In the same time, he was been the closest man of Ernst
Haeckel. Grigore Antipa gains Ernst Haeckel’s sympathy through his intelligence and communication skills, through his work abilities and abnegation. Moreover, Grigore Antipa has worked together with Ernst Haeckel during a long period of time. They were been into the same team of few expeditions around the world. After that, Grigore Antipa was been sent to work to different maritime stations from Villefranche – sur Mer, Oslo, Bergen, Stockholm, Naples and Helgoland. During this period, he worked into Haeckel’s Laboratory together with W. Kükenthal and A. Lang (the biggest zoologists from his time). Those were the times when Grigore Antipa worked and study, those were his friends and teachers. Haeckel himself described Grigore Antipa as the most brilliant from all of his students. Only three of his PhD students passed the final exams with “Summa Cum Laude”: Grigore Antipa, A. Walter and Hans Driesch.

Additionally, Antipa was a specialist in zoology, ichthyology, ecology and oceanography, one of the creators of the modern museology, initiator of the dioramas, and was a university professor. He was elected as member of the Romanian Academy in 1910 and was also a member of several foreign academies. He founded a school of hydrobiology and ichthyology in Romania.