Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay bigraphy, stories - Biologists

Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay : biography

1846 - 1888

Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay ( ;English variations of his name include: Nicolai Nicolaevich de Miklouho-Maclay ,, Baron de Miklouho-Maklai which he used in letter writing, and others. In scientific literature, especially where he discovered sponge species, his surname is cited as Miklucho-Maclay. 1846–1888) was a Russian Sydney University Museums-The University of Sydney explorer, ethnologist, anthropologist and biologist who became famous as the first scientist to settle among and study people who had never seen a white man.Webster, E. M. (1984). The Moon Man: A Biography of Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay. University of California Press, Berkeley. 421 pages. ISBN 0-520-05435-0

Miklouho-Maclay spent the major part of his life travelling and conducted scientific research in the Middle East, Australia, New Guinea, Melanesia and Polynesia. Australia, though, became his adopted country and Sydney the home town of his family.Wongar, B., Commentary and Translator's Note in Miklouho-Maclay, N. N. The New Guinea Diaries 1871-1183, translated by B. Wonger, Dingo Books, Victoria, Australia ISBN 978-0-9775078-1-8, Australian Aboriginal Studies, Vol. 1998, 1998)

He became a prominent figure of nineteenth-century Australian science and became involved in significant issues of Australian and New Guinea history. Writing letters to Australian papers, Miklouho-Maclay expressed his opposition to the labor and slave trade ("blackbirding") in Australia, New Caledonia and the Pacific, as well as his opposition to the British and German colonial expansion in New Guinea. While in Australia, he built the first biological research station in the Southern Hemisphere, was elected to the Linnean Society of New South Wales, was instrumental in establishing the Australasian Biological Association, stayed at the elite Australian Club, became the intimate of the leading amateur scientist and political figure Sir William Macleay, and married the daughter of the Premier of New South Wales. His three grandsons have all contributed to the public life of Australia.

One of the earliest followers of Charles Darwin, Miklouho-Maclay is also remembered today as a humanist scholar who, on the basis of his comparative anatomical research, was one of the first anthropologists to refute the prevailing view that the different 'races' of mankind belonged to different species.



Miklouho-Maclay is commemorated in the scientific name of the New Guinea tree species Pouteria maclayana.; National Herbarium, Netherlands in the banana species Musa maclayi, February 2007 ver.1, p.3 and in the land snail species Canefriula maclayiana, in The Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales Vol. X 1885, p. 842 which where among some of the species he discovered.

The asteroid 3196 Maklaj, discovered in 1978, was named in his honour., Lutz Schmadel (ed.) available online at


Bust of Miklouho-Maclay, [[Macleay Museum at University of Sydney.]]

Miklouho-Maclay's name is commemorated in many parts of the world. In Australia, the building of the Marine Biological Station was commandeered by the Ministry of Defence in 1899 as a barracks for officers. However, in the 1980s the Miklouho-Maclay Society lobbied for the centre to be made into a historical landmark in memory of Miklouho-Maclay's scientific work, as well as for a park to be named in his honour. in Birchgrove

A bust of Miklouho-Maclay was unveiled in front of the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney to commemorate 150 years of his death. The Macleay Miklouho-Maclay Fellowship is available from the University of Sydney each year.


A monument to Miklouho-Maclay was unveiled in Jakarta, Indonesia, on March 3, 2011.

Papua New Guinea

Monument to Miklouho-Maclay in [[New Guinea]] The Maclay Coast (:ru:Берег Маклая), which Miklouho-Maclay named, is still used as the name for the North-east coast of Papua New Guinea. on Google Maps. The Maclay Coast is defined by Miklouho-Maclay as extending for 150 miles between Cape Croisilles and Cape King William, and 30–50 miles inland to the mountains of Mana-Boro-Boro (Finisterre Mountains).Maclay, N. de Miklouho, 1885. — "Notes on Zoology of the Maclay Coast in New Guinea", in Proc. Linn. Soc. NSW, 9:713

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