Biography

Alexander von Bunge was born in Tartu (Dorpat) in Russia on November 9, 1851 into the family of Alexander (professor of botany at the University of

Tartu) and Elisabeth (born von Pistohlkors) von Bunge. In 1862-1870, Bunge attended the Blumberg elementary school and a gymnasium in Tartu. Although Bunge wanted to study zoology at the University of Tartu, he still had to choose the speciality of medical doctor, since it guaranteed a job after graduation. Bunge studied medicine in 1870-1878 (MD 1880) and worked simultaneously (1874-1875) as an assistant at the Institute of Anatomy. After graduation he worked as a director of a mental hospital for women in Tartu (1878-1880). In 1881, Bunge left for St Petersburg, and joined his first polar expedition.

After returning from his Arctic expeditions in 1886, he worked mainly as a physician in different Russian frigates and on smaller expeditions. In 1901, Bunge was a senior physician in the Russian frigate "Diana" and took part in the Russian-Japanese war (1904-1905) as a head physician of the Russian Pacific Ocean squadron and marine hospitals in Port Arthur. In 1905, he made another trip along the North East Passage to the mouth of the Yenisey, and in 1906-1914 he was the head physician of the Russian Baltic Sea navy. During World War I, he was the director of several private military hospitals in St Petersburg. In 1918, Bunge returned to Estonia, where he lived first on the Mötliku farm inherited from his father, and since 1924 in Tallinn, where he died on January 19, 1930.

Erki Tammiksaar

See also Russian Geographical Society; Toll, Baron Edward von

Further Reading

Bunge, A. von, "Predvaritel'nyi otchet ob ekspedicii na Novo-Sibirskie ostrova." Izvestia Imperatorskogo Russkogo Geograficheskogo Obshchestva, 23 (1887): 573-591 Bunge, A. von & E. von Toll, "Die von der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften ausgerüstete Expedition nach den Neusibirischen Inseln und dem Jana-Lande." Beiträge zur Kenntniss des Russischen Reiches und der angränzen-den Länder Asiens, III. Folge, Bd. 3, 1887 Bunge, A. von, "Die russisch-schwedische SpitzbergenExpedition 1899/1900." Baltische Monatsschrift, 53(1) (1902): 45-58

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