Karl Franzevich Roullier (1814–1858)


K. Roullier was born in Nizhni Novgorod. His father, originally a Frenchman, was a boot-maker, and his mother was a midwife. He graduated from Medical-Surgeon Academy in 1833 where he attended lectures of G. Fischer and A. Lovetsky. After that, he was serving for several years as a junior physician in a dragoon regiment because of being shot of money, but was invited by G. Fischer to the Natural History Department of the above Academy in 1836. He won doctor's degree in 1837 and began to read lectures in zoology and mineralogy as an assistant professor, along with curating the collections of the Cabinet of the same name. He moved to the University in 1840 to become director of the Museum and a lecturer at the Department of Natural History, and was given a rank of full professor of zoology in 1850.

K. Roullier was one of the first evolutionists in Russia and is famous as a founder of what was called later ecology. He was a brilliant lecturer advocating for studying native animals with respect to their relations with the environments. He also was interested in paleontology and conducted intensive investigations of fossils in the field. One of his most prominent students and followers was A.P. Bogdanov.

In the years of Roullier, the Museum was being actively increased in respect to representatives of native fauna, both living and extinct. Moving of collections (more than 15 thousand specimens) from Medical-Surgeon Academy to the University in 1842-1844 was most significant event. He also invited K. Renar from that Academy to curate the University Museum.