The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together


Alexandra Goryashko





"I have been working with the eiders for 35 years, and each year I learned something new about them. It was such a captivating process that, at the end, I decided to write a book. A book about the bird with which people are connected no less than a thousand years. How this bird, that provides not only the famous down but has many other surprising qualities, as well as about people on whom their lives often depend."


Alexandra Goryashko (born May 1965) is an historian of science, a biologist, and a writer. She graduated from a biological school and the Psychology Faculty of the Moscow State University, with a specialisation in animal psychology. She fell in love with the eiders in 1980 when she came, for the first time, to the Kandalaksha Nature Reserve as a young naturalist to help its researchers in monitoring eider nesting colonies and raising the eiderlings. In 1983 she defended her diploma work “Adaptation of the Common eider to anthropogenic disturbance”. Afterwards she participated annualy in the Reserve's field work, by counting the nesting eiders.


Alexandra's personal site: www.alexandra-goryashko.net


In addition to eiders, I have been studying the history of the White and Barents Sea biological stations for over 15 years. I've authored over 190 publications on the subject of ecology and nature protection, as well as the history of science. A participant of Russian and international conferences on sea biology, ornithology and the history of science. A winner of several competitions on the history of nature reserves and of science. A member of the North Eurasian working group on the geese, Association "Sea Inheritance: Research and Preserve", and a member of the Russian Union of Letters.