Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences, Senior Geologist of the Committee since its establishment. He graduated from the Moscow University with a degree in botany. Subsequently, he even wrote a textbook of botany, which has survived several editions. He defended his master's thesis in palaeontology, and then worked as a geologist, palaeontologist, and hydrogeologist. S.N. Nikitin is known as a prominent expert of his time in the Jurassic and Cretaceous of European Russia, as a discoverer of the Tatarian of the Upper Permian (“black marls stage”). S.N. Nikitin along with N.A. Golovkinsky can rightfully be considered founder of Russian hydrogeology. Developed the main provisions of the plan for a systematic geological study of Russia based on the compilation of a nine-verst geological map and areal zoning for the purpose of geological surveying; prepared the first instructions for compiling a geological map. In May 1882, he was appointed Head of the Geological Library just created by GeolCom. He was the initiator, founder, and editor of the bibliographic index “Russian Geological Library”.
“Sergey Nikolaevich,” A.A. Borisyak wrote about him, “belonged to that small but glorious handful of our “fathers” who laid the foundation stone of the present Committee a quarter century ago and created the Committee and its fame and, to a large extent, the glory of Russian geological science within a short time”.