PSU Graduate Receives Prestigious Award in Biology

Arkady Balushkin, a graduate of the Faculty of Biology, PSU, has been awarded the L.S. Berg Medal for outstanding work on morphology, taxonomy and historical biogeography of the Antarctic fish species.

Arkady Balushkin, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Head of the Laboratory of Ichthyology at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, graduated from PSU in 1971. Today he is the world’s leading expert on Antarctic ichthyofauna and an expert in the taxonomy and biogeography of many fish species all over the World Ocean.

Arkady described 47 new species for science and 17 new genera of bony fishes. As a result of many years of research in the Southern Ocean, Arkady Balushkin laid the foundations of the modern classification of fish. He studied the evolutionary and historical formation patterns of the suborder notothenium fishes – a group that took a dominant position among vertebrates in terms of number and taxonomic diversity in the vast water area of the south of our planet (about 20% of the World Ocean).

In the field of fish morphology, Arkady Balushkin described a number of new unusual organs among Antarctic fishes, including a completely unique one – supra-axillary swellings (convexitas superaxillaris), intended for the production and storage of antifreezes in Antarctic warthogs living in ice water.

Arkady Balushkin is the author and co-author of a number of books, collective monographs and catalogs. His list of academic writings comprises about 150 publications. In recognition of the scientist’s contribution to science and international collaboration with ichthyologists, six new fish species were named after him.

The L. S. Berg Gold Medal had been awarded since 1992 by the Russian Academy of Sciences for outstanding work in the field of geography, biogeography and ichthyology. The medal is named after Lev S. Berg, the Soviet zoologist and geographer.

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