psubiology

PSU Botanical Garden Re-Creates Permian Period

PSU Botanical Garden has opened a new Permian Period Park exposition, holding paleontological compositions telling about the life of the inhabitants of the Permian period.

Serving a study ground for students in Biology, Geology and Geography, museums of Perm State University, along with PSU Botanical Garden, cover a wide variety of climate zones and historical epochs, including the famous Permian period. The dedicated exhibition holds the models of animal species among the living descendants of ‘Permian’ plants and their original stone imprints.

The term of the Permian period was introduced 180 years ago by a known Scottish explorer Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792–1871). Marking the geographical locations of Russian cities, moving across Perm lands, Murchison described the fossil remains of unusual creatures and plants – labeling them with Perm, or Permian period – dominating the supercontinent of Pangaea 299 – 252 million years ago.  

“The unique character of the Permian period is that it served a turning point in the evolution of Earth, forming climatic zones of today. The mass extinction of animal and plant world provided boost for flowering plants, dinosaurs and mammals. To further promote the cultural and historical brand of the Permian geological period, we intend to complement the Garden exposition with full-size dynamic and static figures of the most famous Permian animal lizards,”

says Sergei Shumikhin, head of the Garden, associate professor of the Department of Botany and Plant Genetics, PSU.

Andrey Skvortsov, the author of the recent exposition from Vyatka Paleontological Museum, reconstructed the bottom of the sea reef and its extinct inhabitants – mollusks, fish and amphibians, as well as representatives of the invertebrate fauna. For that, he used installations by paleo-animalists, graphic images by scientists, and photographs of fossil finds.

Earlier in 2010, the “Plants of the Permian Geological Period” exhibition was created at PSU Botanical Garden, showing fossilized plant imprints along with their survived descendants of today. In 2017, the first exhibits of ancient land fauna were created. Now the collection contains about 50 species of fossil animals. The project was financially supported by a branch of PJSC RusHydro – the Kamskaya hydropower plant.

Fancy Arctic and Subarctic Exploration? Bio-Engineering? Science Management?

The Faculty of Biology at Perm State University will expand the range of educational disciplines in 2022.

Bachelor students will be able to study the Microbial and Cellular Technologies both in Russian and English. The course includes the study of enzymes, nucleic acids, biopolymers, metabolites and biosynthetic products – allowing its graduates to become biotechnologists or genetic bioengineers.

Two more programs are being opened in Pedagogical Education – “Biology” and “Biology and Physical Education”, providing methodology of individual learning. The Program graduates will be able to work both in educational institutions and sports clubs – as teachers of biology and physical education.

MSci students in Living Systems of the Arctic and Subarctic will gain knowledge on fundamentals of bio-systems of natural areas, at all levels of wildlife. The students will master environmental monitoring in the Arctic zone, GIS technologies and modern mathematical data processing tools.

The MSci distance learning course “Ecological Expertise and State Supervision in Land Use” will allow lto examine land resources, and estimate related reclamation activities. Upon completion, the graduates will be able to measure and perform restoration and protection of soil resources.

Modern Biology Education is another new distance learning profile. Through the course, the students will learn to design educational programs in biology, and run analytics of scientific research – allowing them to further work at scientific and educational centers, or related administrative institutions.

“About 70% of our graduates tend to be employed the same graduation year. The skills gained in class and lab projects help them to get in the leading profile institutes of the Academy of Sciences, resource extraction and processing enterprises,”

explains Andrey Elkin, Dean of the Faculty of Biology, PSU.

PSU Biologists and Hydrologists Contribute to Rivers of Europe Book

The Elsevier has published the second edition of the Rivers of Europe, ed. by K. Tockner, C. Zarfl, C.T. Robinson. As in the case of the first edition, researchers of the Faculty of Geography and the Faculty of Biology, Perm State University (PSU), contributed to the publication.

The book describes the biological and geographical features of the Volga and its tributaries, notably the Kama river and Perm-related part – serving the overall vision of the aquatic organisms and ichthyo-fauna, typical of the vast Volga-basin valley. It took 3 years to prepare the publication.

The contributors included researchers from the Department of Hydrology and Protection of Water Resources, the Department of Zoology of Invertebrates and Aquatic Ecology and the Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Ecology, PSU – making 1/3 of the section.

“The result is the most important reference book on all major European rivers, reflecting their current state. The urgent demand and feedback by its readers soon after the first publication in 2009 caused the editing team to start working on an updated version, nearly immediately,”

says Mikhail Baklanov, Head of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Ecology, PSU.

Interested on what is the Rivers of Europe about? Want to know more about Perm and the Kama basin?

The Volga River, at 3690 km (2293 mi), is known to be the longest river in Europe, 5th in Russia and 16th globally. The Volga flows into the Caspian Sea, the largest inland sea on Earth, covering various biomes from taiga to semidesert, holding about 151,000 rivers of which 2600 flow into the Volga directly – the Kama being its largest tributary, 5th longest river of Europe, crossing the vast Perm territory, and more.

Deriving its name from the Udmurt “kam”, meaning “river” or “current”. The river became a major link of communication between Asia and Europe. Originally colonized by Fins at the end of the 11th century, it saw the first Russian traders 3-4 centuries later, giving birth to Perm settlement and providing Imperial Russia with minerals, timber, fur and metals for production of armour and cannons.

Related section of the Book concerning the Kama river covers paleography; physiography, climate, and land use; geomorphology, hydrology, and biogeochemistry and questions of pollution; aquatic and riparian biodiversity – including plants, algae, zooplankton, zoobenthos and fish; questions of management and conservation; paleography of the catchment; physiography, climate, and land use.

Today, the Kama catchment consists of 12 administrative regions with a total population of 29 million people. Among them, >10 million (~40%) inhabit the adjacent riverine floodplain. Ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, coal industry, oil processing, and engineering and chemical industries cause heavy mining activity. Industrial discharge from the river-side cities are the main sources of pollution.

Providing a comprehensive outlook of the Volga and Kama basin, regarding their challenges and prospects, the PSU researchers see the increased content of manganese and iron compounds in water as a result of both anthropogenic and natural factors, including the bed weathering. In general, waters of the Kama are suitable for technical and domestic water supply, after treatment and disinfection.

The book experts, contributing to the research and publication, included Dr. Svetlana Dvinskikh, ScD. Victor Noskov, ScD. Alexander Kitaev, ScD Margarita Aleksevnina, ScD Anna Istomina, ScD Elena Presnova, ScD Mikhail Baklanov, Dr. Evgeny Zinoviev from the faculties of Geography and Biology, PSU.

Please, see the PDF of the Rivers of Europe enclosed.

PSU Scholar Wins $1000 Award at Conference in Iran

Polina Sairanova, a post-graduate student of the Faculty of Biology, and an engineer of the Hydro-Chemical Analysis Lab at the Faculty of Geology, PSU, has entered Top 10 winners of Youth Outstanding Paper Award (YOPA) by World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC).

The YOPA WASWAC Prize aims to encourage young scientists to research the problems of soil and water conservation in the world. The award consists of a WASWAC certification and a $ 1,000 royalty. WASWAC YOPA 2021 is provided by Beijing Datum Technology Development Company, China.

This year, the award was presented at the Third International Youth Forum on Soil and Water (IYFSWC), which took place in October 2021 at Tarbiat Modares University, Iran.

The Forum’s main theme became Soil and Water Conservation under Changing Environments. Participants from Iran, China, Russia and Italy reached the finals. Polina Sairanova became the participant to represent Russia, exclusively – presenting a report “Acid footprint in brown soils of the Middle Urals”.

Polina built her research on interpretation of the data acquired in the Basegi Reserve, Russia. Soil acidity indicators are known to be key parameters to define the direction and dynamics of soil processes – allowing to estimate the ecological state of natural objects.

10 top selected papers will be published in International Soil and Water Conservation Research (ISWCR) upon experts’ positive feedback and reviewers’ corrections.

The World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC) as the oldest worldwide academic society in the field of soil and water conservation. The aim of WASWAC is to promote the wise use of management practices that will improve and safeguard the quality of land and water resources so that they continue to meet the needs of agriculture, society and nature.

Forum pictures’ source (Iran).

PSU Speaker Participates Symposium at Oxford Botanic Garden 400th Anniversary

On 22 October, Perm State University (PSU) joined Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum for their celebration of 400th anniversary.  

The international symposium ‘Celebrating Botanic Gardens: Past, Present and Future’ united 26 world renowned speakers from 22 botanic gardens, arboreta, herbaria across the globe – to discuss the vital role botanic gardens play in horticulture research education and conservation, online.

On behalf of Perm State University, Sergei Shumikhin, head of PSU Botanical Garden, took part as a speaker at the Horticulture and Collections session – sharing Perm-based practices of horticulture, research, education and conservation. As Sergei Shumikhin has commented,

“Not only did I spoke for the PSU Botanical Garden, I was privileged to represent my country among the leading professionals across the world. So, in my report I did my best to refer to a whole system of botanical gardens in Russia, mentioning their contribution to our global mission, and its perspective.”

The Symposium reports showed the enormous role of botanical gardens in solving urgent global problems, including climate change and biodiversity conservation under new conditions. The participants expressed admiration about the high level the Symposium organization and its open friendly character.

“It was incredibly nice to see familiar faces and hear their voices – to mention Alex and Helen Coren, Prof. Simon Hiscock, Dr. Bob Price, Dr. Chris Thorogood, Dr. Lauren Baker and many others – with whom our garden has been in friendly and professional connection for many years,”

Sergei Shumikhin shares.

The oldest botanic garden in the UK, Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum has been running a year-long campaign of celebratory activities, explaining the importance of plants to people in the face of global challenges, and the critical role botanic gardens play around the world.

“Two days of the international Symposium proved to be a holiday of science, culture and friendship, which flew in a twinkle of an eye. Bringing at one ‘place’ inspiring speakers resulted in new acquaintances and academic contacts,”

recollects Sergei Shumikhin.

The event was sponsored by Plants, People, Planet and the New Phytologist Foundation.

Oxford Botanic Garden Celebrates 400th Anniversary, Invites Partners for Online International Symposium

On 22 October, Perm State University (PSU) joins University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum (OBGHA) for their celebration of 400th anniversary.

We invite you to join us and @OBGHA for their free, online #symposium ‘Celebrating Botanic Gardens: Past, Present and Future’ in which we will explore the vital role botanic gardens play in #horticulture #research #education and #conservation. Book now

The main event will take place on Friday 22 October (14.45-16.30 BST; Moscow time: 16:45-18:30; Perm time: 18:45-20:30). The venue is sponsored by Plants, People, Planet and the New Phytologist Foundation. The symposium will extensively use the Zoom Webinar online format, interested audience is welcome to join. The Zoom meetings will be recorded as a backup.  The event is free to attend. You can register for your place here. Spaces are limited so don’t miss out!

The international online symposium ‘Celebrating Botanic Gardens: Past, Present and Future’ will comprise 26 world renowned speakers from 22 botanic gardens, arboreta, herbaria across the globe. The Conference is free for participation and will shine a light on the vital work botanic gardens do around the world with four fascinating sessions on horticulture, research, education and conservation. On behalf of Perm State University, Sergei Shumikhin, head of PSU Botanical Garden, will take part as a speaker at the Horticulture and Collections session. 

“This year, the Botanical Gardenof Perm State University enjoys the exceptional opportunity of taking part in the international symposium by the Oxford University Botanical Gardens. Since PSU Botanical Garden will celebrate its own centennial birthday in 2022, we regard both celebrations as a chance to inspire further mutual research, educational and twinning contacts with Oxford and its University,”

says Sergei Shumikhin, head of PSU Botanical Garden, associate professor, Department of Botany and Plant Genetics, PSU.

Picture source: https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/obga/images/media/p1011494.jpg

Permian: A Reason to Celebrate International Science?

180 years ago, a known Scottish explorer Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792–1871) introduced the term of the Permian period. What does the word Perm mean in Scandinavian? How does Perm connect with the British Empire, and its railways? Can we travel back in time to experience the Permian bloom? 

In 1840-1841, Roderick Impey Murchison, accompanied by a French paleontologist Édouard de Verneuil, a German geologist Alexander Keyserling and a Russian geologist Nikolai Koksharov, Murchison made a huge journey across Russia, covering more than 20,000 km (12,400 mi).

Marking the geographical locations of Russian cities, travelling across the Perm lands, Murchison described unusual creatures and plants through their fossil remains – labeling them with Perm, or Permian period – dominating the supercontinent of Pangaea 299 – 252 million years ago.  

Roderick Murchison had no intention of becoming a geologist: after he retired from a military service, he became fond of fox hunting. Throughout his both profession and hobby he learned to correlate his  findings with terrestrial layers, exploring and describing their texture.

Geology as a science emerged in 19th century, at the start of the railway construction in Britain. The hills and rocks, regarded as obstacles, were torn down or cut through, revealing the hidden. Standing on a trade way to Syberia, the Urals and Perm experienced the same change, hence Murchison’s interest.

Linguists and ethnographers regard 3 main origins of the word ‘Perm’: 1). the land of Bjarma, mentioned in the Scandinavian sagas; 2). the Finnish word perämaa, i.e. “far land” (as indigenous  people belong to the same Finno-Ugric language group); 3). and the local Komi-Permian word “woods, forest”.

Several international, national and particularly local museums are proud to have Permian flora and fauna exhibits in their collection, to mention the Museum of Permian Antiquities, and museums of Perm State University (PSU), serving a study ground for the Faculties of Biology, Geology and Geography. 

The collection of PSU Botanical Garden includes species representing ancient taxa, widespread in the Permian period. “The dedicated ground holds living samples of ‘Permian’ plants,  decorated with stone imprints of the era,” says Sergei Shumikhin, head of the Garden, associate professor of the Department of Botany and Plant Genetics, PSU.

PSU Biologist Reports at Global Fishery Forum

Mikhail Baklanov, Head of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Ecology, Faculty of Biology, PSU presented his research in Aquatic Bio-Resources and Aquaculture in St. Petersburg, Russia.

PSU scholar took part in the round table “Will ‘Generation Z’ Go Fishing? The Problems of Education and Science”, as a part of the IV Global Fishery Forum and Seafood Expo Russia.

Experts in all areas of the fishing industry took part in the event – fishing and processing companies, aquaculture and mariculture enterprises, developers of equipment for processing, fishing, shipbuilding, repair and equipment, food and additives’ manufacturers.

“Attracting young people to fish farming is possible on several terms. Transformation of job placements is crucial if we want workers to stay healthy, helping them fulfil their creative potential. So, digitalization and robotization of technological process looks like a necessary and attainable solution. State bodies and big businesses have already started to actively move into this direction, due to an acute shortage of qualified specialists,”

shares Mikhail Baklanov.

Ichthyology is one of the strongest points and key areas of research at the Faculty of Biology, Perm State University. Since 1936, more than 1,000 thousand people became graduates in ichthyology. Regardless of the specific field, all of them are multi-task specialists universals, capable of working at science and research institutions, as well as involved in fish farming, rational fishing and nature conservation.

PSU Scholar Announced Best at International Conference in Belarus

Anna Perminova, a PSU researcher from the Natural Science Institute, has presented her report, announced best, at the International Conference “Geographic Aspects of Sustainable Development of Regions” at Gomel State University (Belarus). Overall, there have been presented a total of 127 reports by 200 authors from Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine.

Researchers from the Laboratory of Biogeochemistry of Technogenic Landscapes, PSU, presented reports on transformation of the natural environment and rational use of natural resources, drawing the examples of the Verkhnekamskoye salt deposit, a local to Perm terrotory. Anna Perminova was supported by Elena Khairulina, head of the laboratory, and Natalia Mitrakova, senior researcher.

Among many research spheres, the Conference covered the problems of engineering geology, hydrogeology, geophysics; regularities of transformation of ecological functions of geospheres in large mining regions; the rational use of natural resources and environmental protection. The 4th International Scientific and Research Conference “Geographic Aspects of Sustainable Development of Regions” was organized by the Faculty of Geology and Geography, F. Skorina Gomel State University; Voronezh State University; the Russian House in Gomel and the Gomel Department of the Belarusian Geographical Society.


Discover the Faculty of Biology with PSU International Students!

International students of the Faculty of Biology, PSU, has attended a summer training course at the Preduralye national reserve, Perm krai, Russia. The course aimed at studying biodiversity of species, methods of collecting and identifying material, and gaining the skill of field research.

Islam Saparov (Turkmenistan): “Going to Preduralye national territory reserve has been truly exciting. Besides studying Botany and Zoology, we did enjoy the local nature and made new friends. Russian students have been very open, positive and interactive.”

The Faculty scholars traditionally explore the diverse wildlife and flora of Perm krai, attribute to solutions within the agricultural complex, conduct research on HIV and Hepatitis C, and step into collaborations with the Faculty of Chemistry at PSU, nationally and abroad.

So, what professions can you get while studying at the Faculty of Biology?
• ecologist: studies, evaluates the condition and protection of flora, fauna, microorganisms;
• environmental engineer: analyzes the ecological challenge and develops measures to reduce recent and potential harm to nature;
• bioinformatist: deals with information contained inside the cell, primarily genome;
• biologist: researches flora and fauna;
• botanist: researches flora;
• engineer and interpreter of telemetry data: supervises operation of mining facilities; carries out harvesting, systematization and analysis of the data received in natural environment;
• geneticist: studies principles and mechanisms of heredity;
• zoologist: studies wildlife and animals;
• microbiologist: studies microorganisms;
• hydrobiologist: studies biological processes in the hydrosphere, and the practical use of biological resources of aquatic ecosystems;
• bioecologist: explores nature and its laws, uses biological systems in economic and medical spheres, solves problems of environmental protection and problems of rational use of natural resources.

Interested? Apply at Perm State University and share your prospects with your friends!

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