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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.

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.

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