Research Institute of Biology
Address: 3 Lenin St, Irkutsk
Contacts: tel. +7 (3952) 24-30-77
In 2013 the Institute of Biology at ISU celebrated its 90th anniversary. It was first organized on the 16th of March, 1923, only 5 years after the founding of the university itself.
At the Institute of Biology there are 5 of the Doctor of Sciences (Dr. Sci.) degree, more than 20 Ph.D.s, and approximately 40 holders of the Russian specialist's degree employed, whose own scientific careers started here and who now work at leading institutes of higher education in Irkutsk and throughout Russia.
Over the past 30 years, 30 Dr. Sci. and 60 Ph.D. theses, and approximately 200 specialist's diploma projects have been successfully defended. The scientific publications by researchers at the institute number in the thousands with more than 80 patents to the researchers' credit. International cooperation plays an important role at the institute with 20 different partner universities and scientific centers in USA, Germany, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, China and South Korea.
The founding of the Institute of Biology was due in part to the need to study Lake Baikal in detail. So for this reason during the first few decades the institute was called the Biology-Geography Institute and housed in addition to Biologists, geologists, medical professionals and even ethnographers.
The study of the microclimates, flora, and fauna of Lake Baikal was carried out by the most famous Irkutsk researchers: B.A. Svarchevsky, V.Ch. Dorogostajsky, V.N. Yasnitsky, C.I. Timofeev, V.I. Smirnov among others.
A dynasty of scientists worked to found the institute , the most famous of whom was the esteemed Russian doctor of biology, professor M.M. Kozhov (1890-1968).
At the present moment there are 5 laboratories that carry out fundamental and applied studies in different fields and topics .
The Laboratory of general hydrobiology: appropriate function of the ecosystem of Lake Baikal, as well as microbiological monitoring of Lake Baikal; the study of the mechanisms of existence for the various communities of microorganisms in the lake.
The Laboratory of ecology and Baikal sciences: the study of bottom invertebrates in lake Baikal, Khubsugul, the Angara and it's reservoirs, a number of minor bodies of water in Eastern Siberia and Yakutia, and the study of water fowl.
The Laboratory of aquatic toxicology: the study of the special ecological features of invertebrates in Baikal and the near Baikal area, their role in the process of self-cleaning; the development of biological methods for the cleaning and reparation of fresh-water systems.
The Laboratory of experimental biotechnology: study for the protection of buildings from biological causes of damage; the search for and isolation of biologically active substances from fungi. This laboratory plans to turn its experiments and results into completely new products to better defend the health of people.
The Laboratory "Biological systems adaptation" focused on comparative study of physiological mechanisms of environmental adaptation and stress tolerance in highly specialized endemic species from of Lake Baikal and common Palearctic species. Understanding the differences in tolerance and stress protection mechanisms between these species will provide important information for predicting the resilience of unique endemic Baikal fauna in the face of global climate change and may have important implications for future studies of the effects of global climate change on other ancient ecosystems worldwide.