History of the Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Ecotoxicology

The Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Ecotoxicology as a structural subdivision of the Institute of Zoology was formed by merging the laboratories of hydrobionts ecology, radiobiology and anthropogenic monitoring group in 1997.

The Laboratory of Hydrobiota Ecology (originally called the Laboratory of Aquatic Animals) was established in 1964 under the leadership of Alexandra Sergeevna Malinovskaya, PhD in Biology, Hydrobiologist.

The initial staff consisted of 6 people: A. S. Malinovskaya, V. A. Tan, S. A. Mordukhovich, B. I. Bragin, V. I. Merinov, and T. S. Stuge. At the beginning of its activity, the Laboratory was developing a new scientific direction for the Republic: the radioecology of aquatic ecosystems. During the first decade a small group of researchers carried out large-scale field and experimental works on investigation of radionuclides migration pathways in water bodies with different chemical composition of water and different flora and fauna.

Biological indicators of radioactive contamination were revealed, regularities of concentration and discrimination of radionuclide products by certain species and groups of hydrobionts depending on their systematic belonging, age and type of feeding were established. The influence of radionuclides on embryonic and post-embryonic development of fish was studied. Lakes Markakol, Dzhasybay, Toraygyr, Sabundykol, Balkhash and the Aral Sea were examined. During this period, PhD theses on aquatic radioecology (B.I. Bragin, S.A. Matmuratov) and benthofauna of Lake Markakol (V.A. Tan) were defended.

Later the range of interests of the laboratory expanded and in the subsequent decades there were studies on changes that occur in hydrocenoses of rivers, lakes, reservoirs and seas under the influence of increasing concentrations of heavy metals (B.I. Bragin, S.A. Matmuratov). Bragin), organochlorine pesticides (V.I. Nilov), thermal impact and salt regime (V.A. Tan, T.S. Stuge, M.D. Lincevskaya), and studies on chironomid cytogenetics (S.A. Matmuratov, E.I. Smorodina, O.M. Gubina) and fauna of plankton protozoa (T.T. Troshina) were initiated.

Particular attention was paid to studies of the matter and energy cycle in water bodies of different types (ponds, lakes, reservoirs). Levels of primary production in water bodies due to phytoplankton and secondary production of organic matter created by hydrobionts – protozoa, rotifers, crustaceans were determined (T.S. Stuge, T.T. Troshina).

The materials obtained in 70-80 were the basis for the organization and implementation of monitoring of the state of aquatic ecosystems in Kazakhstan. Based on the results of this work, a PhD thesis was defended (T.S. Stuge), a monograph on the hydro fauna of water reservoirs in Kazakhstan (A.S. Malinovskaya, V.A. Tan) and sections of a collective monograph on the Aral Sea (A.S. Malinovskaya, T.T. Troshina, A.A. Yubko) were published.

During those years, great importance was given to the connection between science and practice, and to the performance of contractual works. The fauna of river crayfish inhabiting the water bodies of Kazakhstan was elucidated, their biology was studied, their distribution and stocks were specified and the water bodies that could be used as the acclimatization fund were identified. Biological justifications for crayfish acclimatization and recommendations to the Ministry of Fisheries of the Republic on the use of crayfish stocks and their protection have been developed (A.S. Malinovskaya, Z.K. Brushko, V.V. Mosolov). On the proposal of the laboratory, river crayfish were stocked in a number of reservoirs: Karatamar, Kapshagay, Badam, in reservoirs of Irtysh-Karaganda channel.

In conjunction with the KazNIIEnergetics, the study of the effect of discharge of warm water of hydroelectric power plants on the water quality and temperature was conducted and implementation of works on the reconstruction of the direct-flow water supply of Ermakovskaya TPP (A. S. Malinovskaya, B. B. Bragin) and the elimination of biological interference in the water supply system of Ekibastuz TPP-1 (T. S. Stuge, V. A. Tan, M. D. Linchevskaya) were implemented.

In 1978, the ecological method of increasing the natural forage base of growing ponds in the south of Kazakhstan was developed in the laboratory and its introduction in the Alma-Ata fish nursery and Shelek pond farm with high economic effect was carried out (T.S. Stuge, G.D. Dubovenko).

Jointly with the Altai branch of KazNIIRKh comprehensive studies were conducted on Kapshagay reservoir, the result of which were recommendations to the Ministry of Fisheries for fishery development of reservoirs (A.S. Malinovskaya, T.S. Stuge, V.I. Nilov, V.A. Tan, S.A. Mordukhovich).

Due to drying up and salinization of the Aral Sea and death of freshwater-saline complex of local hydrofauna, jointly with the Aral branch of KazNIIRKh, after conducting experimental studies, biological justifications on acclimatization of flounder and forage invertebrates from the fauna of Black and Japan Seas were developed (V.I. Nilov, V.V. Mosolov, T.T. Troshina, A.A. Yubko). Flounder acclimatization was successful, now it is a commercial object in hypergaline conditions of the Aral Sea. By the assignment of the Ministry of Ecology and Bioresources together with the Ornithology Laboratory the contractual works on research of forage for fish and birds and development of the wetlands of Akmola and Kustanay oblasts were conducted (B.I. Bragin, T.S. Stuge, V.A. Tan).

In the same years, faunistic works on the study of individual systematic groups of hydrofauna were initiated. The fauna of planktonic protozoa of the Kapchagai reservoir and Balkhash Lake was studied for the first time (T.T. Troshina).

Since 1986, the laboratory is headed by candidate of biological sciences S. A. Matmuratov. In 1987-1990 the laboratory by the order of the Ministry of Industry and Trade carried out ecological studies of gill-footed crustacean of Artemia salina in the salt lakes of Kazakhstan and identification of lakes with commercial cysts of the crustacean. 110 salt lakes in the Pri-Irtysh region were surveyed and stationary research was carried out in a number of water bodies during the vegetation season from May to October. Artemia production was determined. Six lakes with commercial stocks were identified (Matmuratov S.A., Shcherbakov A.N., Lopatin O.E., Stuge T.S.).

Based on the results of long-term work at the Ekibastuzskaya GRES-1 and GRES-2 cooling reservoirs in cooperation with the USSR GosNIORKh (Leningrad), recommendations were given for the fishery development of cooling reservoirs in different climatic zones (T. S. Stuge, V. A. Teng, M. D. Linchevskaya).

The Laboratory of Radiobiology was founded in 1965 as a part of the Institute of Nuclear Physics, in 1976 it became a part of the Institute of Zoology. All these years the laboratory was headed by the founder of the laboratory, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR Saim Balmukhanovich Balmukhanov.

The main subjects of the laboratory were related to the problem of radiosensitivity and the ways of its directed change. As a result of many years of research the data on the mechanism of biological action of radiation, biochemical bases of radiosensitivity of animal cells, regularities of the mechanism of action of some modifiers were obtained, as a result of which the possibilities of directed change in radiosensitivity opened.

As part of the Institute of Zoology, the laboratory staff, using the methods of biochemistry, biophysics, etc., studied animal populations living in different natural conditions, the parameters of vital activity of cells of different species and studied the properties of biologically active substances of animal origin with the aim of application in biology and medicine.

Since 1982 the laboratory was headed by Saule Turalovna Ryskulova, candidate of medical sciences. In connection with worsening of radioecological conditions in the republic, since 1991 the work on ecology of the Semipalatinsk test site “Assessment of viability of rodent populations in regions with the raised radiating background” was started. The problem of radio-ecology of animals in Kazakhstan practically has not been developed before that time. In the created radio-ecological situation in the republic these scientific researches gain priority value.

At present the main scientific direction of the laboratory of hydrobiology and ecotoxicology is the study of fauna and problems of preservation of animal biodiversity in close connection with issues of environmental quality5 and ecological safety.

Studies are of a complex nature, covering different groups of animals (aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, rodents) and together with pollution monitoring are aimed at obtaining fundamental information on the status and features of changes in the fauna of Kazakhstan under the influence of environmental conditions and anthropogenic pressures. For practical purposes, these studies are important to establish the indicator value of species as biomarkers of the impact of negative environmental pressures on wildlife and for their further use in monitoring activities.

Matmuratov Sovet Aitmagambetovich. Graduated from Kazakh Pedagogical Institute named after Abay in 1962. In Institute of Zoology he works since 1966, since 1986 he is the head of laboratory. In 1975 defended PhD thesis on “Hydrobiology, Radiobiology”. Scientific work is connected with actual for Kazakhstan problems of biodiversity and habitat quality preservation, estimation of natural communities and animal populations condition in ecologically unfavorable regions of republic, where processes of anthropogenic transformation of zoocenoses are more expressed.

Complex researches have been successfully organized on Lake Balkhash and in the zone of influence of Balkhash mining and smelting combine, in the zone of Karaganda industrial complex, on the territory of Semipalatinsk polygon, in the Nury river basin and on other comparative sites.

In recent years, a significant amount of extrabudgetary research has been carried out under the UNDP international project on wetlands of Kazakhstan, where as a responsible executor he led the topic on aquatic ecosystems, managed the work in the Kurgaldjin project area.

Within attraction of extrabudgetary funding organized works on assessment of current condition of animals in the area of Dnepr spacecraft crash and to determine the status of fish resources in the reserve fund of fishery reservoirs of local importance of Almaty region.

He has published about 80 scientific papers devoted to hydrobiological problems of water bodies of Kazakhstan. The results of research in the ecosystems of water bodies of disadvantaged areas are summarized and prepared in the form of materials of doctoral dissertation. Along with the research activities, much attention is paid to the organizational work of the laboratory. Responsible performer of a number of grants, projects and contractual themes carried out by the Laboratory.

Saule Turarovna Ryskulova is a chief researcher, Doctor of Biological Sciences. Ryskulova Saule Turarovna graduated in 1957 from Kazakh State Medical Institute. In Institute of Zoology she works since 1976, since 1982 till 1996 in the post of head of radiobiology laboratory. In 1986 has protected the dissertation for a doctor’s degree on a speciality “radiobiology” and has published the monography “Radiation biology of plasma membranes”. In 2004 S.T. Ryskulova published an analytical review on the problems of Semipalatinsk polygon in her book “Semipalatinsk polygon (creation, activities, conversion)”. During the period of work at the Institute 106 works were published.

Slivinsky Georgiy Georgievich – leading researcher, Doctor of Biological Sciences. He graduated from Biology and Soil Department of Tomsk State University in 1970. He has been working at the Institute of Zoology since 1976. In 1976 he successfully defended his PhD thesis. Since 1980 he is a Senior Researcher and since 1986 Senior Researcher at the Laboratory of Cell Radiobiology. In 1984 he was awarded the title of a Senior Researcher. Since 1996 Leading Researcher at the Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Eco-Toxicology.

In 2005 successfully defended his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Biology. The basic direction of scientific researches is studying of consequences of technogenic pollution of habitat with heavy metals for population of wild animals. The level of pollution by heavy metals of components of terrestrial and aquatic biocenoses in the anthropogenic-transformed areas of Kazakhstan has been established. Correlations between the degree of pollution of the environment by various metals and indicators of vital functions of indicator species have been traced.

The second direction of work of G. G. Slivinsky is connected with researches in the field of cyto- and molecular genetics of rare and disappearing species of ungulate animals. He was the first to describe the chromosome sets of mountain sheep. He formed one of the largest collections of highly polymeric DNA of argali inhabiting Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. The company initiated the creation of a bank of cultured somatic cells from rare and endangered species of animals inhabiting the territory of Kazakhstan. The obtained cell strains are used for solution of disputable questions of systematics and biotechnology research. He is the author of more than 100 works.

Stuge Tatiana Sergeevna is a senior researcher, PhD in Biology. She graduated in 1963 from the Faculty of Biology and Soil Science of KazSU. She has worked at the Institute of Zoology since 1964, completed her postgraduate studies there. Had several internships at leading research institutions of the USSR (ZIN ASSSR, Institute of Inland Waters Biology of ASSSR, MSU, Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography) on various aspects of hydrobiology, including on application of radiocarbon for primary production determination and establishment of food links of hydrobionts.

Dissertation has been defended in 1979 in Scientific Council of GosNIORKh (Leningrad). T.S. Stuge is an expert on planktonic crustaceans. During her work at the Institute she carried out scientific research in the field of biodiversity, ecology, population biology and productivity of zooplankton of inland water bodies.

She participated in more than 30 field expeditions to water bodies of Irtysh, Nura, Tobol, Ural, Syrdarya river basins, lakes of Balkhash-Alakol system, Aral Sea and others, special attention was paid to investigation of zooplankton community state in water bodies under intensive anthropogenic pressures and in water bodies of preserved territories.

Т. С. Stuge is an expert of the section on aquatic invertebrates of the Red Books of Kazakhstan and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and has been an external expert on ecology at the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources since 1994.

T.S. Stuge’s total number of published scientific works is about 150. She received grant of Soros Foundation (1996) for biodiversity research and grant of INTAS (2000-2002) for creation of hydrobiological database on the Aral Sea.

Magda Igor Nikolaevich – senior researcher, candidate of biological sciences. He graduated from the Faculty of Biology of Kazakh State University. He works at the Institute since 1983. In 1994 he defended the thesis for a master’s degree “Biochemical and growth peculiarities of NKLy tumor”. He has published around 60 scientific papers. During last years he was a speaker at the International Conferences on Semipalatinsk polygon problems in 2003 and 2005. At present, he carries out investigations on estimation of state of populations and physiological status of rodents when animals are exposed to unfavourable environmental conditions (various types of contamination, including radioactive contamination). He was the executive officer of the research work “Assessment of the current state of the main fauna groups of terrestrial and aquatic animals in the habitat conditions in the area of RS-20 “Dnepr” crash on July 27, 2006 in Karmaksha district of Kyzyl-Orda region” by order of “InfraCos-Ecos” and on economic contract theme “Assessment of radioecological conditions and monitoring of the territory of Semipalatinsk test site and adjacent regions”.

Oleg Yefimovich Lopatin is a senior researcher, candidate of biological sciences. He graduated from Novosibirsk State University in 1972 with a degree in genetics and cytology. He joined the Institute of Zoology in 1972. In 1991 he became a Senior Researcher. In 1986, he defended his PhD thesis on “Biological, ecological and biochemical characteristics of mosquitoes Culex pipiens L. in synanthropic populations”. In recent years has worked on the problem of genetic DNA analysis of heterobiont insect bipeds, searching for interpopulation molecular genetic markers. In the field of cytogenetics and study of molecular polymorphism he conducted researches in close scientific contact with Novosibirsk Institute of Cytology and Genetics, one of the leading scientific institutions on this problem.

A number of approaches used in this work are new for Kazakhstan. The results of conducted researches are used for solution of disputable questions of long-eared bipeds systematics and revealing of microevolution of these insects. Within the limits of the researches carried out by laboratory it actively works on population ecology of hydrofauna in reservoirs of the anthropogenic pollution. During his work at the Institute more than 60 scientific papers have been published. Participated in more than 30 field expeditions. Winner of the Soros Prize for Biodiversity. Participated in the works on international projects and national economic contracts. Actively participates in conferences and seminars of international and regional levels.

Irina Bushneva is Senior Researcher, PhD in Biology. She graduated from Faculty of Biology of Kazakh State University. She has worked at the Institute since 1976. In 1983 she successfully protected the master thesis “Anion-sensitive adenosine triphosphatase of erythrocytes”. She has published around 60 scientific papers. Currently she is involved in monitoring small mammal populations from environmentally disadvantaged areas as part of her laboratory work.

She is skilled in histopathological and cytogenetic methods of assessing the condition of rodent populations. In recent years, she has participated in the work on the grant of the International GEF/UNDP project “Assessment of ecological condition, fauna and ecosystems of three project areas: (Ural River delta), on business contracts with “Infra-Cos-Ecos” to study the area of RS-20 “Dnepr” crash, on radioecological monitoring of CIP and its adjacent regions.

Krupa Elena Georgievna is a senior researcher, candidate of biological sciences. She graduated in 1986 from the Faculty of Biology of the S. M. Kirov Kazakh State University. After graduation till 1993 she worked in the Republican Palace of pupils.

She has worked at the Institute of Zoology since 1994. After graduating from full-time postgraduate course in 2000 she defended her master’s thesis on the theme “Inferior crustaceans of small reservoirs of the urbanized zone of the south-east of Kazakhstan”.

About 50 scientific works have been published. The basic direction of scientific activity is the investigation of the state of communities and populations of lower crustaceans in the reservoirs, subject to anthropogenic impact. Within the framework of the INTAS project (2002-2003), a databank on hydrochemical, microbiological and hydrobiological characteristics of the Aral Sea has been established. Within the frameworks of various international and regional projects conducted researches of zooplankton of Alakol lake system (2005), zooplankton and meiobenthos of the Caspian Sea (2004-2006), Borovsky lake system (2006), Semipalatinsk polygon, reservoirs of Nury river system, technogenic reservoirs of Kustanay and Almaty regions.

She is a member of the international society of copepodologists (WAC). She participated in international conferences in Taiwan, St. Petersburg, Honolulu, Bork, Bishkek, Tashkent.

Toktamysova Zaure Selimgireevna – senior researcher, candidate of biological sciences. In 1969 she graduated the faculty of Physics of the Kazakh State University. In 1979 she defended her thesis for the degree of candidate of biological sciences in biophysics. The main focus of her scientific work is ecotoxicology and environmental monitoring using bioindicators, using the lake frog as a model species.

Condition of natural populations is studied on the basis of complex approach with qualitatively different positions: definition of features of accumulation and distribution of heavy metals in organs and tissues of frogs from different habitats and finding out condition of investigated populations of the lake frog on a complex of morphophysiological, haematological, biochemical parameters and on the level of violation of homeostasis of individual development. She participated in a number of international scientific conferences in St. Petersburg, Astrakhan, Ulan-Bator, Dnepropetrovsk. During her work at the institute she published 80 scientific articles.

Mamilov Nadir Shamilievich – senior researcher, candidate of biological sciences. In 1990 he graduated from the Faculty of Biology of KazSU. At the institute from student’s benches, in hydrobiology laboratory he carried out his diploma project. In 1992-1995 he studied at postgraduate department of zoology and ichthyology of KazSU, Since 2003 he worked as a senior fellow of Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Ecotoxicology.

In 1997 he defended his Ph.D. thesis in the specialty “Zoology”. Worked fruitfully enough under budget and economic contract programs of radioecological researches, and studying of fishes, living in anthropogenic and anthropogenic biocenoses of Kazakhstan. As part of the research conducted by the laboratory he develops topics on the variability of fish populations in the environmental risk zones of Kazakhstan. On the basis of the obtained materials Mamilov N.Sh. forms a comparative database on morphological and morphopathological characteristics of fish. As a proactive research he studied molecular and genetic variability of perch fish. He has published 40 papers.

Troshina Tatiana Timofeevna – researcher. She graduated from the Department of Hydrobiology and Ichthyology of the Faculty of Biology of the KazSU in 1972, speciality – hydrobiologist and ichthyologist. According to the direction of the Ministry of Education of the Kazakh SSR she worked as a junior researcher at the Aral branch of KazNIIRH (Aralsk), where she worked on zooplankton of the Aral Sea and water bodies of the lower Syr Darya. From 1975 to 1977 she worked as a senior engineer at the Department of Hydrobiology and Ichthyology of KazSU.

For the first time in Kazakhstan conducted the study of fauna of free-living planktonic infusoria of saline bays of the Aral Sea, Kapchagai water reservoir, Balkhash lake, determining their importance in processes of production and mineralization of organic matter in reservoirs, and also finding out their indicator role in structure of plankton communities and degree of water saprobity. Since 1993 has been studying fauna of planktonic primary tapeworms, rotifers, in water bodies of increased technogenic load. Works according to the topics of the laboratory in the field of biodiversity, spatial distribution and quantitative development of rotifers under anthropogenic impact.

Т. Т. T. Troshina was the executor of research section on development of methods for biotesting of water quality of the North Caspian Sea on infusoria, conducted by the laboratory of biotesting of sewage KazMEKhANOB and development of State standard (1998-1999), participated in research work on study of biology and elucidation of stocks of artemia crayfish in highly mineralized water bodies of Kazakhstan, conducted by State Enterprise “KazNIIRH” on the theme: “Assessment of the state of population of Artemia crayfish and its cysts in water bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan that do not have fishery value” (2000-2002), is the executor of works on the study of aquatic ecosystems of Western Kazakhstan (river. She is an executor of works in study of condition of aquatic ecosystems of Western Kazakhstan (Ural river and its floodplain reservoirs – Chelkar, Bobrovoe, Zholtyrkol lakes, Bitikskoye water reservoir), executor of works in marine ecological research of zooplankton condition of Caspian Sea in the area of marine constructions. T.T. Troshina has published over 60 scientific articles and is an author of sections of 3 collective monographs.

Ponyavkina Anastasia Georgievna is a junior research assistant. Specialist in haematology. She graduated from Biological Faculty of Kazakh State University. Works at Institute since 1979. She has published about 30 scientific works. She is skilled in methods of determination of haematological characteristics of rodents, using biochemical and microscopic methods.

She takes part in researches on the budgetary laboratory themes as the executor of section on mouse-like rodents, and in the works spent within the limits of grants and economic contracts.

Akberdina Gulnur Zhumataevna, junior researcher. She graduated Biological Faculty of KazSU in 1972. She worked in the laboratory since 1981. Since 1985 she is junior researcher. Main work is connected with hydro chemical analysis as a part of works on integrated study of aquatic ecosystems.

Took an active part in both budget and contractual themes of laboratory on analytical determining the composition and quality of water in the studied water bodies on the complex hydrochemical indicators on certain ecologically unfavourable territories. She has published 27 scientific papers.

Ainabayeva Naziya Slyambekova, Junior Researcher. Since 1998 she has worked at the Institute of Zoology of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a senior laboratory assistant in the laboratory of hydrobiology and ecotoxicology. In 2003 she graduated from Al-Farabi KazNU Faculty of Biology and defended her master’s thesis on “Plankton crustaceans of small ponds of the Semipalatinsk polygon impact zone” in the specialty “Zoology”. Since 2004 – assistant professor of laboratory of hydrobiology and ecotoxicology.

Mastered basic hydrobiological techniques and became involved in research of zooplankton laboratories. Works in accordance with the topics of the laboratory in the field of biodiversity, spatial distribution and quantitative development of crustaceans under anthropogenic impact. Participated in investigations of the topic being developed in the laboratory and in entering hydrochemistry and hydrobiology data into the database on selected aquatic systems being developed.

Since 2001 she deals with the studying of fauna of small water bodies of the zone of Semipalatinsk polygon influence and water bodies of increased anthropogenic impact of Karaganda region. In 2006 year the theme of her dissertation work for the degree of candidate of biological sciences “Zooplankton of the small rivers of the zone of Semipalatinsk test range influence” was approved. N. S. Ainabaeva published 8 scientific articles and is the author of the section.

Volkov Vyacheslav Viktorovich, senior engineer. Graduated from Radioelectronic College in 1966. Started to work in the Institute in 1980.

Conducts toxicological analyses of heavy metals in water, soil, plants and animal tissues. Provides technical serviceability of sophisticated instruments.

Methodologically the research of the laboratory is based on modern approaches to the study of the state of animal populations and communities and, taking into account the laboratory’s findings, allows for the following complex of works on the survey of water bodies and coastal areas in ecologically disadvantaged areas:

  • hydrochemical analysis of water samples: mineral and biogenic composition, assessment of water sample quality and pollution of water bodies by organics and other toxicants;
  • hydrobiological surveys of zooplankton (rotifers, lower crustaceans) and zoobenthos in water bodies and streams; analysis of faunal complexes and species populations according to their structural-functional and informative characteristics; assessment of water quality according to hydrobiological indicators;
  • Population genetic studies of long-billed bipeds (Diptera Nematocerca) and fish; identification of adaptive changes in characteristic chironomid and sandpiper species in natural and anthropogenic populations;
  • Ichthyological study of population structure and variability of fish in water bodies with anthropogenic impact using bioecological and histobiochemical analysis with assessment of adverse impact of environmental factors on fish by the level of individual development homeostasis disruption and the presence of histopathological disorders;
  • study of amphibians of the genus Rana and assessment of surveyed populations by morphological and biochemical indices and fluctuating asymmetry of bilateral traits;
  • Study of small mammal populations (rodents, voles, hamsters) by a set of indicators including morphometry, morphophysiological, haematological, histological and cytogenetic tests for animal and human toxicity;
  • determination and analysis of levels of accumulation of pollutants (heavy metals, etc.) in environmental components and indicator animal species at the survey sites;
  • formation of a set of data for environmental assessment works.

Topics and research areas of the laboratory in recent years:

2000-2002 “Study of aquatic and terrestrial animal biodiversity in areas of anthropogenic impact and assessment of habitat quality”. Sorbulak reservoir, Right-bank Sorbulak canal, Ili river and other water reservoirs of the zone of impact of Almaty urban complex.

2000-2003. “Processes of succession and restoration of fallow lands and polluted water bodies of Kazakhstan steppe” on water bodies of middle stream of Nury river.

2003-2005. “Populations and communities of aquatic and terrestrial animals under conditions of anthropogenic and radioactive pollution of habitats”. Balkhash Lake, Semipalatinsk polygon, impact zone of Sokolovsko-Sarbaisky enrichment plant.

2006-2008. “Assessment of faunistic complexes and animal populations condition under anthropogenic transformation of zoocenoses in Central Kazakhstan” – Samarkand water reservoir and other impact sites of Karaganda industrial complex.

1999-2003 state order on the complex subject “Assessment of radioecological situation and monitoring on the territory of Semipalatinsk testing site and adjacent regions”. Together with Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology of National Nuclear Center of RK.

1998-2000. UNESCO Fund “Ecology of the Aral Sea”.

1998-2000 Grass-Root programme of the Government of Japan “Ecology of Priaralie”, together with Kyoto University, Japan, Institute of Soil Science

1999-2000 CRDF “Fish Pathology and Ecology in the Aral Sea” program of the Government of Japan in partnership with Kyoto University, Japan and Institute of Soil Science. CRDF “Caspian Sea Fish Pathology” Foundation, USA, KazGNU

2000-2002. CRDF grant “Pathomorphology of sturgeons and bullfishes of the Ural delta

2000-2003 Genetic differentiation of malaria vectors in Central Asia, EU grant, in collaboration with Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS (Novosibirsk), Institute of Medical Parasitology (Uzbekistan), Ber-Sheva University (Israel)

2002-2003. International ECOTOX project. “Impact of pollution on sturgeons, seals and pelagic fish in the Caspian Sea”.

2002-2003. INTAS Grant Dissemination of data on environmental characteristics using the CD-ROM based data management system for the Atlantic Ocean and the enclosed seas.

2003 NATO grant Artemia biodiversity in emerging economies and the sustainable use of Artemia resources.

2004-2005. GEF/UNDP international project “Integrated Conservation of Priority Global Wetlands as Migratory Bird Habitats: Demonstration in Three Project Areas”.

2007, by request of InfraCos-Ecos “Assessment of current condition of main faunal groups of terrestrial and aquatic animals in their habitats in the area of RS-20 “Dnepr” accidental fall on July 27, 2006 in Karmakshinskiy district of Kyzylorda region”.

2007 by request of KazNIRKh “Annual assessment of fishery resources and other aquatic animals on reserve fund of fishery reservoirs of local importance”.

During the time of the laboratory’s activity, the staff members published more than 600 scientific works, including 5 thematic collections, 2 monographs “Hydrofauna of Kazakhstan reservoirs”, “Radiation biology of plasma membranes”, sections of monographs “Problems of the Aral Sea. The Condition of the Water Area and the Drained Bottom of the Aral Sea” (1983) and “Balkhash Lake” (1998). “Radio-ecological problems of influence of Semipalatinsk nuclear tests consequences on fauna”. Since 2002 the scientific society “Tethys” publishes the journal “Tethys aqua zoological research” where the basic part of volume comprises the articles of laboratory staff. Two volumes have been published, and the third one is ready for print. The Laboratory staff actively participates in international and republican conferences.

Collaborative research and scientific contacts in 1996-2006 were maintained with Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (St.Petersburg), Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS (Novosibirsk), Tomsk State University (Russia), Institute of General Genetics RAS (Moscow), Institute of Zoology and Parasitology (Uzbekistan), Institute of Oceanology Woodshall, (USA), Kyoto University (Japan), University of Beersheva (Israel). Institute of Inland Water Biology (Borok), Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology of NNC RK, KazSNU, etc.

The laboratory has highly qualified specialists with experience in environmental monitoring, good prospects for the development of hydrobiological research on structural-functional and informational characteristics of populations; ichthyological studies of population structure and variability of fish in water bodies with man-made impact; population-genetic studies of insects and fish with identifying adaptive changes of characteristic species in natural and synanthropic populations; assessment of small mammal populations