General director

Ященко Роман Васильевич

Doctor of Biological Sciences, Chairman of the Kazakhstan National Committee of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program (UNESCO MAB), member of the RK National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO, President of the Tethys Scientific Society, Professor of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.

He was born on September 18, 1962 in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. In 1978 has finished musical school-studio at Alma-Ata musical school named after P.I. Tchaikovsky (nowadays Almaty musical college named after P.I. Tchaikovsky) in class of playing the piano, and in 1979 after the high school ¹35 has entered in Kazakh State University named after S.M. Kirov (nowadays Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi) in faculty of biology, specialty of biology (chair of zoology). M. Kirov Kazakh State University (now Al-Farabi Kazakh National University) at the Faculty of Biology (Department of Zoology) as a biologist, teacher of biology and chemistry, which graduated with honors in 1984 and was sent by decision of the state distribution committee to work at the Institute of Zoology, Kazakh SSR Academy of Sciences.

Since 1984 and up to the present time worked at the Institute of Zoology of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, where he successively occupied positions:

  • from November 1984 to October 1989 – laboratory assistant; (from October 1988 to April 1989 – intern-researcher at the Zoological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Leningrad).
  • April 1989 – February 1995 – junior researcher,
  • February 1995 – September 2004 – senior researcher,
  • September 2004 to August 2009 – leading researcher,
  • August 2009 – January 2015 – chief researcher,
  • January 2013 – August 2013 – Director General of the Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan,
  • March 2015 – September 2015 – Director of Science Administration of Almaty Management University (AlmaU).
  • September 2015 to November 2018 – Head of the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Development at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (formerly the Department of Energy Ecology).
  • From December 2018 to the present – General Director of the RGP on PCV “Institute of Zoology” of the KN of the Ministry of Education and Science of the RK.
  • In 1994, he successfully defended his PhD thesis on “Margarodidae (Coccinea, Margarodidae) of Kazakhstan, Russia and adjacent territories”.

In 2009, he prepared and defended his doctoral thesis on “Worms of the Palearctic families Ortheziidae and Margarodidae” based on his own field and laboratory research in Kazakhstan, China, Central Asia, and the study of collection materials from major zoological collections and natural history museums in London, St. Petersburg, Paris, Budapest, Washington, Shanghai, Kyoto, etc.

Besides without a break from the basic place of work worked as the scientific adviser of Committee of Forest and Hunting of the Ministry of Agriculture RK from January till December 2001, and also in


  • Visiting researcher at the Department of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto, January-August 1997;
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Asian and African Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, October-December 2001;
  • Professor at the National Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, October 2010-April 2011;
  • and U.S.:
  • researcher, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biocontrol Laboratory, Temple, Texas, September-November 1996;
  • Researcher, USDA Biocontrol Laboratory, Temple, Texas, and Albany, California, July-September, 2001;
  • Researcher, Biocontrol Laboratory, Temple, Texas; Albany, California; U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters, Belstville, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., October-November 2005;
  • researcher, Biocontrol Laboratory in Temple, Texas; Albany, California; Sidney, Montana; and U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters, Belstville, Maryland, June-July 2006.

In 1996, together with like-minded scientists from academic institutions he initiated and organized Scientific Society “Tethys” (registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a Public Association on January 17, 1997), R.V. Yashchenko has been its President since 1997. The primary objective of the Scientific Society “Tethys” is the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, as well as the development of scientifically sound bases for the rational use of natural resources in Kazakhstan. Within the framework of the Tethys Scientific Society’s activities, interdisciplinary international scientific research was organized in the Aral Sea region, Ili Balkhash region and Western Tien Shan, and agreements on scientific cooperation were concluded with the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection, Institute of Zoology of Ukraine, Japan Research Association in Kazakhstan and the National Institute of Humanity and Nature (Kyoto, Japan). “Tethys has been a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2000 and currently represents Kazakhstan in this authoritative global conservation organization.

Currently, R.V. Yashchenko is a member of the editorial boards of four foreign scientific journals: Journal of Arid land (Academy of Sciences of China); Vestnik RAN, biological series (Russia); Vestnik Zoologii (NAS of Ukraine), Arid Ecosystems (Russia), and also editor-in-chief of the scientific journal “Tethys Entomological Research” (since 1999). Since 2018. Yashchenko R.V. is a member of the interdepartmental dissertation council D 03.18.569 for thesis defense at the Biological Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic (Co-founder: Osh State University).

At present, Yashchenko R.V. is a member of the following scientific societies:

  • IUCN-WCPA World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA),
  • Since 2002.
  • The IUCN-SSC (World Commission for the Conservation of Species of the IUCN), since 2003.
  • Society for Conservation Biology, since 2003
  • The Thetis Scientific Society, since 1997
  • Ukrainian Entomological Society, since 2003
  • American Entomological Society, membership since 2005 (1997)

He is the author of more than 150 scientific publications, including “Insect Pests of Tamarisk in South-East Kazakhstan” (2007), “Reserves of Central Asia and Kazakhstan” (2006), “The Amazing World of Invertebrates” (2005) and others. In 2005, he was awarded a diploma from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for scientific achievements in biological control of tamarisk in North America, and in 2017 and 2019, he was awarded letters of commendation from the President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for his contribution to the development of zoological science.

Since 2011, R.V. Yashchenko is the Chairman of the Kazakhstan National Committee of MAB (UNESCO program “Man and the Biosphere”), which is part of the activities of the National Commission of the RK for UNESCO and ISESCO under the RK Government, since the same year he is also a member of this National Commission. Under his leadership and direct participation by the end of 2019 were prepared 12 national Kazakhstani applications (nomination dossiers, each more than 650 pages with illustrations) for international recognition of 12 Kazakhstani PAs as biosphere reserves of UNESCO.

In June 2014 for his outstanding achievements in the development of UNESCO MAB program he was elected as a Vice-President of UNESCO MAB for the Asia and the Pacific region at the 26th session of the UNESCO MAB International Coordinating Council (Sweden, Jonkoping) for the next two years. As UNESCO MAB Vice-President, he was the organizer of the 4th World Congress on Biosphere Reserves (March 2016, Lima, Peru) and co-author of the global MAB Strategy and Lima Action Plan 2016-2025.

He has repeatedly participated in various scientific conferences and meetings held by scientific and international organizations around the world.

Recipient of research grants from the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA, 2005-2006), US Department of Agriculture (USDA, 1997-2010), Embassy of Japan (1998-1999), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS, 1997), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (1996), etc.

Author of several personal (“Wildlife”, 2005; “Looking Into the Mirror”, 2006, Almaty, Tengri-Umay) and collective photo exhibitions (“Potential Biosphere Reserves of Kazakhstan”, UNESCO, Paris, May 2013), and one of the authors of several documentary videos (“Battle for the Northern Aral” 2009, “Why is the Aral Sea Vanishing” 2009 and others).

SCIENTIFIC INTERESTS: Systematics, fauna, lifestyle and zoogeography of cutworms and scutes (Homoptera, Coccinea); ecology; zoology; entomology; population biology; biological control of harmful plants; zoological linguistics; natural dyes; biodiversity conservation; theory and practice of protected areas management; Red Book.