Laboratory of Theriology

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Laboratory of theriology (mammals) originates from the Department of theriology established in 1917 as a subdivision of the Department of terrestrial vertebrates, and since 1968 exists as an independent laboratory. Laboratory of theriology studies taxonomy, variability, distribution, and geological history of mammals of the fauna of Russia and adjacent countries (in some groups, within the volume of the world fauna).

At present, specialists of the laboratory together with the staff of the group of molecular-genetic taxonomy of mammals conduct studies on the theme “phylogeny, morphology, and taxonomy of placental mammals”, including the following directions: taxonomy and phylogeny of certain groups of Eurasian mammals; morphological and functional analysis of mammal musculature, and archaezoological analysis of mammal fauna. Studies are based on the integrative approaches, including complex morphological analysis, molecular-genetic studies, and analysis of paleontological data. During last ten years (2010-2020), more than 400 scientific papers have been published. The work is based as on unique material on mammals from the basic collection of the laboratory (one of the largest collections in the world), so on voluminous material collected by the staff during expeditions.

Laboratory Structure

18 employees (12 researchers, 4 collection keepers, 1 research assistants, 1 engineer).

Mikhail V. Sablin (Head of Laboratory, Principal Researcher, Doctor of Biological Sciences)

Alexei V. Abramov (Principal Researcher, Doctor of Biological Sciences)

Alexander O. Averianov (Principal Researcher, Professor, Doctor of Biological Sciences)

Gennady F. Baryshnikov (Principal Researcher, Doctor of Biological Sciences)

Andrew G. Bublichenko (Senior Researcher, Candidate of Biological Sciences)

Leonid L.Voyta (Senior Researcher, Candidate of Biological Sciences)

Fedor N. Golenishchev (Senior Researcher, Candidate of Biological Sciences)

Olga V. Zherebtsova (Senior Researcher, Candidate of Biological Sciences)

Karina Yu. Iltsevich (Engineer)

Olga V. Makarova (Senior Collection Keeper)

Eugenya R. Maksimova (Senior Collection Keeper)

Ekaterina A. Petrova (Senior Researcher, Candidate of Biological Sciences)

Vladimir V. Platonov (Junior Researcher)

Veronika V. Rozova (Research Assistant)

Svetlana A. Sablina (Senior Collection Keeper)

Alexey N. Tikhonov (Leading Researcher, Candidate of Biological Sciences)

Elena P. Tikhonova (Researcher)

Yuliya A. Shemyakina (Senior Collection Keeper)

Topic of State Assignment

“Phylogeny, morphology, ecology and systematics of terrestrial vertebrates”
PI: Doctor of Biological Sciences N.B. Ananjeva
No. 122031100282-2

Laboratory collections

Collection of mammals goes back to the collection of Kunstkammer (Chamber of Curiosities) of Peter I. It has been transferred to the Zoological Museum of the Emperor Academy of Sciences at the moment of its formation together with the first collections. Since 1832, the collection was replenished by more than 150 000 collection units.

Main publications of the Laboratory staff

Zaitsev M.V., Voyta L.L., Sheftel B.I. 2014. Mammals of the Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Insectivores. St. Petersburg: Nauka. 391 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 178).

Baryshnikov G.F., Tikhonov A.N. 2009. Mammals of the Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Ungulates. Part 1. Perissodactyls and Artiodactyls (Suidae, Moschidae, and Cervidae). St. Petersburg: Nauka. 164 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 173).

Baryshnikov G.F. 2007. Ursids (Mammalia, Ursidae). St. Petersburg: Nauka. 541 p.

Aristov A.A., Baryshnikov G.F. 2001. Mammals of the Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Carnivores and Pinnipedes. St. Petersburg: Nauka. 560 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 169).

Gromov I.M., Erbaeva M.A. 1995. Mammals of the Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Lagomorpha and Rodents. St. Petersburg: Nauka. 231 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 167).

Laboratory staff participate in the following grants

RSF No. 19-14-00020. “Dinosaurs and accompanying vertebrates of the Mesozoic of Russia” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 20-14-00006_d. “Large mammals of Kudaro Pleistocene fauna from Caucasus” (PI G.F. Baryshnikov).

RFBR No. 19-04-00057_а. “Radiation of the placental mammals in the Paleogene” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 19-04-00557_а. “An integrative approach to assessing the rate of evolution and establishing the taxonomic structure of the tribes Arvicolini and Calomyscini (Rodentia: Myomorpha)” (PI F.N. Golenishchev).

RFBR No. 19-04-00049_а. “Taxonomic diversity of the extinct crocidosoricine shrews, and origin of extant subfamilies Soricinae and Crocidurinae (Lipotyphla: Soricidae)” (PI L.L. Voyta).

RFBR No. 19-34-50032_mol_nr. “Early Jurassic marine reptiles of Siberia” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 19-54-50001_YaF. “Diversity and evolution of Palearctic Carnivora: genetic and morphological approaches” (PI A.V. Abramov).

RFBR No. 17-54-12041_NNIO_а. “Polar dinosaur faunas of Yakutia” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 16-04-00399_а. “Reconstruction of evolutionary patterns in the history of Caucasian cave bear (Ursus kudarensis)” (PI G.F. Baryshnikov).

RFBR No. 16-54-50004_YaF. “Comparative study on genetic and morphological diversity of carnivores in northern Eurasia” (PI A.V. Abramov).

RFBR No. 16-04-00085_а. “Systematics, phylogeography, and phylogeny of small mammals in East Asia — integrative analysis of peripheral populations” (PI A.V. Abramov).

RFBR No. 16-04-00294_а. “Adaptive radiation of Cretaceous-Paleogene placental mammals and origin of modern orders” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 16-04-00983_а. “The evolutionary and methodological aspects of the differentiation of species and intraspecific forms on the example of some groups of rodents of the suborder Myomorpha” (PI F.N. Golenishchev).

RFBR No. 15-34-50533_mol_nr. “Morphotypical and morphometrical variability of teeth of brown (Ursus arctos L., 1758) and polar (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) bears” (PI G.F. Baryshnikov).

RFBR No. 15-04-03688_а. “Peculiarities of the musculoskeletal system and pathways of its adaptive transformation in rodents of Ctenochystrica” (PI O.V. Zherebtsova).

RFBR No. 15-34-50334_mol_nr. “Genetic and taxonomic diversity of shrews (Lipotyphla, Soricidae) in Vietnam” (PI A.V. Abramov).