The date of foundation of Odessa Imperial Novorossiya University is considered the May 13, 1865. The separate faculty of biology had not been among the four faculties that were part of an educational institution. The biology education at the Imperial Novorossiya University was obtained on the basis of the Natural department of Physics and Mathematics. The structure of this department included: Department of Botany and Department of Zoology, Comparative Anatomy and Physiology.
As part of the Department of Zoology were zoological, anatomical, zootomical and physiological classrooms – “Cabinets”.
The collection of natural exhibits were belonged to the Cabinets of departments (they became the basis of modern museums of Odessa National University). There were laboratory facilities, where students have been conducted practical exercises and experiments and carried out research work, successful defense which allowed to receive diplomas of higher educational institution. The department of botany included two Cabinets: botany and physiology; since 1895 on the basis of this department was founded laboratory of microbiology.
The natural branch of Physics and Mathematics Department originally was located in the building, where now there is Scientific Library of Odesa National University in the street of the Preobrazhenska, 24, and then into the building on the street Dvorianska, 2.
In the early years of the natural department an important role in the development of research and basis organizing for the further development of biological science have played a prominent world-renowned scientists: I. I. Mechnikov - zoologist and anthropologist, L. S. Tsenkovsky - a botanist and microbiologist, I. M. Sechenov - physiologist and O. O. Kovalevsky - embryologist, comparative anatomist and histologist.
Much attention was paid to the study of flora and fauna of the region, the Black Sea and its estuaries. Establishment of such units at the university as zoological museum (1865), and the Botanical Garden (1867), as well as the creation and preservation of herbarium collections (1865) contributed to this studies.
After the October Revolution (1917) Imperial Novorossiya University has undergone several reorganizations. In 1920 on its base were created three institutions, such as Medical Institute, Physics and Mathematics Institute, and Humanities and social Institute. The last two fairly soon became part of the Institute of Public Education (ISE), and since 1930 - the Institute of Vocational Education (IEP).
Biological disciplines in these institutions were taught in separate departments; Only from September 1, 1933, after the organization of the Odessa State University (biological faculty was in its structure) the teaching of biological disciplines has risen to the appropriate level of education.
These departments were included in the first list of the Biological Faculty: Zoology, headed by professor D. K. Tretyakov (he was the first dean of the Faculty of Biology), Hydrobiology (headed by professor N. A. Zagorovsky), Physiology (headed by professor A. I. Sinelnikov), Plant Physiology and Anatomy (headed by professor F. M. Porodko), Taxonomy and morphology of plants (headed by professor G. I. Potapenko), Genetics and darwinism (headed by professor G. A. Mashtaller), Microbiology (headed by professor L. I. Rubenchik). Zoological, anatomical andzootomical museums as well as botanical garden were included in this list. A lot of dedicated scientists and educators, including academician V. V. Zalensky, professors J. M. Lebedinsky, P. N. Buchinskiy, B. F. Verigo, V. M. Repyakh, V. V. Polovtsov, B. B. Grinevetsky E. I Sinelnikov, L. I. Rubenchik, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR D. K. Tretyakov and V. I. Lipsky et al. made a great contribution to the further development of scientific research, processes of students learning and methods biological disciplines teaching.
After the start of the Great Patriotic War (1941), a significant part of students and teachers volunteered to defend their homeland. Many of them died heroically, including the dean, associate professor G. I. Konoplev, head of Hydrobiology Department associate professor A. K. Makarov, deputy dean associate professor S. I. Ditchuk.
In July 1941, the Faculty of Biology with the University were evacuated to the city of Maikop of Adygei Autonomous Region. During the Maikop period took place two graduation of students-biologiests. In late 1942, the university was evacuated to the city of Bairam-Ali Turkmen SSR, in which also continued to work - conducted classes and field practices for students up to the return of university to liberated Odesa in April 1944.
In 1941, when the Romanians have occupied Odesa, they opened the “Odesa University” on the basis of OSU. At this university classes were conducted by the teachers who failed to evacuate themselves for the same students. The Transnistria authorities have proposed to continue education for them. In March 1944, it was the last graduation of this educational institution with the issuance of diplomas. After the Odessa liberation by the Soviet troops, these students were graduating in the Odessa State University which have renewed work with the September 1, 1944.
As a result of military operations, many buildings were destroyed in Odessa, including some university housings. Upon his return to Odessa in 1944, the Faculty of Biology 10 years held at the old place; in 1955 it together with the Zoological Museum was transferred to the area reserved for the campus, in the building of post-war construction, at the address: Champagne lane 2, where it is to this day.
Among the most prominent professors of that time it should be mentioned the rectors: N. P. Savchuk, the corresponding member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, P. L. Ivanchenko, S. I. Lebedev, the full member of Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Deans of the Faculty of Biology of different years, professors F. M. Porodko, A. I. Vorobiev, I. I. Pogrebnyak, V. G. Tkachenko, V. S. Chepurnov, F. S. Zambriborsch, V. D. Taranenko, associate professor V. T. Koval; such as heads of Faculty departments, professors A. G. Prendel, S. A. Nikitin, the corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR D. L. Shamis, the Honored scientist of the Ukrainian SSR I. I. Puzanov, K. A. Vinogradov, R. I. Faytelberg, J. K. Medvedev, V. V. Suknev, S. M. Minervin, the corresponding member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences V. P. Tulchin, G. A. Borovikov, N. A. Guslyakov, the laureate of Palladin Prize A. Y. Rozanov and others.
The period of the 90s of the last century was difficult for the university. The challenges being faced by young independent country, have reflected in the life and functioning of the Faculty. Despite this, the doctor of sciences in biology, professor V. D. Taranenko, who was dean of the Faculty of Biology in the years 1986-1999, has been successful in maintaining the scientific and pedagogical collective and in the preservation of previous scientists and teachers generations achievements.
In 2000-2006, the Faculty was headed by doctor of sciences in biology, professor V. M. Totskiy. Under his leadership, the activity of scientific research departments was increased; effective measures have been taken to raise number of the students enrolled at the Faculty of Biology.
Since 2006, the dean of the faculty is the candidate of sciences in biology, associate professor V. V. Zamorov. At the present stage as parts of the Faculty of Biology operates eight departments: Biochemistry; Botany; Genetics and Molecular Biology; Hydrobiology and General Ecology; Zoology; Microbiology, Virology and Biotechnology; Human and Animal Physiology; Department of medical knowledge and Safety of Life and Activity. For units of the Faculty also include the Hydrobiological station, base-park of small boats, a vivarium, Educational Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Research in Biology, Laboratory for Information Technology and technical training, training Isotope Laboratory, Laboratory for Experimental Botany, Zoology Museum, which are used as training and experimental bases.
Faculty of Biology Scientific activity is carried out by lecturers and graduate student of departments. Traditional are comprehensive studies of biodiversity of flora and fauna of Ukraine south-west territories, as well as environmental researches. Along with members of the faculty departments in research are actively involved research scientists of the Zoological Museum (head - doctor of sciences in biology V. A. Lobkov), Botanical Garden (director - doctor of sciences in biology A. N. Slyusarenko) and hydrobiological station (head is candidate of sciences in biology O. A. Kovtun). At the Faculty retained Collection of marine and practically useful for ecological biotechnology microorganism strains and Herbarium that have passports of objects constituting a National property of Ukraine.
There are agreements on cooperation with the Institute of D.K. Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the NASU, Plant breeding and genetics institute - National center of seed and Cultivar Investigation, Ukrainian Scientific-Research Institute of Medical Rehabilitation and Balneology of Health of Ukraine, Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Basin sanitary-epidemiological station of Water transport of Ukraine, the Odessa center of Southern research Institute of marine Fisheries and Oceanography of the Ministry of agrarian policy and food of Ukraine, the Institute of Marine Biology of the NASU and many other scientific institutions.
The Departments affiliates are established in the science and engineering center "Water treatment" of A. V. Bogatsky Physico-Chemical Institute of NASU, and in the Central immune-virology laboratory for diagnosis of AIDS in Odessa regional sanitary-epidemiological station, as well as at the National Scientific Centre "Institute of viticulture and wine making named after V. E. Tairov" NAASU.
At the Faculty of Biology from 2008 opened Specialized Scientific Council about defense of doctor theses № D.41.051.06 for the following specialties: 03.00.04 - Biochemistry; 03.00.16 - Ecology; 03.00.20 - Biotechnology. Since 2015 it operates as Specialized Scientific Council K.41.051.06 for PhD theses on specialties 03.00.04 - biochemistry, 03.00.20 - Biotechnology.
The faculty published such scientific journals:
Magazine “Odesa National University Herald. Biology", included in the list Oof professional editions of Ukraine, refereed and indexed in such databases in Ukraine and the world: the National library of Ukraine Vernadsky - "Ukrainika naukova", Institutional depository of Odesa I. I Mechnikov national university, Ulrich's Periodicals Directory (USA), Index Copernicus (Poland), as well as the Google Academy, Worldcat, Researchbib.
The magazine "Microbiology and Biotechnology", indexed by international scientometrics databases Index Copernicus (Poland) and Google Academy.
In 2003 it was created Mechnikov scientific society of students, graduate students and young scientists of biological faculty, whose activities are subsequently covered the entire university. The founders of this company were students (now associate professors) of Faculty of Biology U. S. Nazarchuk and V. V. Nemertsalov. Society of the Biology Faculty publishes a Collection of scientific papers, which can be found on the website of the University Scientific Library.
Over the years, students of the department are actively involved in various stages of Ukrainian student competition, and successfully participate in the All-Ukrainian competition of student research papers on biology. In recent years, eight students of the faculty were scholarships of the President of Ukraine winners, three students - winners of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine scholarship, three students - winners of the Cabinet of Ministers scholarship. Post-graduate students and young scientists of the faculty were repeatedly awarded personal scholarships. Activities for young scientists received the award of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine for young scientists of higher educational institutions.
Students of biological faculty are actively involved in the cultural and sporting life of the faculty and the university. Teams and groups of biological faculty are repeated winners of academic competitions and contests. Students of the University as part of teams were victorious at the city, regional and all-Ukrainian competitions among higher education institutions.
Departments of Biological Faculty regularly conduct diverse scientific events on a wide range of problems on various subjects. The following activities have been carried out over the last few decades:
The congresses of scientific societies:
- Х meeting of microbiological Society of Ukraine (2004)
- ХІІ Congress of Ukrainian Botanical Society (2006)
- XVIII Congress of the Ukrainian Physiological Society (2010)
- X Ukrainian Biochemical Congress (2010)
- VI Congress of the All-Ukrainian Association of Plant Biologists, 2016
- International CONFERENCE on Waders (1992)
- Odessa regional conferences on the morphology, physiology, pathology and clinical digestive (1993, 1997)
- International scientific conferences «Readings in memory of A. A. Brauner» (1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2013)
- International scientific conference "Development of zoological studies at Odessa University. Academician D.K. Tretyakov and his scientific school" (1999)
- International scientific conference of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Union (2000, 2002, 2007)
- International Conference on the problems with digestion and absorption on the 100th anniversary of academician R. O. Faytelberg (2003)
- VI International conference on Cormorants (2003)
- Conference of young scientists-botanists of Ukraine «Issues of Botany and Ecology" with the participation of young scientists from other countries (2003)
- International conference "Population status and control on population of birds migration of Central and Eastern Europe" (2003)
- International Conferences of Young Scientists „Biodiversity. Ecology. Adaptation. Evolution.” (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
- VIII Conference of experts on goose (organized by Wetlands International - 2004)
- International conference "Recent advances in zoological sciences (dedicated to the 120 anniversary of I. Puzanov and the 140th anniversary of Zoology Department of Mechnikov National University of Odessa)" (2005)
- International conference «Microbial biotechnology» (2006)
- International scientific conference for young scientist and students “Modern problems of microbiology and biotechnology’ (2007)
- Ukrainian-poland conference "Modern questions of microbiology" (2009)
- III International ukrainian-poland Weigl conference „Microbiology serves to human” (2009)
- The II International conference “Drosophila in the Experimental Genetics and Biology”, (2010)
- International conference "Ecology and biogeochemical activity of microorganisms" (Odesa, 2010)
- ІV International ichthyological scientific-practical conference «Current problems of theoretical and practical ichthyology» (2011)
- II International scientific and applied conference “Modern resource saving technologies. Challenges and perspectives” (Odesa, 2012)
- International conference for young scientists “Actual problems of microbiology and biotechnology” (2015)
- XI International scientific conference «Factors in Experimental Evolution of Organisms», 2016
- Meeting of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Working Group (1994, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2013, 2015)
- International Meeting of wetlands and their role in the protection of birds (2000)
- International Symposium "Management and conservation of the coast of North-Western Black Sea Region" (1996)
- Seminar "Project JSO-ERA – tasks, methods and expected results" (2010)
- Seminar "Potential of British scientific sector in a field of biomaterials" РП7 people: opportunities for Ukrainian researchers in life sciences" (2010)
- Seminar "Bio-Rad Laboratories", USA (2010)
- Seminar "Bio-Rad Laboratories"", USA (2013)
- International seminar on biomedical metabolomic, diagnostics and curing tuberculosis in the project РП7 (2013) according to program finansing Marie Curie «TB prognosis-IRSES; a workshop on biomedical metabolomics, TB diagnostics and treatment»
- International Summer School «Keeping fish and marine mammals in artificial conditions» (2012, 2013)
- The summer school «Molecular biology and biotechnology» is conducted annually since 2006.