History of the Department

The first zoological studies in Odessa, which have found reflection in the corresponding scientific publications, associated with the name of professor of natural history of the Richelieu Lyceum – Olexander Davidovich Nordmann, who performed a variety of zoological research. Mostly he studied representatives of the marine (liman) and river fauna, as well as certain species of terrestrial fauna.

Olexander Davidovich was born in May 24, 1803. In 1827 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Turku and the degree of Doctor of Medical Sciences in the University of Berlin.

In 1832 he began to teach science, zoology and botany at the Richelieu Lyceum in Odessa. In 1834 he became director of the botanical garden in Odessa

In 1849 he returned from Odessa to Finland and became a professor at the University of Helsinki

At the same time, of course, the overriding zoological studies at Odessa University associated with the name of Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, who was born in May 15, 1945 in the estate “Panasovka” in Ivanovka village of Kharkov province in the family Epicurean officer of the royal guard, a distant relative of the Moldavian Nicholas Spofariya - known writer and diplomat of 17th century.

In 1856-1862, Mechnikov studied at the gymnasium of the Kharkov, where he graduated with a gold medal. After an unsuccessful attempt to continue their studies in Germany (Kollikera in Valtsburge), Mechnikov entered the natural history department of Kharkov University, graduating as an external student with honors in 1864.

After receiving a diploma, І. І. Mechnikov traveled to Germany where studied the marine fauna of the North Sea on the Heligoland Island.

In May 1867 in St. Petersburg he successfully defended his master's thesis and was appointed assistant professor at the Novorossiysky University (in Odessa).

During this period, Zoological Department was headed by prof. Ivan Andreyevich Marcusen. Zoologist by training, he has made great efforts to organize the work of the Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy.

Personal relationships between Mechnikov and Marcusen were tense, which influenced the fate of these two men in future.

A year later, in May 1868 Mechnikov defended his doctoral dissertation and became a lecturer at St. Petersburg University.

In 1870, Mechnikov was chosen professor of Novorossiysky University Odessa), where he worked until 1882

During his work at the University in Odessa, Mechnikov has published more than 60 scientific papers, which were devoted almost all major groups of invertebrates.

The research activities of Mechnikov should be divided into two periods: the first is dedicated to zoological studies from 1862 to 1882; the second - on pathological physiology and medicine - from 1883 to the end of life.

Concerning the first period, it is necessary to note that the majority of zoological works Mechnikov devoted to embryology and with A. O. Kovalevsky, he is considered one of the founders of evolutionary embryology.

Mechnikov little interest in research on vertebrate zoology, except for the small posts on the development of axolotl and the frog kidney histology. May be this was due to an unsuccessful attempt to test dissection of rare species of lizard in his younger years in the Kefershteyn laboratory, for which he was expelled from there (this episode Mechnikov wrote in his autobiography). Most likely, zoological studies on the basis of invertebrate animals should be linked to the fact that they coincide in time with the first years of the research period, which was characterized as the century of Darwin with its main paradigm of the genetic continuity of organisms of the animal world. Meanwhile, most of the animal kingdom groups from this viewpoint have not been studied. Just these and many other issues involved by Mechnikov and his colleagues.

I. Puzanov, in his article "Mechnikov as a zoologist," writes: "Mechnikov - a typical cabinet and laboratory zoologist. Field studies in wildlife are not peculiar to it. Therefore, he absolutely not interested in the questions of faunistics, zoogeography, ecology, ets.".

A serious study of the terrestrial vertebrate fauna associated with the name of Alexander Alexandrovich Brauner.

A. Brauner was born on January 13, 1857 in the Simferopol. In 1876 he graduated from high school in Odessa, and in 1881 - the natural history department of Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the University of Odessa.

A. A. Browner - a teacher-innovator. He writes: "The position of graduate Institute of Education (University) - tragic: going to teach it literally does not know the fauna, but has the information on embryology and morphology, which he does not teach at school. As a result of unfamiliarity with the nature of the teacher, and it turns out that the natural history of the subject is boring" (quoted in. Puzanov, 1957). A. Brauner was the first in Ukraine who raises the issue of environmental education in high schools. He urged the universities to introduce a course on the study of the fauna (especially local), zoogeography and conservation.

An invaluable contribution to the preservation of the zoological school at Odessa University, was made by Dmitry Konstantinovich Tretyakov, which began work at the university in 1912. In the difficult years of the war years of the first half of the twentieth century, D. K. Tretiakov, managed to preserve the scientific zoological potential of Odessa and involve them into the work of the newly established Odessa University. We only note the fact, than on the basis of the formation of the Zoological Department in 1933 was formed tree Departments: the Zoological Department of Vertebrates (chair by D. K. Tret'yakov), Zoological Department of Invertebrates (chair by M. O. Savchuk) and the Department of Hydrobiology (chair by N. A. Zagorovsky). Scientific and labor activity of these and other great scientists working at the Zoological Department is presented in detail in a paper by Dr. V. D. Sevastyanov (1995).

The next head of the Zoological Department of Vertebrates was Ivan Ivanovich Puzanov. He was born in 13 (25) April, 1885 in Kursk. In 1911 he graduated from Moscow University and worked there until 1917. In 1917-1933 he worked in the Crimea: in 1917 - in the Sevastopol national university, since 1922 – he was professor of the Crimean University (since 1925 - Pedagogical Institute). In 1934-1947 he was professor of the Gorky University, and in 1947 transferred to the Mechnikov State University of Odessa.

As head of the Department, Ivan Ivanovich organized staff to studying the fauna of wetlands terrestrial animals, especially birds. He widely involving students to this studies.

Professor Fedor Ioganovich Strautman was invited to Zoological Department to enhance the ornithological direction of studies. He was a well-known scholar, not only in Ukraine but also abroad.

He was born in 1912 in Chelyabinsk. In 1931 he entered the Faculty of Biology of the Tomsk State University, from which he graduated with honors in 1936. During 1934-1935 he worked in the Moscow Zoo. He defended his PhD thesis in the academic council of the Kazakh State University. In 1942, some time working in the Almaty Zoo. Since 1942 he was in the Soviet Army.

After demobilization he worked at the Lviv State University: from 1946 to 1964 - Head of Department of Vertebrate Zoology; in the 1946-1961 - Dean of the Biological Faculty; in the 1962-1964 - Vice-Rector of the University. In 1953 he defended his doctoral thesis at the Moscow University. In 1964 he joined the Odessa University.

After I. Puzanov from 1971 to 1984, the Department of Vertebrate Zoology was lead by Leonid Ferapontovich Nazarenko. An avid hunter and field zoologist, he knew very well the fauna of vertebrates and, especially, birds. His PhD thesis was devoted to the birds of the Dniester delta. L. F. Nazarenko continued development of zoological researches at the department. Particular attention was paid to applications ornithological aspects: the impact of fish-eating birds at the fish farm; hunting and efficient hunting management.

In the mid 70-ies in ornithology there is a new trend - the study of migration and related epidemiological questions. In addition, seasonal movements and mass concentration of migrants in certain regions of the transit points were dangerous from the point of view of collisions bird and aircrafts.

In 1975, the Department of Vertebrate Zoology organized activities of three ornithological stationaries: on the Dniester river, on the Tiligulsky Liman and on the Zmiiny Island.
Dniester stationary supervised by graduate student Antonin Tille. He was born on August 12, 1951 in Pilsen (Czechoslovakia). From 1971 to 1976 he studied at the Odessa State University. From 1976 to 1979 - Postgraduate of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at OSU. In 1984 he defended his thesis. From 1986 to the present time he is one the leaders of Odessa Zoo.

Tiligulskiy stationary was lead by Joseph I. Chernichko. He was born on November 28, 1948. After graduating from the Odessa State University, he worked 3 years in the departments of the Ministry of Health in Uzbekistan. Since 1975 - lecturer of Odessa University. In the mid-1980s, he was invited to Melitopol to work on the Interagency Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, which he headed since 1988. Since 1997 he also is vice-director of Research Institute of biodiversity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems at the Melitopol State Pedagogical Institute. Also hi is lead researcher of the Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology (National Academy of Science). In 2011 he defended his doctoral dissertation.

Ornithological researches on Zmiiny Island was led by Anatoly Korzyukov. He was born August 8, 1938. In school he was an active young naturalists. After school he comes to the Odessa State University by I. Mechnikov, which graduated in 1967. Since 1974 – he is a senior lecturer of Zoology Dept. of OSU. In 1983 he defended his thesis. In 1984-85 he was head of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology. Due to the fact that Anatoly worked for some time in the regional committee of Komsomol, he was able to get a permit to visit closed for the civilians Zmiiny Island. Since 1970, he began active ornithological research on the island, which resulted in a list of species of birds, registered for the first time on the territory of Ukraine (1.5 dozen species).

The main direction of scientific research at all three stationaries – to defining phenological parameters of seasonal bird migrations, their intensity and direction of dominant through the Azov-Black Sea region.

In 1976, on the base of Department of Vertebrate Zoology, All-Union Workshop on the problems of the study of bird migration was held. As a result of this forum has published the book "Methods of studying of bird migrations" (1977), which marked a great contribution of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology in the study of birds in the region.

In 1986, the Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology Department were merged into the Department of Zoology and Hydrobiology under the leadership of Vsevolod Denisovich Sevastyanov. He was born June 6, 1929 in the Khmelnitsky region. In 1953 he graduated from Odessa University, and in 1956 - defended his thesis. In the same year he became a senior lecturer at the Department of Invertebrate Zoology. In 1961 he became a lecturer, and from 1976 to 2006 was the head of the department (of Invertebrate Zoology, Zoology and Hydrobiology, Zoology). In 1979 Vsevolod Denisovich doctorate, and in 1980, together with a team of co-authors, was awarded the USSR State Prize for the series of monographs dedicated mites, living in the soil.

From 2006 to present, the Department of Zoology of the ONU headed by Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor Vladimir Petrovich Stoylovskiy.

Intensive knowledge of the nature of the world's development in recent years contributed to the formation and strengthening of the environmental outlook in many countries. This trend was also reflected in the activities of the Department of Zoology, University of Odessa, which in the current decade was carried out in accordance with the Program of development of science and technology in Ukraine, and also according to the scheme of the action proposals and development of teachers of the department staff.

Particular attention was given to research in the field of environmental protection, study and conservation of biodiversity. And this direction is formed on the basis of integrated achievements of the Department of Zoology, obtained earlier for the Study of qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the animal world and the peculiarities of its distribution in the south of Ukraine in the conditions of urbanized landscapes. Intensive anthropogenic changes of nature, increasing the pace and speed of the artificial transformations in natural groups that have survived, require a comprehensive study of the key components of the plant and animal world to develop environmental management schemes and protection of unique and typical natural complexes. It is necessary for the display of the objective reality of a set of processes that occur in the Black Sea ecosystem, the development of which is inextricably linked to animal activity, trailing the upper echelons of trophic changes.

Researches faculty and staff of the Department is now closely linked to the optimization of nature reserve network in the region, expansion of natural reserved fund of the region by creating new and increase the area of existing protected areas. Analysis and systematization of all the scientific, technical and application materials on the problems of nature conservation, research and conservation of species diversity allowed us to develop and implement projects to create new protected objects. On the basis of these developments by the Decree of the President of Ukraine, on December 9, 1998 approved the three protected sites of national importance: "Pavlovske urochoshe", "Dolinske urochoshe" and game-reserve Zmiiny Island" (Odessa region). Regional Park "Tiligulskiy" approved by the decision of the Regional Council of Odessa region. The Department continues to develop scientific and methodological programs for biotechnological, administrative, recreational and other activities in the framework of existing and future areas of the region.

Department of Zoology experts participated in the drafting of the creation of the National Natural Park "Lower Dniester". Currently, Zoology Dept. participates in the organization of its territory and work in the Scientific and Technical Council of Park.

Scientific group of the department over the past decades been able to develop and implement a project inventory of wetlands of Ukraine which are of international, national and regional importance. On the basis of the draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the 22 wetlands of Ukraine, which are represented in the Bureau of the Ramsar Convention "On the wetlands that are of International Importance mainly as Waterfowl Habitat". To a large extent, the results of this project contributed to the Government of Ukraine to the signing of the Ramsar Convention and the development of national proposals for the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance for the period of 2000-2015.

Zoology Department took part in the international project "The wetlands of the Azov-Black Sea Region" in Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Moldova. Lecturers of the department took part in the scientific substantiation of the expansion Biosphere Reserve "Danube marshes" project of the World Global Fund (GIF), which was carried out with the mediation of the World Bank. Within the framework of the Small Environmental Grants "Development of public support aimed at preserving biodiversity in the region projected Danube Biosphere Reserve" was prepared and published a brochure entitled "Wetlands Danube system of conservation and management issues of the Azov-Black Sea Region" in 1998. Work on the implementation Wetlands International Office project "Promote the conservation of wetlands and wetland species of the Azov-Black Sea region of Ukraine". In the borders of the project of the Black Sea Enviromental Programme (BSEP), the lecturers of Zoology Dept. was co-authors of the national report of Ukraine, published in New York in the form of a monograph: "Black Sea Biological Diversity. Ukraine ".

Department of Zoology in the last five years has performed several regional projects: "The rationale for the organization of a network of new protected areas in the region and expansion of the area of existing protected areas"; "Keeping inventory of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna in the southern regions of Ukraine", "Development of criteria for determining of protecting regimes in Wetlands of International Importance", "Future protected areas of Odessa region", and others.

Currently tradition fauna field studies at the Department of Zoology continued and developed in the light of new technical and theoretical developments.


Dvoryanskaya str., 2,Odessa, 65082
Reception (38-048)723-52-54
Phone/fax (38-048)723-35-15


Our Partners