Swiss-Russian School “Lake Ecosystems under Pressure: Processes and Impacts” Started on August 21st
24 August 2015

On August 21st ISU Rector Alexander Arguchintsev had a meeting Thierry Villemin, the Vice rector for International and European Affairs of the University of Savoy Mont Blanc (Chambery, France). During the meeting they discussed cooperation opportunities that the Universities can have under the agreements already signed. Among the priorities there was mentioned academic mobility. A. Arguchintsev and T. Villemin also considered new research projects initiatives under the activities of the Chair in Water Resources at ISU.

Professor Thierry Villemin arrived in Irkutsk to take part in the International summer school “Lake Ecosystems under Pressure: Processes and Impacts” organized by the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and Irkutsk State University under the international program aimed at promoting academic mobility of Swiss and Russian scientists (Leading House) on August 21-31 at the Baikal biology station of the Research Institute of Biology in Bolshie Koty.

Over 60 young researchers take part in the school. Russian researchers are bachelor and master program students from Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk, Perm, Yaroslavl and Ulan-Ude. Foreign researchers have come from Switzerland, Estonia, Finland, France and the USA.

Professor Arkady Matveev, dean of Biology and Soil Studies department, co-head of the school, comments on:

As any other international school the Swiss-Russian school is aimed at developing cooperation between scientific institutions of different countries, i.e. between Switzerland and Russia, in studying lake ecosystems, complex analyzing and forecasting geological, physical, chemical, and bioprocesses in lake ecosystems under the impact of anthropogenic factors.

The school program includes lectures, workshops, and field studies under the supervision of leading Russian and foreign experts. Young researchers and post-graduate students taking part in the school have a good chance to acquire not only theoretical concepts about large lake ecosystems functioning (Baikal and the Lake of Geneva), but practical skills required for participation in international interdisciplinary projects targeted at studying ecological problems and risks under global changes.

Lake Baikal is the largest and oldest lake in the world famous for its biodiversity. It is a unique nature laboratory to study the structure and functioning of large water bodies. Lake Baikal is considered to be the largest fresh water reservoir in the world. But recently it has been under the negative impact caused both by global changes and economical activity on its shores.

Mechanisms of large lake ecosystems functioning and potential impact upon environment are the issues to consider on the case of lake Baikal in comparing with other large water bodies.

– Under the Program of Swiss-Russian Leading House, that stimulates Swiss Universities to cooperate with Russian colleagues,Arkady Matveev notes, lecturers and scientists of several Swiss higher education institutions are invited to take part in this school along with professors from ISU partner Universities – the University of Kiel (Germany) and the University of Savoy (France).

Lectures and workshops are to be conducted by leading experts and professors of Irkutsk State University (N.Budnev, A.Matveev, S.Kovalenko and  D.Bedulina), Buryat State University (V.Khakhinov) and Limnological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (O.Timoshkin, N. Bondarenko and O. Belykh).