The Swiss-Russian School Finished
9 September 2015

The Swiss-Russian School “Lake Ecosystems under Pressure: Processes and Impacts” finished on August 31. The school was organized by the University of Geneva (Switzerland), Irkutsk State University, and the Chair in Water Resources at ISU under the international program aimed at promoting academic mobility of Swiss and Russian scientists (the Leading House).

One of the purposes of the school is to promote cooperation between Switzerland and Russia in the sphere of studying lake ecosystems, and developing the complex analysis and forecasting of geological, physical, chemical, and bioprocesses in lake ecosystems under anthropogenic influence.

The school program included lectures, workshops, and field studies supervised by leading Russian and foreign experts. Young researchers and post-graduate students taking part in the school had 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.

The summer school was perceived very positively by its participants, they even agreed that it was the best school they had visited. The school organizing committee agreed that the 2016 school is hosted in Venice. Besides, we plan to stimulate academic exchange programs for students and researchers of the ISU Biology and Soil Studies Faculty and the University of Geneva: a new exchange program starts in 2016. To develop and strengthen the collaboration, the participants are aimed at initiating joint research projects conducted by the ISU Biology and Soil Studies Faculty, ISU Research Institute of Biology and Swiss Universities, – Arkady Matveev, the dean of Biology and Soil Studies Faculty, said. 

This school became the third one organized by ISU at the Baikal biology station of the Research Institute of Biology in Bolshie Koty in 2015. Over 60 bachelor and master program students from Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk, Perm, Yaroslavl and Ulan-Ude as well as from Switzerland, Estonia, Finland, France and the USA were invited.

Lectures and workshops were conducted by leading experts and professors of Irkutsk State University (Nikolay Budnev, Arkady Matveev, Eugeny Zilow, Sergey Rasskazov, Sergey Kovalenko, and Daria Bedulina), Buryat State University (Vyacheslav Khakhinov) and Limnological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (Oleg Timoshkin and Nina Bondarenko).

Among the foreign specialists there should be named Prof. Vera Slaveykova, Dr. Jean-Luc Loizeau, Dr. Tim Kalvage, Prof. Moritz Lehmann, Dr. Natacha Teofield-Pasche, Prof. Thierry Villemin, and Dr. Wilhelm Windhorst.