RSF supported the projects of ISU scientists
13 July 2023

Two projects of scientists from Irkutsk State University became winners of the competition of the President’s Program of Research Projects 2023, held by the Russian Science Foundation.

The grants are given to the initiatives of ISU scientists in the field of biology and archeology. The amount of each grant is 1.5 million rubles.

The project “Filling in the gaps: Ancient cultures of the Early Iron Age and the early Middle Ages in the Southern Angara region”. The project head is Ilya Ulanov, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Head of the archaeological depository of the ISU research center “Baikal Region”.

Ilya Ulanov's project is aimed at solving a scientific problem consisting in an information gap that does not allow tracing the dynamics of cultural and historical processes that took place on the territory of the Southern Angara region during the Early Iron Age – early Middle Ages. In the course of solving this problem, it is anticipated to generalize all available data in the form of a database, as well as to conduct research aimed at obtaining new information.

Field studies of known objects and the search for new ones, analysis of burial complexes and their comprehensive study, establishment of the age of complexes, comparative and typological research and establishment of the cultural background of objects and complexes are planned within the framework of the research.


Ilya Ulanov:

“The relevance of the project is due, on the one hand, to the insufficient knowledge on the issue, and on the other hand, to the threat of loss of the source base due to the destruction of objects of the early Iron Age – the Middle Ages associated with the erosive activity of the Angara reservoirs and the increased activity of treasure hunters and illegal excavators that are purposefully targeting metal objects of this period. Scientific novelty is determined by a new stage of research of the complexes of the early Iron Age – the early Middle Ages of the Southern Angara region. For the first time, an attempt is being made to cover all the previous results of episodic research on this topic and purposefully begin developing a thematic direction dedicated to the study of the complexes of the Early Iron Age – early Middle Ages of the Southern Angara region.”

The project “The potential impact of heat waves on the survival and size structure of Baikal amphipods in the light of the problem of global climate change”. Head – Ksenia Vereshchagina, PhD, Biology, leading researcher at the ISU Research Institute of Biology.

Ksenia Vereshchagina's project involves a comparative study of the effect of heat waves on survival rate, physiology, as well as cellular and molecular mechanisms of adaptation of Baikal dominant littoral amphipod species Eulimnogammarus cyaneus, E. verrucosus and E. vittatus. An integrated approach with simultaneous application of molecular and biochemical methods and experimental studies will be used to conduct the ecophysiological study.  Furthermore, for the first time, an assessment of threats to the unique ecosystem of Lake Baikal will be made in the form of such a factor of extreme temperature phenomena as heat waves, an experimental assessment of the adaptive abilities of Baikal endemics to this phenomenon will be carried out.


Ksenia Vereshchagina:

“The planetary processes of global climate change, which have been actively observed in recent decades, are accompanied by an increase in climatic anomalies that pose significant risks to the planet's unique ecosystems. Among the climatic anomalies, more and more attention is being paid to the study of such a phenomenon as “heat waves”, which can have devastating consequences for aquatic ecosystems.

Very little is known about the effect of heat waves on communities of continental reservoirs and lakes, and almost nothing is known about the effect of heat waves on the unique inhabitants of ancient ecosystems. In particular, this problem concerns unique ancient freshwater ecosystems rich in diverse and endemic fauna, such as Lake Baikal. Extreme temperature phenomena in such ancient lake ecosystems can lead to irreversible loss of unique taxonomic or functional diversity, cascading impacts on ecosystems and serious disturbances in the structure and functions of ecosystems. The analysis of the data of monitoring observations of the ISU Research Institute of Biology also indicates that such events on Lake Baikal have become more frequent in the last decade.”

For reference 

The Presidential program of research projects was developed by the RSF in 2017 at the instruction of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Its main tasks are to support long-term projects of leading scientists and create career paths for promising young researchers.