Laboratory of Theriology

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Laboratory of theriology (mammals) originates from the Department of theriology established in 1917 as a subdivision of the Department of terrestrial vertebrates, and since 1968 exists as an independent laboratory. Laboratory of theriology studies taxonomy, variability, distribution, and geological history of mammals of the fauna of Russia and adjacent countries (in some groups, within the volume of the world fauna).

At present, specialists of the laboratory together with the staff of the group of molecular-genetic taxonomy of mammals conduct studies on the theme “phylogeny, morphology, and taxonomy of placental mammals”, including the following directions: taxonomy and phylogeny of certain groups of Eurasian mammals; morphological and functional analysis of mammal musculature, and archaezoological analysis of mammal fauna. Studies are based on the integrative approaches, including complex morphological analysis, molecular-genetic studies, and analysis of paleontological data. During last ten years (2010-2020), more than 400 scientific papers have been published. The work is based as on unique material on mammals from the basic collection of the laboratory (one of the largest collections in the world), so on voluminous material collected by the staff during expeditions.

Laboratory Structure

14 employees (9 researchers, 4 collection keepers, 1 research intern).

Department of taxonomy and phylogeny

Department of the history of theriofauna (osteology)

Department of functional morphology

Department of molecular taxonomy

Topics of State Assignments

“Comparative cytogenetics, karyosystematics and molecular genetic studies on the formation of taxonomic diversity and ecological adaptations in animals”.
PIs: Doctor of Biological Sciences V.G. Kuznetsova, PhD N.I. Abramson.
No. АААА-А19-119020790106-0.

“Development of taxonomic diversity and ecological adaptations. Insights from molecular studies”.
PI: PhD N.I. Abramson.
No. АААА-А17-117042410167-2.

Laboratory collections

Collection of mammals goes back to the collection of Kunstkammer (Chamber of Curiosities) of Peter I. It has been transferred to the Zoological Museum of the Emperor Academy of Sciences at the moment of its formation together with the first collections. Since 1832, the collection was replenished by more than 150 000 collection units.

Main publications of the Laboratory

Zaitsev M.V., Voyta L.L., Sheftel B.I. 2014. Mammals of the Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Insectivores. St. Petersburg: Nauka. 391 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 178).

Baryshnikov G.F., Tikhonov A.N. 2009. Mammals of the Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Ungulates. Part 1. Perissodactyls and Artiodactyls (Suidae, Moschidae, and Cervidae). St. Petersburg: Nauka. 164 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 173).

Baryshnikov G.F. 2007. Ursids (Mammalia, Ursidae). St. Petersburg: Nauka. 541 p.

Aristov A.A., Baryshnikov G.F. 2001. Mammals of the Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Carnivores and Pinnipedes. St. Petersburg: Nauka. 560 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 169).

Gromov I.M., Erbaeva M.A. 1995. Mammals of the Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Lagomorpha and Rodents. St. Petersburg: Nauka. 231 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 167).

Grants of the Laboratory

RSF No. 19-14-00020. “Dinosaurs and accompanying vertebrates of the Mesozoic of Russia” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RSF No. 19-74-20110. “Evolutionary history of voles and lemmings (Arvicolinae, Cricetidae, Rodentia): insights from genome wide analysis” (PI N.I. Abramson).

RFBR No. 20-14-00006_d. “Large mammals of Kudaro Pleistocene fauna from Caucasus” (PI G.F. Baryshnikov).

RFBR No. 19-04-00057_а. “Radiation of the placental mammals in the Paleogene” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 19-04-00557_а. “An integrative approach to assessing the rate of evolution and establishing the taxonomic structure of the tribes Arvicolini and Calomyscini (Rodentia: Myomorpha)” (PI F.N. Golenishchev).

RFBR No. 19-04-00049_а. “Taxonomic diversity of the extinct crocidosoricine shrews, and origin of extant subfamilies Soricinae and Crocidurinae (Lipotyphla: Soricidae)” (PI L.L. Voyta).

RFBR No. 19-34-50032_mol_nr. “Early Jurassic marine reptiles of Siberia” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 19-54-50001_YaF. “Diversity and evolution of Palearctic Carnivora: genetic and morphological approaches” (PI A.V. Abramov).

RFBR No. 18-34-20118 mol_а_ved. “A study of the role of selection in the formation of geographical variability and speciation by the example of representatives of mouse-like rodents (Myomorpha, Rodentia)” (PI T.V. Petrova).

RFBR No. 18-04-00730_а. “Molecular studies of adaptations to the subterranean mode of life in voles (subfamily Arvicolinae, Rodentia) in context of phylogenetic history” (PI N.I. Abramson).

RFBR No. 18-34-00572_mol_а. “Genetic and morphological polymorphism of mollusks Macoma calcarea (Gmelin, 1791) in deep-water and shallow settlements of the White Sea” (PI O.V. Bondareva).

RFBR No. 17-54-12041_NNIO_а. “Polar dinosaur faunas of Yakutia” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 16-04-00399_а. “Reconstruction of evolutionary patterns in the history of Caucasian cave bear (Ursus kudarensis)” (PI G.F. Baryshnikov).

RFBR No. 16-34-00040 mol_а. “Cryptic speciation in the narrow-headed vole Lasiopodomys gregalis complex” (PI T.V. Petrova).

РФФИ № 16-54-50004_ЯФ. «Сравнительное исследование генетического и морфологического разнообразия хищных млекопитающих Северной Евразии» (рук. А.В. Абрамов).

RFBR No. 16-54-50004_YaF. “Comparative study on genetic and morphological diversity of carnivores in northern Eurasia” (PI A.V. Abramov).

RFBR No. 16-04-00085_а. “Systematics, phylogeography, and phylogeny of small mammals in East Asia — integrative analysis of peripheral populations” (PI A.V. Abramov).

RFBR No. 16-04-00294_а. “Adaptive radiation of Cretaceous-Paleogene placental mammals and origin of modern orders” (PI A.O. Averianov).

RFBR No. 16-04-00983_а. “The evolutionary and methodological aspects of the differentiation of species and intraspecific forms on the example of some groups of rodents of the suborder Myomorpha” (PI F.N. Golenishchev).

RFBR No. 15-34-50533_mol_nr. “Morphotypical and morphometrical variability of teeth of brown (Ursus arctos L., 1758) and polar (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) bears” (PI G.F. Baryshnikov).

RFBR No. 15-04-03688_а. “Peculiarities of the musculoskeletal system and pathways of its adaptive transformation in rodents of Ctenochystrica” (PI O.V. Zherebtsova).

RFBR No. 15-04-04602_а. “Molecular-genetic studies of rodent museum specimens: phylogenetic and taxonomic aspects” (PI N.I. Abramson).

RFBR No. 15-34-50334_mol_nr. “Genetic and taxonomic diversity of shrews (Lipotyphla, Soricidae) in Vietnam” (PI A.V. Abramov).