Congratulations to Growing up at the Aquarium project participants, winners at the 20th MAN AND BIOSPHERE Conference

Congratulations to Growing up at the Aquarium project participants, winners at the 20th MAN AND BIOSPHERE Conference

Students of the Growing up at the Aquarium project successfully participated in the 20th International Youth Environmental MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE Conference held on March 30-31, 2023 at the Vladivostok State University.

More than 200 junior researchers ranging in age from primary school students to post-graduates keenly interested in ecology took part in the event.

The conference discussed biological, ecological, biodiversity, nature conservation and wildlife management issues. The presentations widely varied in topics, including both school projects studying animals and plants and thorough applied research on ocean and soil cleaning conducted by young scientists.

Four papers presented by the participants of the Growing up at the Aquarium project (Primorsky Aquarium) were selected as the best in the corresponding age groups.

Lyubov Gliznutsa, Cand.Sci.(Biol.), Lead Specialist of the Education Department, has been head of the AQUAlaboratory club, one of the stages of the project, from its earliest days. The AQUAlaboratory has repeatedly received awards at the MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE conference and three teenagers from the club became winners this year. “State-of-the-art learning laboratories and unique live inhabitants of the Primorsky Aquarium exhibits help us to perform good quality research,” Lyubov comments. “One of the major goals of the Growing up at the Aquarium project is to encourage curiosity in children and to sparkle their interest in science. This is our mission.”

Antonina Balakhnina, an 11-year school student, was awarded the first prize among 10th -11th graders with her project “Sea urchins and their role in marine ecosystems”.

Vladimir Dormidontov, a ninth year student, and Oksana Teterina, an eighth year student, shared the first place in the 5th -9th grade age category. Vladimir’s paper was devoted to “Breeder populations of the relict pipevine Aristolochia manshuriensis and their role in supporting this plant species in the south of Russian Far East”, and Oksana’s work was about “The effect of surface active agents on planarian regeneration”.

The youngest members of the Growing up at the Aquarium project carried out their research in collaboration with their teacher Tatiana Chernykh, Cand.Sci.(Ped.), head of the Belyok environmental biology studio, Principal Specialist of the Education Department.

Alexey Mikhailov, Principal Specialist of the Tropical Freshwater Species Department, helped them as a biological consultant.

First year students Taira Khabibullina and Alexey Takeyama from Belyok studio could not attend the conference in person, but the paper they submitted, “Studies of the aquatic life habitat in the Russkaya River (middle reaches)” was awarded the first prize.

The best papers presented will be published on the website of the Federal Scientific Center of the East Asia Terrestrial Biodiversity (FSC of Biodiversity), FEB RAS, as well as in the Biota and Environment of Natural Areas scientific journal.

The MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE conference has been organized for three years collaboratively by the FSC of Biodiversity and the Vladivostok State University in a hybrid format, with in person sessions run at the University and live broadcast for online attendees.