The vast land areas and adjacent seas of Northwest Russia are key regions for the investigation of climate change and human impacts in the Arctic. Recognizing the importance of Russia to the circumpolar Arctic, Akvaplan-niva has continuously engaged in collaborative, multi-disciplinary, research projects with colleagues from Russia. Our scientists cooperate with Russian colleagues on Arctic ecology, climate change, and the impacts of industrialization and resource exploitation on human health and the environment.

We are a leading international authority on the environment of Northwest Russia with a track record of over 25 years of research collaboration with Russia’s premier research institutes and universities.

Joint Norwegian-Russian Research Collaboration

Akvaplan-niva scientists have a long track record of success with Russian colleagues in obtaining collaborative research activities through competitive research programs such as through the Norwegian Research Council and the European Union. When designing research projects, we draw from our hands on experience of the unique challenges of conducting joint research activities in Russia. Relying on our extensive network of Russian collaborators, we are able to assemble multi-disciplinary project teams of the highest scientific quality. Gaining access to and working in remote areas is often challenging in Russia. We achieve results by utilizing our long-standing connections with Russian partners.

Environmental Analysis Laboratories

Knowing where to obtain accurate and reproducible analytical results is a critical pre-requisite for environmental research. Many environmental samples may not be exported making it essential to have access to qualified analytical laboratories in Russia. Akvaplan-niva has worked extensively with Russian analytical laboratories toward capacity building and harmonizing methods and procedures through the introduction of international testing and quality assurance programs.

Training and Education

The involvement of Russian students and young scientists in projects is an integral part of Akvaplan-niva’s research collaboration activities with Russia. Akvaplan-niva has supported the training and education of many young Russian scientists in western scientific methods and the publication of their research results in international scientific journals.

Research projects have been carried out in the Russian sector of the Barents Sea, the fjords and estuaries along the coast of Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josephs Land, the Kara, White, Azov and Black seas, and the lakes and rivers of Northwest Russia. Our collaborative projects span across all our key areas of our research expertise in ecotoxicology, climate and ecosystems, biodiversity, petroleum and environment, and physical oceanography.

Akvaplan-niva in Action

From 1955 to 1961, three underwater nuclear tests were performed at Guba Chernaya, a semi-enclosed bay located on the southern tip of Novaya Zemlya in the Barents Sea. In 1992, MMBI and Akvaplan-niva carried out joint research and detected high levels of radioactivity in sediments and  seafloor living macro-organisms from inside the Bay. The surrounding waters of the Barents Sea contained very low levels of radionuclides. <span>Image by Lars Olav Sparboe</span>
In 1994, the major Usinsk oil spill happened in the Republic of Komi due to ruptures of the trunk pipeline, then about 100 thousand tonnes of crude polluted the environment and waters of the Pechora River basin. 12 years after, Akvaplan-niva together with Akvaplan-niva Barents, Northern branch of PINRO, Komi Institute of Biology and other Russian research institutes performed a scientific assessment of the long-term changes to fresh water ecosystems resulting from the 1994 acute oil spill. The results of the studies are published in international scientific journals. <span>Image by Guttorm N. Christensen</span>
Akvaplan-niva is performing research on the King Crab, together with the Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO) and Murmansk State Technical University. <span>Image by Sabine Cochrane</span>
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For More Information

Alexei Bambulyak
Tromsø, Norway

Related Reading

Climate impacts on feeding and condition of capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the Barents Sea: evidence and mechanisms from a 30 year data set

Orlova, E.L., G.B. Rudneva, P.E. Renaud, K. Eiane, V. Savinov & Yurko, A.S. (2010)

Aquatic Biology 10:105-118.

Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Barents Sea sediments: Small changes over the recent 10 years.

Dahle S., V. Savinov, J. Klungsøyr, S. Boitsov, N. Plotitsyna, A. Zhilin, T. Savinova & V. Petrova (2009)

Marine Biology Research 5 (1): 101-108.

Benthic macrofauna and productivity regimes in the Barents Sea - ecological implications in a changing Arctic.

Cochrane S.J., S.G. Densienko, P.E. Renaud, C.S. Emblow, W.G. Ambrose, I.H. Ellingsen & J. Skarðhamar (2009)

Journal of Sea Research 61 (4): 222-233.