About our laboratory

Russia’s Ministry of Education says that 78 luminaries from all over the world are furthering Russian science. The international laboratories set up across the country are equipping Russian science with new technologies and will help to implement theoretical development. Ultimately, both Russian and world science will benefit from this symbiosis, say experts.

The Saint-Petersburg State University is implementing four mega-grant projects. SPbSU funded based on its own means the renovation of the laboratory space in the building of the faculty of Geography and Geoecology on Srednyi pr. V. O. in St. Petersburg, while the grant itself was used for 3 purposes:

  1. to found a new laboratory “Palaeogeography and geomorphology of Polar Countries and the World Ocean“, with the specific tasks of publishing Geomorphologic Atlases of Antarctica (Russian version 2012, English version 2013; cf. Lastochkin et al.) and Geomorphologic maps of the Arctic (in progress), of organizing international conferences (2012 and 2013);
  2. to improve the geochronologic facilities of the faculty with the aim to establish a first rate dating laboratory of international standards; a substantial number of new instruments have been acquired through the megagrant which are now installed in the renovated rooms;
  3. to expand multidisciplinary marine research with funding a substantial number of junior Russian scientists and students.

In the laboratory of “Palaeogeography and geomorphology of polar countries and the World Ocean” under the direction of Jörn Thiede, the famous German specialist in marine geology and paleoceanography, studies of the polar regions of Russia are conducted.

One can hardly expect that the «star of German Science» can justify the claim of Russia to the Arctic shelf, which are now questioned in the international community. This is not required. It is quite enough that J. Thiede cooperating with the Russian side is a serious, unbiased, world-renowned German professional with unblemished reputation, who is unlikely in favour of someone else to distort scientific facts, which so far favour the legality of claims of Russia on the «Russian Arctic».

Also a German professor has already  initiated new research which we have done by taking up the complex study to make contributions towards an understanding of the history of the Lena river system. The Lena river has been selected as a major object for geochronological and paleomorphologic studies .After a successful pilot visit to the lower Lena during summer 2011, a short, but intense field campain was organized during August 2012 with the goal to study the uppermost Lena River to the East of Lake Baikal.

After the megagrant lasted only to the end of 2012, we have renamed the laboratory to the KÖPPEN-Laboratory, commemorating the famous Rusian meteorologist and paleoclimatologist Vladimir P. Köppen (1846-1940), who started his career in St. Petersburg, but later continued in Germany.