SCGIS Scholars

The board

Marine Arakelyan

2013 Program

  • Yerevan, Armenia

  • I am a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Yerevan State University. It is the biggest and main education center in Armenia and it is only one where teach zoology and botany. The department of zoology prepares experts, which complete the ranks of zoologists in Armenia and out of its borders. Armenia is an internationally recognized area of endemism and a biodiversity hotspot of global importance with high concentration of endemic, rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi. Currently our research centre attempt to build a strategy for preservation of Armenian biodiversity utilizing modern conservation biology techniques. To ensure the success of future conservation efforts, Armenian biodiversity should be inventoried, monitored, and managed using modern techniques and methodologies employing conservation genetics and geographic information systems (GIS). However there are no special courses on GIS in a curriculum of our Faculty. Thus we need in training in both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in data collection, database management and computer mapping in order to work independently with ArcGIS software, GIS project design and management which will get acquainted with application of GIS in field of biodiversity study and its conservation. I am a vice-president of “Biodiva” NGO too. Our organization has developed projects deal with conservation of Armenian biodiversity. The main idea of our organization is creating linkage among different specialists in area of biodiversity and makes multidisciplinary researches and conservation measures. Of course, the knowledge of GIS is became a cornerstone for our projects and its implementation.

    I am responsible for educating the first and second year of Bachelor students (Comparative anatomy of vertebrates) and Master students (methods of field study, systematics of vertebrates etc). I am supervisor for some bachelor and master theses on different topics in field of herpetology. I am an employee as senior research fellow and are spending a substantial time doing researches, writing articles, manuscript, textbooks, projects and reports as well as teaching the students interested in herpetology, biodiversity and conservation problems. My research may seem multiple to many, but it involves understanding evolutionary biology, speciation by hybridization among reptiles, study biodiversity and its conservation. I also have been working on the survey and study unique and rich biological diversity of reptiles of Armenia. 

    As vice-president of “Biodiva” NGO I am writing, submitting and carry out the field and laboratory works in the projects on topic of conservation of biodiversity and trying to organize a group of specialists which will be able to assess current status of rare and endemic animals, plants and fungi, finding key features of their habitat, developing their protection and implementation. My main aims are continue conservation oriented projects and involve in them as much students as possible.