Caspian Seal Conservation Network: Russian Federation


Vaicheslav Zaitsev, BSc, PhD

Professor Viacheslav Zaitsev is the Darwin seal project team leader for Russia. He is Director of the International Oceanographic Institute (IOI) Caspian Sea, which is the Darwin project partner organisation for Russia, and based at Astrakhan State Technical University. He is also Leader of the Caspian seal populations appraisal in Russian waters for Lukoil-NijneVoljskOil, member of the Academic Council of CaspNIRKH, member of the Fishing Council of the Governor of the Astrakhan Region, and scientific advisor for the UNESCO project “Sustainable development of the Volga-Caspian basin”. He is also Chairman of the PhD Dissertation Council.

Andre-Serge Mikouiza, BSc, PhD

Andre-Serge is a member of staff at the IOI Caspian Sea office in Astrakhan. Andre has participated both in the CISS survey negotiations since their initiation in 2004, and in the surveys since 2005. Andre is also acting as the principal administrative assistant to the Darwin project in Astrakhan.

Irina Kurinnaya, BSc

Irina is a post-graduate student of Professor Zaitsev at Astrakhan Technical University. Irina joined the survey team in 2007 as a trainee specialist, and hopes to become fully trained in the survey methodology through the Darwin project.

  • Scientific training programme
    Through the Darwin and CISS programmes, IOI Caspian Sea intends young and enthusiastic scientists to participate in specialised training for the annual aerial survey of seals in the winter ice-field. These two trainees will work alongside their counterparts in Kazkhstan.

  • Education and Public Awareness
    The Darwin project team in Astrakhan intends to focus on education issues. These will include Caspian seal film production and  educational programme and materials for children.