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Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology
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Address: Jelgavas street 1, LV-1004, Riga
: +371 67034879
Dr. biol., asoc. prof. Voldemārs Spuņģis

The Department is involved in the studies for the bachelor, master and doctoral degree in biology. Main fields of research work (including elaboration of bachelor, master and doctoral theses) are:

  • Systematics of animals and evolutionary biology;
  • Ecology of animal populations and communities, development of monitoring methods for species status and indicators for the quality of habitats;
  • Investigations of animal communities ecology of typical and protected habitats in Latvia;
  • Animal diversity and impact of environmental variables;
  • Investigations on animal migrations;
  • Investigations on animal behavior;
  • Investigations of animal populations in urbanized environment (in Riga city)

Staff of the Department and students are doing research in forests, agricultural landscape, mires and other wetlands, at the seacoast, in urbanized environment and in laboratory. Research is funded by grants from Latvian Council of Science and within other projects funded from Latvia or European Union sources.

Within Faculty of Biology there is close co-operation with the Chair of Botany and Ecology and the Chair of Hydrobiology. In teaching the Zoological Department of the Museum of UL (headed by A. Petrins), which holds the most interesting collections of insects and mollusks in Latvia, is involved.

The Department collaborates with the Institute of Biology (Univ. of Latvia), Daugavpils University, Latvia University of Agriculture, the Forest Research institute “Silava”, Natural History Museum of Latvia, Riga Zoo, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, with the institutions of both ministries. From nongovernmental organizations permanent co-operation is with the Latvian Fund for Nature, Latvian Ornithological Society and Latvian Entomological Society.

Main international contacts are with the biologists from Universities of Helsinki (Finland), the Uppsala University (Sweden), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden), the University of Bremen (Germany), the Vilnius University (Lithuania) and the University of Tartu (Estonia).