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Animal diversity and quality of environment
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Council of the Doctoral school:

  • Jānis Priednieks, Dr.biol. (Faculty of Biology) – chairman;
  • Gunta Spriņģe, Dr.biol. (Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences) – vice-chairman;
  • Oļģerts Nikodemus, Dr.geogr. (Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences);
  • Tatjana Zorenko, Dr.h.biol. (Faculty of Biology);
  • Indriķis Krams, Dr.biol. (Faculty of Biology);
  • Agnese Osīte, Dr.chem. (Faculty of Chemistry);
  • Inga Straupe, Dr.silv. (Latvia University of Agriculture);
  • Gunārs Pētersons, Dr.biol. (Latvia University of Agriculture);
  • Jānis Ozoliņš, Dr.biol. (Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava");
  • Raivo Mänd, PhD (Department of Zoology, University of Tartu, Estonia);
  • Johanna Mappes, Dr. (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

(approved 19.12.2016. with University of Latvia Rector’s order No. 1/483) 

The aim of the Doctoral school is to create an interdisciplinary group consisting of doctoral and master students and academic personal, involving representatives of the fields of biology, geography, environmental science, geology, chemistry and forest science to perform a complex analysis of the proposed scientific problems and to ensure elaboration of doctoral and master thesis of high scientific quality.

Main research areas:

1. Animal diversity and environmental factors

  • Impact of climate changes and environmental stress factors (including organic and inorganic pollution) on animal populations and quality of ecosystems;
  • Evolutionary diversity of organisms (studies of behavioral ecology, evolutionary mechanisms of intraspecific and interspecific relationships, variability of morphology);
  • Changes in landscape structure, their impact on animal populations and species diversity.

2. Landscape ecology and animal populations

  • Biogeographical regularities of animal species distribution in connection with origin and structure of landscapes;
  • Isolating mechanisms  (genetic, behavioral, morphologic) in animal meta-populations, connected with their origin, sinantropisation, history of geographical isolation, modern fragmentation and homogenization of landscapes;
  • Modeling of species distribution, population dynamics, origin and modeling of ecological niches.

3. Animal diversity and sustainable use of natural resources

  • Economical evaluation of animal populations, their functions and importance, role in provision of continuity of ecosystems;
  • Ecological conditions to ensure sustainable use of economically valuable animal populations;
  • Impact of the use of forest, agricultural land, wetland and hydro-ecosystem resources on animal species diversity and population status;
  • Methods and strategy of environmental management to ensure sustainable use of natural resources in connection with maintenance of diversity of animal species and landscape.


To ensure high theoretical level of studies and exchange ideas of researchers of several fields of science, regular thematic discussions, seminars and lectures will be organized, involving researchers of corresponding fields. Topics of seminars are connected with modern biology, environmental quality and problems in landscape ecology. Thus cooperation between researchers of different scientific fields and countries will be promoted, involving doctoral and master students.

For more information contact:

Chairman of the Doctoral school, Dr. biol. Jānis Priednieks – email:

Secretary of the Doctoral school, Ilze Priedniece – email: