In spring 2020 we opened a 'mirror' systematic entomology laboratory at the Institute of Environmental and Agricultural Biology (X-BIO Institute) at the University of Tyumen. Strategically, our Siberian branch aims to fill a knowledge gap about rove beetles (Staphylinidae) fauna of Russia, a large area of Eurasia that comprises a significant portion of unknown diversity of these minute but very abundant insects. Ecological diversity of rove beetles together with big and diverse geography of Russia form an exciting study system for integrative taxonomy and phylogeography, especially when viewed from global prospective. Institutional support from X-BIO makes this research program feasible. Location of the city of Tyumen on the crossways between Eastern and Western Russia is helpful too. Maria and Igor, X-BIO post docs, are running the lab on site while Alexey oversees it from Copenhagen with periodical visits. 

Igor Orlov
Igor is a post doc at X-BIO. He was the first member of our branch in Tyumen who landed in Siberia few hours before the covid19 lockdown sealed Russian borders for months! Igor completed his PhD at the Natural History Museum of Denmark with Alexey within the BIG4 consortium. His PhD was devoted to the backbone phylogeny of Aleocharinae (Staphylinidae). At X-BIO he continues global exploration of the evolution and diversity of Aleocharinae with the current focus to systematise data on the poorly known fauna of Aleocharinae of Russia and adjacent lands of Northern Eurasia. Simultaneously, Igor is an associated researcher at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Science in St. Petersburg where he is involved in the collaborative grant from the Russian Science Foundation led by Alexey. With Alexander Popkov and others Igor is involved in experiments to apply machine learning for the needs of taxonomy. Igor is from Belarus where he obtained MSc degree at Brest University. 
Research Gate      

Maria Salnitska
Maria is post doc at X-BIO where she is also a PI of her Young Investigator grant from the Russian Science Foundation that targets diversity and evolution of rove beetles of the steppe belt of Russia. Maria received her PhD at Saint-Petersburg State University (Russia), co-supervised by Alexey. Her thesis was focussed on the systematics of the Palaearctic Quedius. She also took part in the collaborative genomic phylogeny of Quediini led by Adam Brunke. Currently, she is expanding her systematic knowledge on Staphylinidae focussing on the Russian steppe fauna fo her RSF project and leads the development of DNA-based species delimitation studies at X-BIO for rove beetles and other groups. Simultaneously she an associate researcher at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Science in St. Petersburg within the Russian Science Foundation grant led by Alexey there. Maria comes from Ukraine where she graduated from Kharkov University and made her BSc on bark beetles (Scolytinae weevils). 

Angesom Abraham Gebremeskel
Angesom is PhD student at X-BIO. He entered the University of Tyumen PhD program in Entomology in 2019. Soon he joined our lab to work on the molecular species delimitation in rove beetles (Staphylinidae) fauna of Russia. Angesom received his Bachelor degree in Biology at University of Asmara in Eritrea in 2001. In 2013 he got his Masters degree in Zoology at the Eritrea Institute of Technology, College of Science, Department of Biology. At that time Angesom explored the feeding habits and predators of Hamadryas baboons in the southern Eritrean highlands becoming an experinced field biologist in NE Africa. In 2016 he spent six months as a trainee at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata, India where he worked with molecular characterization and antibiotic resistance of clinical Helicobacter pylori isolates in Indian population. This is where he obtained laboratory skills which came very handy for the current work of Angesom with beetles. We hope Angesom will stay in entomology!

Kristina Voronova
Kristina works in our laboratory as a Master student whose research project is a review of the fauna of  rove beetles of the genus Philonthus of Russia. She graduated from Tyumen State University with a bachelor's degree in Biology. In her bachelor project she studied the infestation of bivalve molluscs with water mites of the genus Unionicola. Now Kristina is a first-year student of a master programme at the Institute of environmental and agricultural biology (X-Bio) where her major interest is Plant Biosecurity. Generally, Kristina has been fond of biology and nature since her childhood. She especially likes the animal world. In her free time she likes outdoor activities such as cycling, rafting, snowboarding and travelling.   

Valeria Krivosheeva

Valeria has joined our lab in 2020 as a research trainee and assistant driven by her interest to apply genomic technologies in the study of insects and to investigate applied potential of insects. Currently she is working on two projects, the first is in the field of practical usage of Staphylinidae as biocontrol agents. The second project targets DNA sequencing from museum for the purposes of species delimitation. Her areas of interests are entomology, molecular biology and genomics. Valeria received her first Master degree as a bioengineer and bioinformatician at the University of Tyumen. Her thesis was in the field of molecular biology. Currently, she is going to obtain her second Master degree in Veterinary at the Northern Trans-Ural State Agricultural University. In 2018 she was an intern-bioinformatician at the breeding and genetic center in the agro-industrial Russian company «EFCO».

Alena Ponich

Alena is a Bachelor student at the School of Advanced Studies at the University of Tyumen. She is completing her major in Life Sciences. She joined our laboratory in 2020 within her research-based internship. Alena is assisting in mounting rove beetle specimens for the budding collection at our laboratory and working on the project that would be a summary and a handout of the best practice for the creation and maintenance of the entomological collection of Staphylinidae and other insects at the University of Tyumen .