Institute of Ecology
The Caucasus is included in the shortlist of the biodiversity hotspots worldwide. The region is considered to be among particularly important and, simultaneously, vulnerable parts of the Globe. The Caucasus has unusually high diversity of animal and plant species for a non-tropical region. The region still hosts a number of animals and plants extinct elswere in Europe and western Asia. In the conditions of growing economy and human impact on the natural landscapes, animals and plants of the Caucasus face an important challenge.
Georgia and the Caucasus need more highly qualified specialists in the fields of ecology and nature conservation, and more high-standard studies in ecology.
The institute of Ecology helps to solve these challenges. It hosts modern studies in the ecology of plants and animals, and applied studies for species conservation.
Professors, researchers, and students of the Institute explore terrestrial and marine animals, vegetation of Caucasian uplands, basic problems of ecology and evolutionary biology.
The institute has field research stations at the Black Sea coast, in alpine areas of the Greater Caucasus and other parts of Georgia. We have an equipped molecular genetic lab and a computer class for ecological modeling.
The institute executes three long-term research programs: the program of the research of high mountain ecosystems, the program of ecology and conservation of large mammals, and the program of quantitative ecology and evolutionary studies.
The institute has an MSc program in ecology, assuming tight link between the courses taught and the research projects incorporating the students of the university. The courses include a number of very applicable ones, including field methods of terrestrial and marine ecology, computerized methods and approaches for processing the appropriate information, GIS modeling, applied molecular genetic methods.