2021 sees the centenary of the Institute of Botany. The history of the Institute dates back to September 1921, when Professor O.V. Fomin founded and headed the Botanical Room and Herbarium of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Thereafter, outstanding scientists M.G. Kholodny, D.K. Zerov, P.F. Oksiyuk, Yu.D. Kleopov, A.S. Lazarenko, A.M. Oxner, S.F. Morochkovksyi among many others worked at the Institute. They established several research directions and scientific schools in taxonomy, floristics, bryology, lichenology, mycology, phycology (algology), geobotany, phytohormonology and other fields.
Evolving over the century, the Institute became the leading Ukrainian research institution in plant sciences. The research activity at the Institute covers a broad spectrum of areas and issues, ranging from theory to experiments and from cells to ecosystems, unified under the following primary themes:
(1) taxonomy, floristics, ecology and conservation of plants and fungi; vegetation structure and dynamics
(2) structural and functional organization of plants and fungi at various levels from molecules and cells to organisms under natural and human-altered environmental conditions.
Today, the Institute is comprised of seven research departments, three laboratories and additional auxiliary units, scientific library, group of practical informatics, etc. The research carried out at the Institute is supported by Transmission & Scanning Electron Microscopy facilities used for TEM & SEM analyses.
The Institute hosts the National Herbarium (KW) containing over 2 million deposited specimens of vascular, non-vascular plants and fungi that have been accumulated by several generations of scientists over the last few centuries. The National Herbarium, as well as more recent Mushroom Culture Collection (IBK) and Microalgae Culture Collection (IBASU-A), are officially recognized as Ukraine’s National Heritage units. These unique biological collections provide a solid basis for biodiversity research and conservation of plants and fungi.
The most substantial contributions of the Institute’s scientists in biodiversity research are the fundamental twelve-volume Flora of the Ukrainian SSR, Identification Manual of Plants of Ukraine, Vegetation of the Ukrainian SSR, ten volumes of Flora of Fungi of Ukraine, five-volume Handbook of Fungi of Ukraine, five issues of Flora of Algae of Continental Water Bodies of Ukraine, Identification Manual of Freshwater Algae of Ukraine, book series Ecoflora of Ukraine, Vegetation of Ukraine, Protected Natural Areas of Ukraine: Flora and Vegetation, National Habitat Catalogue of Ukraine, etc.
Through international cooperation the Institute’s scientists participated in several international floristic projects, such as the Flora of China, Flora of North America north of Mexico, Atlas Florae Europaeae, Flora Europae Orientalis, Flora of the British Isles, Flora of the USSR (English version), international series Algae of Ukraine: Diversity, Nomenclature, Taxonomy, Ecology, Geography and Biodiverstiy of Cyanoprokaryotes, Algae and Fungi of Israel and others.
Considerable achievements in plant conservation are two editions of the Red Data Book of Ukraine and the Green Data Book of Ukraine. The third edition of the Red Data Book of Ukraine is being prepared according to the IUCN Red List documentation. The new concept of development of the national nature conservation network was proposed. The Important Plant Areas (IPAs) of Ukraine were identified.
The Institute provides research and education facilities for postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The PhD and Dr. Sci. degrees in botany and mycology are awarded by the Institute’s academic council.
The Institute of Botany is a publisher of two peer-reviewed, open access journals: Ukrainian Botanical Journal and Algologia. Like the Institute itself, the Ukrainian Botanical Journal celebrates its centenary in 2021.
The Institute of Botany offers its research facilities, expertise and scientific cooperation in a wide variety of research on plant science and related fields to colleagues and research institutions in Ukraine and other countries worldwide.