Institute of Botany, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
The richest flora of Azerbaijan is characterized by a significant variety of types of vegetation from forests and steppes to wetlands and deserts, and mountains and highlands occupy almost half of the country. Conservation of flora diversity and its sustainable development is the main direction of research of the Institute of Botany of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, known as a wide-profile scientific center for the study of plants in the republic, founded in 1936.
The first director, an outstanding botanist, a well-known researcher of the Caucasian flora, a full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences Alexander Alfonsovich Grossheim played an important role in the establishment and development of the Institute during 1936–1947. Under the leadership of acad. A.A.Grossheim, who laid the foundations for floristic and geobotanical researches in the country, studies the certification of winter pastures, deserts, semi-deserts, as well as summer pastures, meadows, and carpets of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, over the next years, numerous botanical expeditions were organized to all regions of Azerbaijan. Later many famous scientists L.I.Prilipko, I.I.Karyagin, Y.M.Isayev, Q.F.Akhundov, M.M.Abutalibov, J.A.Aliyev, I.S.Safarov, R.Y.Rza-zade, V.J.Hajiyev, etc. played a significant role in the field of the complex studies of higher plants.
The oldest and most significant herbarium foundation (BAK) in the Caucasus has been functioning at the Institute from the moment of its establishment since 1936. Currently, the rich herbarium collection, numbering 600,000 specimens of Azerbaijan and some countries, also contains about 300 samples of typical plant species found for the first time for science in Azerbaijan.
Since 1998 the Institute of Botany has been participating in many scientific programs directed to the study of the vegetation of the Caucasus following modern international standards within the framework of the innovative projects: “Conservation of biodiversity of Caucasian endemic plant species” of the Missouri Botanical Garden, USA (2006−2009), “Caucasus Plant Biodiversity Initiative” of Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin (BGBM) (since 2009) and “Collection of Wild Plants of Azerbaijan” of the Millennium Seed Bank of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (since 2012 to date) and Global Plant Initiative (GPI, USA) (2013−2015).
The cooperation made it possible to improve the infrastructure of the Institute’s Herbarium Fund, the most important in the Caucasus, to train young scientist in the field of new areas of botany (molecular taxonomy and phylogeny of plants, phytosociology of ecosystems, etc.), to create an innovative botanical museum, a seed bank of rare plants, to digitalize unique specimens of the herbarium collection for the European interactive information database.
In the last decades, scientists of the Institute actively participated in the compilation of the second edition of the Red Book of Azerbaijan (2013), a unique monographic publication “The Red List of Endemic Plants of the Caucasus” (2014), Plants of the Greater Caucasus (Azerbaijan) (2019), The checklist of vascular plants of Azerbaijan (2019, 2020), etc.
Located in: Baku, Azerbaijan