Vladimir Galushin is 90!

Vladimir Galushin (May 9, 1932) – Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor of the Department of Zoology and Ecology of Moscow State Pedagogical University, Honored Ecologist of the Russian Federation, Honorary Member of the Russian Bird Conservation Union, President of the Union in 2002–2005, Head of the Working Group on Raptors of Northern Eurasia and the recognized leader of ornithologists studying birds of prey throughout the post-Soviet space.

Vladimir was born on the future Victory Day – May 9, 1932 in Arkhangelsk, in the family of teacher Yulia Adrianovna and commander Mikhail Yakovlevich. In infancy, he ended up in the Oryol region, in the spacious house of his grandfather-merchant on the garden outskirts of the small town of Livny, where a serene childhood, interrupted by the war, swept. In the stream of refugees on foot, with bundles, from under the brutal bombing, in the train cars, through evacuation transshipment points – to the city of Sergach in the Gorky region. The orphanage for evacuated children, where Volodya's mother worked and lived with the orphans, constantly roamed the region, and therefore the rural schools changed almost every year. However, Volodya Galushin finished ten years with a gold medal.

Young naturalist Volodya Galushin. City of Livny, Oryol region. 1939

The next stage was the formation of a young ornithologist at the biological faculty of Gorky University. And here it was not without a zigzag of fate – Volodya went on a Komsomol ticket to enter the Leningrad Naval Engineering Academy. But the thousands of Komsomol volunteers who arrived there amounted to an obvious search, and they were simply sent home. The course at GSU was girlish, there were only five guys, they immediately reached out for zoology and, I must say, did not get lost in science. Suffice it to mention among them a prominent ornithologist, Doctor of Biological Sciences S. G. Priklonsky, who worked for many years as the director of the Oksky Reserve, and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a well-known helminthologist M. D. Sonin. Their famous teachers - I. I. Puzanov, E. M. Vorontsov and other Nizhny Novgorod zoologists - managed to seriously and forever captivate young students with their science, unquenchable passion for learning new things. Vladimir Mikhailovich recalled how, at the very first lecture, the unpretentious black-and-white slides of the young I. I. Puzanov, made on the banks of the Nile, sunk into his soul. (It is unlikely that he would have believed then that in two decades he would be on that very great African river.) During the years of study at Gorky University, the first student scientific research began on the lakes of the Pustynskaya biological station, the first close expedition trips along the Volga shores and long-distance travel to the island Barsa-Kelmes in the middle of the then magnificent, but now dying Aral Sea.

Expedition to Barsa-Kelmes island, Aral Sea. 1954

V. M. Galushin is faithful to his native university, in science he is one-woman man. Throughout his life, starting from the Oksky Reserve, he has been studying birds of prey everywhere: at the agrobiological station in Pavlovskaya Sloboda and in the Petushinsky hunting farm of the Vladimir Region, in the taiga of the Onega Peninsula and the mosquito forest tundra near Vorkuta, in the Vologda expanses and along the ridges of the Yamal tundra, at the mouth of the Samur on the Caspian coast and along the Volga ravines from Saratov to Kamyshin, among the swamps of the Darwin Reserve and in the famous Tula notches, along the Dokuchaevsky forest belts of the Stone Steppe and at the crystal river Plushchan on the Upper Don. Everywhere he works with friendly teams of young teachers, staff, graduate students, students. An authoritative school of researchers and defenders of birds of prey is being formed. Many already venerable and young researchers of raptors rightly consider themselves students of Vladimir Mikhailovich. Under his direct supervision, A. V. Kuznetsov, A. B. Kostin, N. Yu. that the Working Group on Raptors of the USSR (now Northern Eurasia), created in the 80s, is headed by V. M. Galushin.

Student of Gorky State University. 1952

In the fight against the insane extermination of raptors, V. M. Galushin sought to combine the authority of the luminaries and the search aspirations of young ornithologists. The quantitative characteristics obtained by him and his colleagues by the mid-1960s, which reasonably showed negligible shares of predatory removal from the populations of game animals, turned out to be most useful in the then heated discussion about the role of raptors in hunting and agriculture. It is characteristic that the famous zoologists G. P. Dementiev, N. A. Gladkov, A. G. Bannikov, A. M. Cheltsov, many other scientists, hunters and hunting managers who participated in it established a special Commission on birds of prey at the Department of Zoology MGPI; Professor S.P. Naumov headed it, ornithologist V.M. Galushin and hunter A.S. Rykovsky were appointed deputies. The commission prepared scientific and economic justifications, which made it possible, since 1964, to stop the fight against all raptors without exception and take them under state protection. In the fate of hundreds of thousands of birds of prey saved from extermination by these legislative acts, a significant role was played by the significant results of timely scientific research and the indomitable energy of V. M. Galushin.

The vast majority of his publications are also devoted to birds of prey: from the first note “Ecology and practical significance of some rare species of diurnal birds of prey” (1958) to widely used original methods for studying their diet (1960, 1965, 1982), nesting ecology (1960, 1962, 1964) and numbers (1962, 1971). From theoretical constructions on synchronous and asynchronous types of movement of the predator-prey system, published in the domestic Journal of General Biology (1966), in Itogi Nauki (1982) and in the most authoritative international journal Ibis (1974), to modern population estimates birds of prey in Russia. The combination of strictly scientific content and elegant style of presentation are typical for the books of V. M. Galushin “Birds of Prey” (1970) and “Birds of Prey of the Forest” (1980), which had a considerable influence on the choice of research objects by many current ornithologists. The composition and dynamics of the population of birds of prey in the European center of the USSR were considered in V. M. Galushin’s Ph.D. thesis (1966), later published in Proceedings of the Oksky Reserve (1971).

Since the 70s, there has been a significant reversal of the pedagogical interests of V. M. Galushin. At this time, on the initiative of Professor A. V. Mikheev, the department takes over the development and reading of the original environmental course for universities, the youth of the department is connected to this new direction. In the collectives of authors of all reprints of the first textbook for pedagogical universities “Nature Protection” (1975-1987), V. M. Galushin defined his own sphere - the analysis of ecological patterns of the relationship between society and nature. Later, this section, called “Social Ecology”, was included in the school textbook “Fundamentals of Ecology”, joint with N. M. Chernova and V. M. Konstantinov, which has already gone through 10 editions (1995-2010), and became an independent lecture course. Vladimir Mikhailovich read it masterfully, saturating it with original conclusions and unexpected metaphors. It is not surprising that the audiences where he lectured were crowded even with fifth-year students, many of whom were busy working in schools, but still found time to learn original interpretations of the application of fundamental environmental laws to our human life.

The toughest, shrouded in a veil of mystery, not understood and, perhaps, not accepted by some colleagues, are the zigzags of V.M. Galushin fell on years of long business trips to India (1967–1971) and Afghanistan (1982–1986), where a completely different sphere of life and activity awaited him: UNESCO, international circles, diplomacy. The educational project in India required Vladimir Mikhailovich to work hard in completely new conditions, but also gave him a completely new perception of the world. Communication with interesting people, acquaintance with Svyatoslav Roerich, the wonderful nature of the country with an amazing abundance of birds of prey right in its capital - the city of Delhi, in the surrounding agricultural landscapes. And the top of everything is the unforgettable splendor of the Taj Mahal mausoleum. The direct opposite of blessed India is warring Afghanistan. I remember that all the acquaintances then asked each other: “Why did Galushin fly to Kabul?” There he also headed an important educational project – the creation of the Kabul Pedagogical Institute. Again UNESCO with the charm of trips to Paris and other wonderful places. But it's war! Night-time rocket attacks, from which the blue emblem of the UN and the high post of UNESCO coordinator in the country, are unreliable protection. V. M. Galushin recalled that in November 1984, he, then adviser to the rector of the Kabul Pedagogical Institute, left his office just 3 minutes before the mine smashed his desk to pieces. Two Soviet teachers were wounded, and a miniature shrapnel pierced the earlobe of biologist Tatyana Galushina. Terrible “souvenirs” – fragments of the same mine – are still kept in their family in a box of green Afghan marble. But the Pedagogical Institute was created, manuals and local personnel were trained. Who knows, maybe all this will still be needed at the current stage of the reconstruction of Afghanistan ... It is quite understandable why the amazing nature of India inspired Vladimir Mikhailovich to write a series of articles about its animal world (one of them was published in the May issue of Geo magazine for 2002) . But in Kabul, V. M. Galushin, together with S. A. Polozov, conducted observations of the birds of the city, and on one of the species, almost unknown to ornithologists, the shrike-shah, they published a detailed article (1998).

UNESCO Coordinator in Afghanistan 1974


UNESCO experts at a reception at the Indian Minister of Education. 1967

The first foreign flight of V. M. Galushin was to Paris, to the headquarters of UNESCO, and work in India laid the foundation for his numerous wanderings around the world. The number of countries visited by V. M. Galushin exceeded 100 (to be exact, then 101). He always readily shares his impressions with colleagues and students, shows beautiful slides about his most striking trips to: America – the east coast of the USA, Alaska, South Columbia (Amazon); Europe – Wales (Great Britain), about. Sicily (Italy), Spain, Gibraltar, Poland, Belarus, Estonia, western Georgia; Asia – Vietnam, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kazakhstan (Barsa-Kelmes island), Mongolia, western Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan (Issyk-Kul), Kamchatka, Japan. He can spend hours talking about wonderful weeks-long trips with his friends: with N. N. Drozdov to Mauritius, Madagascar, to the National Parks of Tanzania and Zaire, with V. M. Peskov and Kamchatka nature lovers – in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe.

On the set of the TV show “In the Animal World”. Host V. M. Peskov and saker falcon. Galichya Gora Reserve, Lipetsk region

V. M. Galushin was elected vice-president and president of the Russian Bird Conservation Union, member of the Commission on Education of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, vice-chairman of the World Association for the Study and Protection of Birds of Prey, member of the Executive Committee of the All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Nature. He is a member of the governing bodies of the Menzbeer Ornithological Society, the Russian Society for the Conservation and Study of Birds, is a member of the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Bombay Society of Natural History. For more than 30 years he has been engaged in environmental education as a regular participant in the TV program “In the Animal World” and other television programs.

The life of V. M. Galushin cannot be called monotonous. Science, the educational process, violent social activities, which he never shied away from. Success in sports (categories in skiing and shooting, champion of Gorky University in the 1500 m), participation in the theater group of the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute (prize at the festival of student theaters in Leningrad “For the best performance of the smallest role” - a hunter's student in “An Ordinary Miracle") , television (regular participation in the programs “In the World of animals”, “Pets”, “Window to Nature”). Expeditions, travels, trips to all sorts of congresses and conferences that simply cannot be listed. It is important that he often managed to organize financial support for worthy participation of up to a dozen or more colleagues and students in the work of symposiums on birds of prey in Berlin, Vienna, Badajoz (Spain), Urbino (Italy), Bombay (India), Midrand (South Africa), Mikulov (Czech Republic) and other countries.

Diaries are written in the evenings... Central Africa. 2004

V. M. Galushin published over 350 works in Russian and English, including 8 textbooks and manuals for schools and pedagogical universities in Russian and English, 4 monographs, sections in the reports “Birds of the World”, “Animal Life”, “Birds in Europe”, Red Data Books of the USSR and Russia.

It is impossible to enumerate the list of all his scientific and social positions. The most notable of his regalia: “Excellence in Education of the USSR” (1984), “Honored Ecologist of the Russian Federation” (1999), member of the Commission for Environmental Education of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (1969), vice-president of the World Association for study and protection of birds of prey (1992), member of the Presidium of the Central Council of the All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Nature (1986), President of the Russian Bird Conservation Union (2001), full member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (2001), Honorary worker of protection Nature (2007), Honorary Professor of Moscow State Pedagogical University (2016). In itself, this list is also a reflection of a wide range of scientific and social activities of V. M. Galushin.

The life of Vladimir Mikhailovich really cannot be called straightforward. But her zigzags never took him so far as not to return to the main path, to the main core of life: loyalty to his university, his chosen scientific path - ornithology in general and birds of prey in particular, searches in the wilds of social ecology and one of his main life postulates : “time - to collect and time to give.” Your thoughts, scientific ideas, intellectual property collected around the world and throughout life - to our continuation. And V. M. Galushin knows how to give himself beautifully.

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Biochemistry, Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, assistant V.M. Galushin. 1959

Text source: V.M. Konstantinov, SP. Shatalova “To the 70th anniversary of V.M. Galushin: zigzags of a long way”. Journal of Ornithology, issue 30. Moscow. 2003 Moscow University Press.

Photo source: MSGU website. Even more unique photographs can be found at http://mpgu.su/ob-mpgu/struktura/faculties/institut-biologii-i-himii/struktura/kafedryi/kafedra-zoologii-i-ekologii/pochyotnyie-professora/.

Original publication by Natalia Bogomolova on the Facebook page 'Bio-Khim'.

See also V. Galushin biography on the MPGU website.

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