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  • Research Interest of Professor Boris Zakharov, Ph.D.

    Research Interests and Activities of Boris Zakharov, Ph.D. 

    Research History

    I have a wide range of research experiences and interests, primary within the fields of Invertebrate Zoology, Biogeography, Evolution, and System Theory approach in Biology. My Master’s project in Arachnology (1979) was performed at Far East State University and dedicated to orb-weaving spiders (Araneae, Araneidae) of South East Russia. In 1989, I earned my Ph.D. in Entomology from Novosibirsk Biological Institute (Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences), which is the major Siberian degree-granting institution in Zoology. This Institute also houses the best zoological collections in Siberia, and its graduates have an extensive experience in both field and museum sciences.

    My professional career I began in “Kedrovaya Pad Natural Reserve” as a Research Scientist, where I participated in and performed various scientific projects in field zoology. Five years, from 1974 to 1979 I collected invertebrates, processed zoological materials and monitored seasonal and long-term dynamics of natural ecosystems. For several years after that I worked in Institute of Agricultural Chemistry (Novosibirsk, Russia), where I have got intensive and in-depth skills in a study of pest control and crop protection. My Doctoral research on horse flies (Diptera, Tabanidae) beginning in 1983 in Novosibirsk Biological Institute

    After arrival in the United States, I was invited to participate in a project on ground spiders of Australia and New Zealand in American Museum of Natural History, where I have worked from 1996 to 2005 as a Curatorial Assistant in Spider laboratory in Department of Invertebrate Zoology under world-wide recognized scientist – Dr. Norman Platnick. 

    Current Research

    Currently, I am working on several projects. I am continuing research in systematics, taxonomy, and biogeography of Australasian ground spiders (Araneae, Gnaphosidae). In collaboration with Dr. Vladimir Ovtsharenko, I am working over preparation of the first book “Revision of Australasian ground spiders” and preparing next book on genus Encoptarthria with description, evolutionary relation and geographic distribution of 45 new spider species.

    I also participate in a study of the dynamics of terrestrial invertebrates in the Black Rock Forest Reserve, New York (together with Dr. V. Ovtsharenko). Our project is a part of the big Columbia University project “Ecosystem Consequences of Foundation Taxon Loss”. There was collected a material on 4 years and the field study is planned to be continued this summer. The first paper on the spiders of the Black Rock Forest now is in preparation for the publication at the Entomologica Americana. Continuing this study, we expect to collect data and build a model of succession development of temperate North American oak forest ecosystems.

    My third ongoing project is a study of the morphology of reproductive organs of ground spiders (Araneae: Gnaphosidae) and related spider groups. Together with Dr. V.Ovtsharenko, I published paper on the morphology of the male palpal organ of gnaphosid spiders. Another work on mating mechanism of the ground spider Hemicloea sundevalli is in press. Now I am working on the comparative study of the morphology of the female ground spiders reproductive organs. Results of this study will have impact on the taxonomy of these spiders and let us better understand their evolutionary relations with other spiders and reveal the trends in their evolution.

    Beside these studies I also participate in the work of LaGuardia Carnegie Seminar on Teaching and Learning. Being a member of the seminar I develop and began field study of the LaGuardia Community College students’ hierarchy of values in relation to the learning process. The study has to reveal those personal values of our students that help them in their learning process. Study has two steps. At the first step, I plan to develop and implement a face-to-face in depth interview process that let us to get what personal values motivate students to study and how they are organized in the hierarchy. On the second step, when this data will be collected and analyzed, I plan to implement received knowledge into classroom teaching process.



    1. Zakharov B., Ovtcharenko V.I., Evolutionary and taxonomic implications of the ground spiders’ (Araneae, Gnaphosidae) male palpal organ morphology. In: 27th European Congress of Arachnology, September 2-7, 2012. Ljubljana, Slovenia: 161. Click here for details  
    2. Ovtcharenko V., Zakharov B. Conditions in the oak forest and dynamics of spiders and other invertebrates in the Black Rock Forest, New York. In: 15th Annual CUNY Conference in Science and Engineering, March 2, 2012. New York, NY: 8.
    3. Zakharov B. Biodiversity, seasonal dynamics and biomass of spiders and other soil invertebrates in Oak Forest of the Black Rock Forest. In: Seventh Research Symposium – June 20, 2011, Black Rock Forest Consortium, Cornwall, NY: 8-9.
    4. Ovtcharenko V.I., Zakharov B. Seasonal dynamics and biomass of spiders and other soil invertebrates in oak forests of Black Rock Forest, NY. In: Annual Meeting of the American Arachnological Society, July 8-12, 2011. Portland, OR: 59


    1. Zakharov B.P., 2013. Nomosystematics. A closer look at the theoretical foundation of biological classification. Siri Scientific Press, Manchester, UK, 256 p.
    2. Zakharov B., Ovtcharenko V.I., 2011. Morphological organization of the male palpal organ in Australian ground spiders of the genera Anzacia, Intruda, Zelanda, and Encoptarthria (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Journal of Arachnology, 39, 4: 121-131. Click here for details 


    1. The City University Affirmative Action Committee (UAAC) for the Diversity Project Development Fund Grant “An Initiative to Attract Black Male Community College Students to STEM Programs in which they are Currently Underrepresented” (P.I.), 2012
    2. PSC-CUNY Traditional Grant A for the project “Comparative morphology of ground spiders’ (Araneae: Gnaphosidae) male palpal organ” (P.I.), 2012.
    3. PSC-CUNY Traditional Grant B for the project “Structure and dynamic organization of spider community of East Coast Oak Forests” (P.I.), 2011.
    4. The City University Affirmative Action Committee (UAAC) for the Diversity Project Development Fund Grant “Attraction Hispanics, minority and female community college students to increase participation in underrepresented science programs, in particular medical entomology” (Co-P.I.), 2010.

    I also have submit two articles: “On Spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) of the Black Rock Forest, New York” and “Structure of genital organs and mating process of spider Hemicloea sundevalli Thorell, 1870 (Araneae: Gnaphosidae)” to “Entomologica Americana” magazine.

    Boris1   Boris 2   Boris3   Boris4

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