Mikhail Potapov

Dr. Mikhail Potapov

Moscow State Pedagogical University


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Mikhail is a taxonomist of Collembola. He is interested in the morphology, taxonomy and fauna of springtails (Collembola), one of the groups of terrestrial soil microarthropods. To date, he has described 190 new species and 16 new genera of Collembola. He has collaborated in the project “The Impact of Human Activities on Soil Organisms of the Maritime Antarctic and the Introduction of Non-Native Species in Antarctica” commissioned by the German Federal Environment Agency (FKZ 3709 85 157, 2010-2011). Mikhail has been responsible for describing 8 taxa from the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic region, Australia, and South Africa. He is an author of monographs on Isotomidae of Palearctic regions. Presently Mikhail is focusing the revisions of particular taxa, the local faunas, morphological modifications, and the intraspecific variability of Collembola. He is predominantly utilising traditional taxonomy based on a morphological approach.

Mikhail graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical University in 1985, specialising in Biology. Presently, Mikhail is employed by the Moscow State Pedagogical University (Russian Federation) as the head of zoological department of the Scientific Center of the Faculty of Biology and Chemistry of the university. Mikhail has substantial international research experience, having worked in Tromso Museum (Norway), at the Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals in Krakow (Poland), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) and Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Goerlitz (Germany), and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research) and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris (France). In Asia, Mikhail has worked in the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology of Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (China).


Key publications


Potapov M (2002) Synopses on Palaearctic Collembola, Volume3: Isotomidae. Abhandlungen und Berichte des Naturkundemuseums Goerlitz, 73: 1–603.

Russell D, Hohberg K, Potapov M, Bruckner A, Otte V, and Christian A (2014) Native terrestrial invertebrate fauna from the northern Antarctic Peninsula: new records, state of current knowledge and ecological preferences – Summary of a German federal study. Soil Organisms, 86: 1-58.

Greenslade P, Potapov M, Russell D, and Convey P (2012) Global Collembola on Deception Island. Journal of Insect Science, 12: 1-16. DOI: 10.1673/031.012.11101

Greenslade P and Potapov M (2015) Biology, affinity and description of an unusual aquatic new genus and species of Isotomidae (Collembola) from high altitude lakes in Tasmania. European Journal of Entomology, 11: 334-343. DOI: 10.14411/eje.2015.032

Tully T and Potapov M (2015) Intraspecific phenotypic variation and morphological divergence of strains of Folsomia candida (Willem) (Collembola: Isotomidae), the “standard” test springtail. PLoS ONE 10: e0136047. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136047