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Baku State and Charles Universities' joint zoological expedition

In June 2019, the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Charles University in Prague and the Faculty of Biology of the Baku State University organised another joint expedition of zoologists to the Talysh Mountains at the Iranian border and to the Quba region in the Greater Caucasus. In their field research work, Czech B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. students supervised by Prof. Daniel Frynta, Ph.D. and Dr. Miroslav Švátora, Ph.D., along with their Azerbaijani colleagues, focused on monitoring population of amphibians,  freshwater fish, reptiles and rodents.

Annual expeditions of Baku State and Charles University zoologists follow in the footsteps made in Azerbaijan through joint efforts of their faculties whose students and academic staff have been collecting research material used in the fields of herpetology, ichthyology and others since 1973 when the cooperation was established. Until its temporary suspension in 1990, some 180 students and lecturers from the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Prague visited Azerbaijan while the same number of their colleagues from the Baku State University came to Czechoslovakia.

In the new millennium, the old cooperation has been revived on the basis of friendly relations between Czech and Azerbaijani biologists including Dr. Švátora and the current Dean of the Faculty of Biology at the Baku State University, Prof. Akif Quliyev who learned Czech while studying in Prague based on a fellowship in 1967. In 2010, the two faculties signed a Memorandum of Understanding, paving the road to the 2013 Cooperation Agreement between the Baku State and Charles Universities. Over the past decade, the cooperation initiated by the „pioneering“ faculties which now includes regular exchange of students and lecturers in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme has been extended to other institutions, including the Faculty of Chemistry of the Baku State University and the Prague-based University of Chemistry and Technology as well as the National Institute of Mental Health in Klecany near Prague. Reestablished in 2011, the tradition of joint zoological expeditions to Azerbaijan has, besides international research, contributed to the development of contacts between Azerbaijanis and Czechs and, more generally, to a better mutual understanding that is essential to the development of friendly relations between our countries.

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Czech-Azerbaijani June 2019 zoological expedition