Svetlana Nikolaeva

Dr Svetlana Nikolaeva's picture
Country: 
United Kingdom
Role: 
BZN Zoologist and Scientific Editor

Mid-Carboniferous boundary section in Nevada

I am the Scientific Editor of the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature (BZN) and the BZN Zoologist. I edit and oversee the production of the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, the ICZN’s quarterly journal in which problems requiring a formal decision by the Commission are published for discussion by the zoological community. The BZN presents Cases, Comments and Opinions (reflecting actions of the plenary body, the Commission). It also contains general articles and news of relevance to zoological nomenclature. It is a formal document, essential to the furtherance of the work of the Commission and the Code. Therefore it is essential that the BZN content is presented in a way that enables the Commission’s action.

The BZN Editorial team ensures that Cases are presented in a standardized format for consideration by the plenary body, and that relevant facts and references are correctly cited. This requires an in-depth understanding of the Code. The editorial team also ensures that the publications are presented according to the house style, and that production is on time, as publication dates can be critical in resolving issues about names.

I am responsible for ensuring a comprehensive editorial service that reflects the ICZN’s brand and house style, and for working with authors in preparation of Case.

My role in the Secretariat is facilitated by the fact that I am also a practising taxonomist with nomenclature as a routine part of my palaeontological research. In my work I regularly come across a wide variety of nomenclatural situations needing resolution. This experience is vital for understanding the taxonomic needs that underpin the principles of zoological nomenclature.

I also answer general enquiries, especially on fossils, and handle all enquiries submitted in the Russian language (I am a native Russian speaker).


This drill was used to insert pins to mark beds in a proposed Viséan-Serpukhovian boundary stratotype.

My research focuses on Devonian and Carboniferous ammonoids (Cephalopoda, Ammonoidea) from all over the world, but particularly from the Urals, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Siberia. This includes their taxonomy, nomenclature, palaeobiology, biostratigraphy, and palaeogeography. Ammonoids are among the best geochronological indicators, and their distribution across major geochronological boundaries helps dating and correlating these levels across the world. I am a voting member of the International Subcommission on Carboniferous Stratigraphy (SCCS) of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and in this capacity studied ammonoids from many potential global boundary stratotype candidate sections. A major aspect of my research is examination of historical ammonoid collections, primarily in the Natural History Museum, London. I am a -member of the Moscow Society of Nature Explorers, Yorkshire Geological Society, and the History of Geology Group of the Geological Society of London.

My funding has included RAS, RFBR, DAAD, NSF, and NHM grants to study various aspects of ammonoid taxonomy and palaeobiology and for field research in various parts of the world. I have collected ammonoids and studied sections in the Urals, Siberia, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Australia, Canada, China, France, Portugal, Spain, UK, USA, and every year goes on expeditions. I have published between 60 and 70 scientific papers, and three monographs, and am currently working on a new book. I am responsible for maintaining and updating the Palaeozoic ammonoid database GONIAT. I won the prestigious Hans Rausing Award for Paleontology in 2005 and 2008 for my monographs “Devonian ammonoids. Clymeniids. IV. Suborder Clymeniina” in Trudy Paleontologicheskogo instituta, Ross. Akad. Nauk, and “The Carboniferous ammonoids from the Gilbertson collection described by John Phillips” in Palaeontographical Society Monographs.


The last day of the field season in the Urals.

Summary of Research & Education:

I received my Ph.D. in Moscow, from the Palaeontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences. While completing my Ph.D. I was employed as a researcher at the Palaeontological Institute to study Carboniferous ammonoids. After two years on that job I went on a post-doctoral fellowship to Tubingen, Germany, where I worked with Prof. J. Kullmann, and then returned to Moscow, where I expanded my research to the Devonian ammonoids and was promoted to the position of Senior Researcher. From 2005 I work for ICZN Secretariat as a Zoologist and the BZN Scientific Editor.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith