Graduated with honors from Lomonosov Moscow State University, specialty “Soil Science”.


Graduated postgraduate study at Lomonosov Moscow State University and candidate thesis on “Influence of different content of zinc, lead and cadmium in the soil on the composition and quality of plant products” was defended.

1988 - 1995

Junior researcher, researcher, senior researcher and leading researcher at D. N. Pryanishnikov All-Russian Research Institute of Fertilizers and Agro-soil Science. 


Completed the doctorate study at D. N. Pryanishnikov All-Russian Research Institute of Fertilizers and Agro-soil Science and doctoral thesis on “Patterns of behavior of heavy metals in soils under various anthropogenic loads” was defended.

1995 - 2005

Senior lecturer, associate professor, and then - professor of the Department of Radioecology of the RUDN. 


The “VVC Laureate” medal for a series of works dedicated to heavy metals was awarded.

2001 - 2005

Academic secretary of the Dissertation Council D 212.203.17 (03.02.08 Ecology - Medical Sciences, Biological Sciences; 03.02.14 Biological Resources - Biological Sciences).

2005 - 2011

Member of the scientific and methodological Commission on Ecology at the Russian Federal Center for Forensic Expertise under the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

2005 - 2015

Executive editor of the scientific journal “Vestnik of Peoples’ Friendship University Russia, Series “Ecology and Life Safety” (the journal is recommended by the HAC of the Russian Federation).

2005 - 2016

Dean of the Ecological Faculty of RUDN University.

2007 - present

Member of the Educational and Methodological Council for Ecology of the Federal Educational and Methodological Association “Earth Sciences” of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

2007 - 2016

Head of the Center for Additional professional education of the Ecological Faculty RUDN University.


The Golden order of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences “Russian field” for leading the training of professional personnel for the country was awarded.


The diploma of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation for significant contribution to the training of highly qualified specialists was awarded.


The title of laureate of the V. I. Vernadsky National Environmental Award for contribution to the development of environmental education was awarded. Winner of the national environmental award “ERAECO-2014” for a series of works on Forensic Ecology. V. I. Vernadsky medal for training in the field of Ecology was awarded.


The diploma of the National Award “Crystal compass” for developments in the field of Forensic Ecology - the creation of an innovative educational complex for higher education was awarded, the certificate of Honor of the Prefect of the Southern administrative district of Moscow for great contribution to the development of science and education was awarded, V. I. Vernadsky Order for significant contribution to the development of environmental knowledge and training of highly qualified personnel was awarded.

2015 - 2018

Chairman of the Dissertation Council D 212.203.38 (03.02.08 -Ecology Biological / Medical Sciences).

2015 - present

Member of the Russian Geographical Society.

2016 - present

Chairman of the Expert Council of the Commission on environmental policy of the Moscow City Duma.


The diploma of the Moscow City Duma for a great personal contribution to the preservation of the natural heritage of Moscow was awarded, the diploma of MGIMO for high professionalism and active participation in the organization of intellectual and creative activities of students was awarded.


The Jubilee medal “Moscow City Duma. 25 years” for active long-term work on preservation of natural complexes of Moscow was awarded.


Gives lectures to RUDN students of bachelor’s and master’s programs in the following disciplines:

  • “Soil Science”,
  • “Ecological Soil Science”,
  • “Forensic Ecology” (author's course),
  • “Environmental Chemistry”.

Head of the RUDN advanced training programs of Forensic Ecology and in the field of alternative energy sources:

  • “Forensic expertise in the field of ecology”,
  • “Expertise of working conditions and the environment»,
  • “Environmental management of energy resources»,
  • “Assessment of environmental damage”, etc.

Head of the joint master's program “Sustainable development and environmental safety” with the University of Palermo (Italy).

The author of the following study guides:

  1. Baeva Yu. I., Chernykh N. A. Forensic Ecology. Study guide: in 6 volumes
    Volume I Study of the ecological state of objects of soil-geological origin - M., RUDN publishing house. 2016 - 252 p.
    Volume II Study of the ecological state of water object. - M.: RUDN publishing house, 2018 - 332 p.
    Volume III Study of the environmental consequences of waste management in production and consumption. - M.: RUDN publishing house, 2019 - 362 p.
    The study guide was created on the basis of an innovative interdisciplinary set of educational programs for training forensic experts in the field of ecology. It is intended for students, postgraduate students, and specialists in the field of ecology and nature management, as well as employees of state and non-state expert institutions, law enforcement officials whose activities are associated with the assessment of the ecological state of the environment. The following issues are considered: conducting a forensic study of the ecological state of objects of soil and geological origin, conducting a forensic study of the ecological state of water objects, conducting forensic studies of the environmental consequences of activities related to waste management of production and consumption.
  2. Chernykh N. A., Baeva Yu. I., Maksimova O. A. Forensic ecological expertise. Study guide. M.: RUDN publishing house, 2012 - 448 p.
    The subject, goals, tasks, objects, methods and types of forensic environmental expertise are considered in the study guide. Much attention is paid to the legal framework and procedural aspects of the appointment, organization and production of forensic expertise, the status of an expert and the forms of participation of a specialist in the field of environmental management and protection in legal proceedings. Modern methodological approaches to the study of objects of forensic environmental expertise and assessment of the actual circumstances of negative anthropogenic impact on the environment are presented. For students, postgraduate students and specialists in the field of forensic ecology, as well as in other areas of knowledge associated with the assessment of the environmental state of the environment.
  3. N. A. Chernykh, A. I. Usov, G. G. Omelyanyuk. Forensic environmental expertise. Study guide.  M., RUDN, 2008 - 260 p.
    The study guide contains materials aimed at studying the subject, tasks, objects, methods and types of forensic environmental expertise, as well as the acquisition of skills to use special knowledge in legal proceedings to establish and assess the actual circumstances of the negative anthropogenic impact on the environment. It is intended for students, postgraduate students and specialists in the field of forensic ecology, as well as in other areas of knowledge associated with the assessment of the ecological state of the environment.
    The study guide is performed in the framework of innovative educational program of Peoples’ Friendship University Russia, the direction “Export-oriented Complex of innovation educational programs on priority directions of science and technologies” and is part of the educational-methodical complex, including the course description, program and e-textbook.
  4. N. A. Chernykh, S. N. Sidorenko. Environmental monitoring of toxicants in the biosphere. M.: RUDN publishing house, 2003 - 430 p.
    The monograph summarizes data on the study of properties and distribution in the environment of a number of toxic substances. The mechanisms of their influence on living organisms are considered. The levels of heavy metals in the biosphere components were evaluated. Considerable attention is paid to the study of migration and transformation of compounds of these elements in soils and adjacent environments-natural waters, the atmosphere and vegetation. Ecological aspects of oil pollution of ecosystems are widely presented. Much attention is paid to methods of rehabilitation of contaminated soils. For professors of biological, environmental and agricultural specialties of universities, as well as researchers in the field of nature protection.
  5. Chernykh N. A., Ovcharenko M. M. Heavy metals and radionuclides in biogeocenosises. - Moscow: “Agroconsult”, 2002 - 200 p.
    The book provides basic information about the properties of heavy metals and radionuclides, the regularities of their distribution in the environment, and also summarizes the currently available data on the study of the mechanisms of action of toxicants on living organisms. The characteristic of ionizing radiation is given: basic concepts, units of measurement, interaction with matter, biological effects, regulation, etc. The natural and man-made levels of stable and radioactive isotopes in various components of the biosphere were estimated, and the contribution of various sources to the total pollution was determined. Standards for the content of heavy metals and radionuclides in natural environments, drinking water and food products are given, and approaches to the regulation of pollutants are considered. Much attention is paid to the methods of sampling, sample preparation and determination of these substances in natural objects.
    The book contains a significant amount of reference material and experimental data, which facilitates the study of this material.
    This book is intended for students and professors of biological, environmental and agricultural specialties of universities, as well as specialists in the field of nature protection.


  • Certified expert of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in the field of ecology, has extensive experience in conducting expert work in the field of waste management. Over the past 5 years, 4 forensic expertise and 4 reviews in the field of ecology and nature management were considered in courts as evidence that ultimately determined the outcome of the cases.
  • Developed the system to minimize the negative impact of lead pollution on human health, which was used to prepare the state target program “Protecting the environment from lead pollution and reducing its impact on public health”.
  • Under the leadership of N. A. Chernykh, research has been conducted for 20 years on the levels of heavy metals in the soils of various regions of the world, as well as on the processes of migration, transformation and transition of heavy metal compounds to adjacent environments, depending on natural and climatic conditions. As a result of the conducted research in various regions of the world: in the Russian Federation (Moscow City, Moscow, Belgorod, Kursk, Astrakhan and other regions), in Sri Lanka, Côte d'Ivoire, Sudan, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania a large body of experimental data has been obtained, its analysis and generalization reveals the mechanisms of accumulation and migration of pollutants in natural environments and serves as a basis for predicting the behavior of pollutants. The established patterns of migration and transformation of metal compounds in various natural and climatic zones are used as a scientific basis for developing systems for reclamation of landscapes contaminated with heavy metals, and also serve as a basis for obtaining high-quality agricultural products in contaminated areas. According to the research results, 16 candidate theses and 2 doctoral theses were successfully defended.
  • Under the leadership of N. A. Chernykh and in collaboration with scientists of Lomonosov Moscow State University a group of scientists of Ecological Faculty of RUDN University started research on the project “Recreational and resource potential of karst ecosystems: assessment of the ecological state, development of environmental monitoring methodology, rehabilitation methods”. The project aims to: 1) identify the main types of cave ecosystems and assess their stability under various recreational loads; 2) identify vulnerable ecosystems and determine the direction of evolution of cave ecosystems and landscapes for recreational use; 3) development of scientific foundations for the conservation of cave sites and their biodiversity, a system for assessing geo-ecological risks; 4) development of a system for monitoring the state of karst caves as objects with increased anthropogenic impact. By now, comprehensive studies of fouling communities in the entrance zone of a number of caves in Montenegro have been conducted; work has begun on the study of caves in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.

Scientific interests

  • State of ecosystems in regions of the world in conditions of chemical pollution;
  • Migration and transformation processes of compounds of heavy metals, radionuclides, oil and oil products in various components of the biosphere.
  • Forensic ecology, development of scientific and methodological support for conducting forensic environmental expertise, as well as the creation of a system of comprehensive training of forensic experts in the field of ecology.
The studying of influence of natural factors on distribution of acute intestinal infections in the territory of the People's Republic of organized and carried out for the first time. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The country occupies the 8th place of population density making up to 1237,51 people per km2. It is one of the poorest states in Asia with annual income per capita $520 (as of 2008) whereas the average world income per capita makes up to $10 200. One more feature of Bangladesh is the country annually is exposed to large number of natural disasters and the most frequent is flood. The dense population, poverty, unsatisfactory sanitary and hygienic conditions, illiteracy promote wide circulation in Bangladesh of acute intestinal infections which take first place in the structure of general incidence of the population of the country. It is shown that the nature of spread of acute intestinal infections in the country is defined by ecological, demographic, social and economic and sanitary and hygienic factors. As a result of a complex ecological hygienic research of the causes of wide circulation of acute intestinal diseases among population of the country the correlation relationship between natural features, social and ecological conditions and incidence for each of 64 administrative regions of the People's Re-public of Bangladesh were revealed. On the basis of the obtained regularities the recommendations were submitted to decrease epidemiological tension in the country related to diarrheal diseases.
Fast growth of urban population during the last century led to massive abandonment of arable lands near big cities due to the outflow of rural population. After withdrawal, former arable lands undergo a process of self-restoration, and there are some periods of natural succession of vegetation and soils. This study was aimed to estimate the changes in plant biodiversity and organic carbon content in soils during postagrogenic evolution of former arable lands in various bioclimatic zones of the European part of Russia. The chronosequence studies were carried out in southern taiga (Albeluvisols, Kostroma region), zone of deciduous forest (Phaeozems, Moscow region), and steppe zone (Chernozems, Rostov region). Each chronosequence included arable, abandoned lands of different ages, and native (forest or steppe) cenosis. The content of organic carbon (Corg) and total nitrogen (Norg) was determined in mixed soil samples (0–20 cm layer). Total species richness (TSR) was used to quantify the biodiversity of plant communities. It was shown that the withdrawal of soils from agricultural use resulted in some alterations in species composition, increase of biodiversity, and a gradual recovery of native vegetation attributed to the bioclimatic zone. The highest values of TSR were observed in abandoned lands of 13, 15, and 30-yr old under grasslands. A notable increase in Corg content in the upper part of former arable layer was observed during the postagrogenic evolution for all bioclimatic regions. However, the tendency was more pronounced for postagrogenic soils in northern bioclimatic zones in comparison to southern ones: Albeluvisols > Phaeozems > Chernozems. Thus, Corg content in Albeluvisols under forest was 4.7 times higher than in arable soil. The same ratio (Corg in native cenosis: Corg in arable) for Phaeozems and Chernozems comprised 2.3 and 1.4, respectively.
Herein we have assessed the state of soil bacterial communities at different levels of pollution with oil. The dependences of the change in the total abundance of non-spore-forming bacteria and bacilli in sodpodzolic soil and typical chernozem have been obtained. The species composition of microorganisms in polluted soils has been assessed. The dynamics of the changes in the structure of bacterial communities with time after single oil pollution has been traced. Several microbiological parameters which can be used as diagnostic tools in case of oil pollution of soil have been found.
The regularities of heavy metals (Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb) and arsenic accumulation in various types of aquatic vegetation have been studied, depending on the season and the levels of pollution of the Srepok River (Vietnam). It has been found that the concentrations of Fe, Cu, Zn, As, Cd and Pb in all studied areas of the river in the roots of water hyacinth and common reed were higher than those in the stems. It has been shown that the content of toxicants in plants varied widely, depending on the level of pollution in the adjacent area. The maximum concentrations of Cu, Zn and Pb were noted in the organs of the water hyacinth and reeds in the lands within the industrial areas, and the highest levels of As and Cd were noted up the stream, before the river entrance into the industrial area. The content of Fe in all areas remained stable. The difference in heavy metals’ concentrations in plants close to the banks in the provinces and in the middle of the river in most cases was not statistically significant.
The state of soil microbiocenoses at different levels of oil pollution was assessed. The microbiological activity of two types of soils (sod-podzolic and typical black earth) under the conditions of stress caused by oil pollution was determined. The regularities in variation of the ratio and total number of the main groups of microorganisms in different soil types were revealed. The compositions of microorganism species in polluted soils were determined. The dynamics of changes in microbiocenoses after one-time oil spiking was traced. A number of microbiological parameters, which can serve as markers of oil pollution in soil, were proposed.
The composition of micromycetes of rocks and deposits of the caves Kinderlinskaya and Oktyabrskaya, located in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, have been studied. The caves are formed in the upper Devonian Famennian limestones. These caves differ significantly in anthropogenic load due to their different accessibility to humans. Kinderlinskaya is a horizontal cave with a large entrance often visited by tourists. It needs special climbing equipment to enter to the October cave as it is situated on the height of 98-meter over the precipice. The study was carried out over the period from 2011 to 2015. The temperature in the caves was at 4-8ºC interval and humidity was from 60 to 100%. Generally 50 sites in the Kinderlinskaya cave (the length of the cave is 8130 m) and 12 sites in the Oktyabrskaya cave (the length is 1523 m)were studied. The sampling was carried out in different seasons, which significantly allowed to increase the detection of micromycetes biodiversity. To identify the species composition of micromycetes authors used a set of standard mediums and extracts from the substrates of the cave. The cultivation of micromycetes was carried out in a wide range of temperatures in order to allocate the largest number of species. Some of the crops were carried out directly in the cave. As a result, 110 species of micromycetes and 16 sterile forms in the cave of Kinderlinskaya and 52 species and 36 sterile forms in Oktyabrskaya were revealed. Species richness of fungi was higher in the Kinderlinskaya cave, due to intense anthropogenic pressures. The same species with high occurrence in both caves were revealed: Penicillium chrysogenum, Alternaria alternata, Mucor hiemalis Mortierella alpina. However, there were 3 dominant species in Kinderlinskaya, while in Oktyabrskaya the number of dominant species was 8. It was found that the number of species on the examined sites in the caves were differed, in the Kinderlinskaya cave the average number of species was 10.3 and in Oktyabrskaya it was 14.5. Micromycetes were extracted from the substrates of caves by cultural methods and for them the connection between the activity of cave visits and the increase in the species diversity has been established.
This paper is devoted to the problem of ¹³⁷Cs and K accumulation by plants of forest ecosystems in the center of the East European Plain. It has been found that shoots and roots' phytomass has the maximum difference in the accumulation of these elements depending on the K-selective transport systems of plants. The increased accumulation of ¹³⁷Cs in green moss and aboveground organs of Pterídium aquilínum bracken fern, as well as in the leaves and thin branches of oak, aspen, and birch and in the shoots of cranberries has been revealed. Analysis of the physiological aspects of nitrogen and potassium nutrition allows supposing possible explanation of the mechanism of ¹³⁷Cs hyperaccumulation by aboveground phytomass of some species.
In the article there is given a hygienic assessment ofpolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contamination of soils of the city of Serpukhov of the Moscow region. For the first time there was investigated the PCB's ability to migrate in the system "soil-earthworms", and were calculated bioaccumulation factors at the different level of soil contamination. There was performed a comparative evaluation of the accumulation of given contaminants by higher terrestrial plants and representatives of soil paedobionts (Lumbricidae worms), and revealed clear differences in these processes. There was shown the possibility of the use of earthworms as a highly sensitive bio-indicators in monitoring for soil contamination by persistent organic pollutants, even at low concentrations.
The paper presents a brief overview of contemporary condition of environmental crimes in the Russian Federation based on the analysis of official statistical data. The authors note that the last five years witnessed an increase in the anthropogenic impact on the environment, but the number of environmental crimes registered by law enforcement bodies has at the same time decreased. Besides, the environmental crime’s structure is dominated by such violations as illegal logging and destruction of forests as well as illegal hunting and use of aquatic bio-resources. The authors examine the contemporary condition and development prospects of the institute of environmental forensic inquiry viewed as one of the effective instruments of counteracting environmental crimes. They offer a definition of forensic ecology as an independent part of ecology that contributes to solving problems arising in the court proceedings dealing with the negative environmental impact cases. The authors also analyze key problems of the environmental forensic inquiry process. They pay special attention to the innovative interdisciplinary course for training forensic experts in ecology taught to the students of the Department of Ecology at Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. The aim of this course is, on the one hand, to contribute to the environmental education of the community and, on the other hand, to improve the efficiency of counteracting environmental crimes. This course is unique both in Russia and abroad, it is needed in contemporary society as testified by the National Prize in Geography, Ecology, Conservation and Popularization of Natural, Historical and Cultural Legacy of Russia «Khrustalny Compas» (Crystal Compass) and the National Prize in Ecology «ERAECO 2014».