Full Version of the Lab History in Russian:
Our lab is a successor of the first in the USSR marine microbiological laboratory which was founded in 1932 at Sevastopol Biological Station (the latter was reorganized to the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas in 1953). Dr. Philipp Isaakovich Kopp was the first Head of the lab and, surprisingly, its the only member (photo 1). In that time the staff of the SBS listed only 8 scientists including academic S.A. Zernov, the station Director. Nevertheless, the lab was supplied with necessary equipment and materials to collect microbiological samples in the Black Sea coastal waters, isolate and identify new bacterial strains, study their physiology.
One of Dr. Kopp’s scientific interests was microbial degradation of chitin. This applied research was thought to contribute to young crab fishery and industry in the soviet Far East. The study was conducted in collaboration with Evgenia Maximovna Markianovich who later (in 1940-50s) become a leading microbiologist at SBS. They had isolated a bacterial strain from the Black Sea depths (100 to 2000 m) able to degrade chitin under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
A dark page in the history of the lab (and the whole station) started in fateful 1938 when P.I. Kopp and many other scientists including V.A. Vodyanitsky and N.V. Morozova-Vodyanitskaya left the station and SBS was [[[[ to Zoological Institute (Moscow). Microbiological studies were stopped at SBS till the end of the Second World War. Nothing is known about P.I. Kopp life in this period. He had returned to SBS in July 1945 and poselilsya with his wife in the northern wing of the SBS building (just where our lab is currently situated).
Since that time microbiological studies at SBS has been extending from year to year. Tight collaboration of the lab with Institute of Microbiology (INMI) AS USSR was started since 1946 to get insight into the problem of biological productivity of seas and oceans. P.I. Kopp took part in a deep-sea expedition but untimely death had prevented him from finishing this work. The results obtained were published later, in 1949, in co-authorship with well-known INMI microbiologists Profs. A.I. Krisss, E.A. Rukina and V.I. Biryuzova.