International Basic Sciences Knowledge Contest

Nikolay Drozdov


Nikolay Drozdov is a Soviet and Russian zoologistг, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Candidate of Geographical Sciences, professor of Moscow State University, social activist, TV and radio host. He is a member of an expert board of national award Crystal Compass, member of media board of Russian Geographical society. Since 1975, he is an anchor of Animals’ World.

Nikolay Drozdov was born on 20 of June 1937 in Moscow, in a scientists’ family. His father, Nikolay Drozdov (1902-1963), was a professor of organic chemistry sub-department at 2d Moscow medical institute. Mother, Nadezhda Dreiling (1906-1993), was a general physician in 5th Moscow hospital; she worked under the direction of academician Lukomsky and was his right hand.

Drozdov’s family has determined his profession, associated with nature. As a schoolboy, he has already worked as a horse wrangler at a stud farm near Moscow. After graduating from school, Nikolay was enrolled in biological department of Lomonosov Moscow State University, but after two-year study he left it for work. He wanted to prove that he can earn money himself. Two years he worked at a clothing factory, at first as an apprentice and then, he became a 7th grade master of fabrication of men’s outer clothing. But he felt that he has another mission; that is why he returned to the university. In 1963, he graduated from biogeography sub-department of geographic department of Moscow State University. Since 1964 till 1966 he took a post-graduate course at the same university.

In 1968, he defended his candidate thesis in biogeography. Subject of dissertation was “Birds of arid regions in Central Asia”. Since the defense, he has worked at the biogeography sub-department of geographic department of Moscow State University: at first as a junior, then as a senior researcher, and since 1979 as an assistant professor.

N. Drozdov is one of the most distinguished scientists and teachers of Lomonosov Moscow State University. He lectures on ecology, ornithology, environmental protection, and world biogeography and continuously speaks appearances at schools, youth halls and houses, as a lecturer from the Knowledge Association.

As an explorer, he has participated in many scientific expeditions n the USSR: to Kamchatka, Far East, Kuril Islands, Pamir, Tien Shan, Kara Kum, etc. In 1971-1972, he did ten-months internship a Zoological Department of the Australian National University in Canberra (Australia).

Drozdov visited many Australian regions and published a book about this travel: The Fly of the Boomerang. The book was published twice (in 1980 and 1988); the circulations were 100,000 copies. Both editions were sold within a week.

Since 1968 and till nowadays, over thirty years, he has participated in the popular TV  program Animals’ World, at first as a host (together with Aleksandr Zguridi), and since 1977 – as a host and an author.

Nikolay Drozdov is an author and co-author of many TV and video films about nature and animals, created in addition to the Animals’ World program, such as: series Red Book Pages, Rare Animals, Biosphere Ideals (produced to UNESCO order), etc. his major work is a six-series TV film Russian Bear’s Kingdom (1988-1992), created together with the Natural History Department of the British Television (BBC). N. Drozdov is a host, one of authors and scientific advisor of this film dedicated to the nature of Russia and former USSR. The film scored a great success in Great Britain, USA and Australia, and then it was translated into Spanish and German and successfully televised in Spain, Austria and Germany.

In 1982, 1986, 1989 and 1991 he was one of judges at film and TV festivals of popular-science films about animals and nature in Great Britain and Italy. In 1975, he participated in ХII General Assembly of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in Kinshasa, Zaire. He was selected to the Commission on National Parks at IUCN and has been its members till nowadays. In 1978, during two months he lectured on world biogeography at the geography department of Havana University in Cuba. In 1979, 1980 and 1981 he had two-week lectures on environmental protection issues in Czechoslovakia and Hungary, at University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and at University of Lusaka (Zambia).

In 1979, together with a team of alpinists, Drozdov attempted the climb to the peak of Elborus.

In 1980, he participated in a four-months UNESCO expedition within the frame of the project named Protection and Efficient Use of Resources of Island Ecosystems on the Calisto research vessel belonging to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; the expedition traveled to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Islands. In 1993 and 1995, he participated in expeditions of the Russian ice-breaker     Yamal to the North Pole and along the Northern Sea Route, as well as on the Discoverer along the Alaska and Canada coast.

N. Drozdov is an author of about 200 scientific and popular-science articles, more than 20 books, coursebooks and training aids for scholars, students and teachers. Among them: coursebook for universities World Geography, training aids for teachers Biogeography Of Continents (two editions, translations into Polish Bulgarian and Ukrainian), biosphere Stories book for scholars, series of books Animals’ World (with A. Makeev) following the similarly-named program; eight books were published within the frame of this series, and one of them was published in Paris in French: They Must Not Die (1991 г.). Nikolay Drozdov is a co-author of the scientific monograph World Deserts (1985), and co-author of a seven-volume book on animal life (two editions; author of articles in three volumes: reptiles, birds and mammals, 1985-1989), as well as Birds Guide: USSR Fauna (1980).

In 1989, N. Drozdov has been included into the Worldwide Honors List of Leading Ecologists and Environmental Protection Specialists Global 500 of United Nations Environmental Program; in 1992, he was awarded with Golden Panda Green Oscar) for Excellent Achievement at the major nature films festival in Bristol (Great Britain). In 1994, he was selected to be a member of International Explorers Club. In 1995 he was given the UNESCO’s Calinga award for science popularization, and Albert Einstein Medal.

In 1995, N. Drozdov has become a member of New York Academy of Sciences. In 1996-1998, he was a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Superior Advisory Board on Sustained Development. In 1998, he was awarded with Honorary Diploma of World Wide Fund for Nature “For Special Achievements in Nature Protection in Russia and all over the world”.

Additional information

Wife: Tatiana Drozdova, biology teacher in Moscow Children and Youth Creativity Hall. Children: Nadezhda (became a biologist) and Elena (became a veterinary).

Nikolay Drozdov likes to spend his leisure with animals; his favorites are snakes, bird spiders, solifugaes and scorpions. His hobbies are riding, skiing, ice-hole bathing, yoga; he has not eaten meat for many years. Drozdov’s favorite music is classics, lyrical sentimental songs, folk music and songs composed and performed by amateur singers and composers. He plays guitar and likes sing songs in Russian and in foreign languages.



  • Order of Honour;
  • UNESCO’s Calinga award for science popularization;
  • Albert Einstein Medal;
  • Honorary Diploma of World Wide Fund for Nature “For Special Achievements in Nature Protection in Russia and all over the world”:
  • Golden Panda Award.

Membership and titles:

  • Member of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS);
  • Member of New York Academy of Sciences
  • Member of International Academy of Patronage;
  • Member of International Academy of Social Sciences (founder and vice president);
  • Member of International Academy of Culture and Arts;
  • Member of Russian Academy of Television (RAT);
  • Doctor of Biological Sciences;
  • Professor of Moscow State University;
  • Chairman of Supervisory Board of International Charitable Fund “Patrons of the Century”;
  • Member of Worldwide Honors List of Leading Ecologists and Environmental Protection Specialists Global 500 of United Nations Environmental Program;
  • Member of International Explorers Club.


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