The Institute of Biology was founded in 1951 as the research institution of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. The departmental structure of the Institute and its mainline scientific directions were formed in early 1950-th and in 1960-th. The criterion for choosing fields of study has been based on their national importance. This criterion has always been the general strategy of the Institute. Since 1991, when Latvia renewed its national independence, Academy of Sciences undergone the considerable changes, because in 1997 the Institute joined the University of Latvia as its independent research unit. In 2016, the Institute became part of the University of Latvia as a basic structural unit. T he institute is the leading research center in biology in Latvia.

Presently the Institute embraces 14 research laboratories.

The research activity of the Institute for many years has been involved in two mainline research directions:

1. Investigation of natural resources and ecology with the aim to provide the theoretical basis for sustainable development of Latvia's natural resources.


  • Bioindication
  • Botany
  • Experimental Entomology and Microbiology
  • Geobotany
  • Hydrobiology
  • Marine Ecology
  • Ornithology

2. Bioregulatory mechanisms of vital process in plants and animals in connection with the improvement of its  bioproductivity.


  • Animal Biochemistry and Physiology
  • Mineral Nutrition of Plants
  • Environment Genetics
  • Magnethobiology
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology

The staff of the Institute numbers over 80 persons; at least a third out of them are researchers (Dr).

The leading scientists of the Institute are heading in several research projects by the Latvian Council of Science. The Institute is involved also in EU IP, ERAF, COSTA, LIFE, OSMOSIS and other projects. The Institute is coordinating National Long-term Ecological Research Network which is part of International Long-term Ecological Research Network (ILTER).   The Institute is a leading scientific centre in the wide range of the basic biological investigations in Latvia.
In the Institute there are also located Bird Ringing Centre, Herbarium of Latvia, Collections of Stock Cultures, Biological agents-regulators of the plant pest populations, and large Entomological Collection. Also, the Ornithological Research Centre at Engure lake, Ornithological Station at Pape and the Hydrobiological Monitoring Station on the Salaca River are organized and intensively utilized by the scientists of the Institute.
The Institute takes part several state financed biomonitoring programs. A new, more complete six-volume Red Data Book edition is being prepared in Latvian and English as the part of the “ Life” Project since mid 90-th.


  • Biological agents-regulators of the plant pest populations
  • Collections of  Stock Cultures
  • Entomological Collection
  • Herbarium of Latvia

Field stations:

  • Hydrobiological Monitoring Station on the Salaca River
  • Long-term ecologycal research station at Mazsalaca
  • Ornithological Research Centre at Engure lake
  • Ornithological Station at Pape