The Russian Far East Malacological Society (hereafter, RFEMS) was established in October–November 1994 by initiative of the late Prof. Alexander I. Kafanov with support of the Honorary Director of the Institute of Marine Biology (IMB), Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician, Prof. Alexey V. Zhirmunsky. At that time, the Society consisted of less than ten members, and its headquarters became the IMB. Officially, the Society was registered as a branch of the Far Eastern Association of Scientists, a non-profit organization. Soon after, the decision was taken to begin publication of our own medium, the Bulletin of the RFEMS, and the first volume was published in 1996 by "Dalnauka" Publishing House. The Bulletin became the second Russian malacological periodical after appearance of the Ruthenica, Russian Malacological Journal, in 1992 published in Moscow until now.
Up to present, 17 volumes of the Bulletin of the RFEMS were published. They comprise more than 80 original papers (some papers are in English) in different aspects of malacology, mostly faunal studies, taxonomy, morphology and ecology of marine and freshwater molluscs, as well as chronicles, book reviews, biographical sketches of the Society members and lists of their current publications, obituaries. Since vol. 5, we started to publish color photographs. The Bulletin is distributed among more than 100 libraries, institutions, societies and museums around the world, and its contents is indexed in the Zoological Record. Our aims are to enhance the quality of papers, to publish most significant papers in English and to expand the audience of readers of the magazine. As the Bulletin is distributed on the exchange basis, we would be grateful for requests about exchanges from institutions and individuals. Papers published in the Bulletin are freely available at the Society’s website.
Main activity of the RFEMS is related to publication of the Bulletin and annual meetings of the Society members usually held in December, development of the website (http://rfems.dvo.ru/) with information available in Russian and English. In 1998, the Society with support of the Institute of Marine Biology FEB RAS organized the first molluscan conference in the Russian Far East, All-Russian Meeting on Molluscan Studies in the Russian Far East (Vladivostok, October 14-15, 1998) with participation of 38 scientists (abstracts: Bull. RFEMS, 2000, p. 59-115). In 2004 the second Far Eastern molluscan conference, Mollusks of the Northeastern Asia and Northern Pacific: Biodiversity, Ecology, Biogeography and Faunal History (Vladivostok, October 4-6, 2004), was carried out with support of Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Marine Biology FEB RAS, and Educational Center for Basic Marine Biota Research of Far Eastern National University. 55 scientists from several Russian scientific institutions and from Republic of Korea took part in the conference.
Participants of the conference Mollusks of the Northeastern Asia and Northern Pacific: Biodiversity, Ecology, Biogeography and Faunal History (Vladivostok, October 4-6, 2004) organized by the RFEMS and IMB FEB RAS.
The RFEMS meeting on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the RFEMF founding (October 9, 2009).
Vladivostok’s members of the RFEMS at the 10-th International Congress on Medical and Applied Malacology (August 26-29, 2009, Busan, Republic of Korea) (right to left: Ksenya Kavun, Larisa Prozorova, Viktor Bogatov, Alla Silina, Elena Sayenko, Konstantin Lutaenko, Olga Yurchenko, Natalya Zhukova).
At present, the Society consists of 43 Russian members from Vladivostok, Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Omsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Ekaterinburg, Murmansk, Sovetskaya Gavan and 13 foreign members from USA, China, Japan, Ukraine, Canada and Republic of Korea. We believe that number of members would increase by joining to the RFEMS more applied malacologists as well as paleontologists.
We believe that RFEMS plays the important role in the development of malacology in the Russian Far East during last decade, makes it easier for international scientific community to get information about Russian regional researches on mollusks, and promotes collaboration between Russian and foreign scientists in this field of science.
Konstantin A. Lutaenko
President of the RFEMS
Larisa A. Prozorova
Vice-President of the RFEMS