Alexey A. Polilov
Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is the head of the Department of Entomology, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University. He obtained the degrees of Candidate of Sciences (PhD) and Doctor of Sciences (habilitation) at Lomonosov Moscow State University. The main focus of his research is the functional and evolutionary morphology of the smallest insects. Pioneered the study of miniaturization in insects and was the first to study the external morphology and anatomy of many of the smallest insects of different orders and to reveal the unique structural features associated with extremely decreased body size. He used large-scale analyses to advance hypotheses on the factors that limit the minimum body size in insects and distinguished the evolutionary steps of miniaturization. The principles revealed by his work as governing miniaturization in insects have been described in his review article, “Small Is Beautiful: Features of the Smallest Insects and Limits to Miniaturization”, and in his first-ever monograph on the microinsects, «At the Size Limit — “Effects of Miniaturization in Insects”. Current research on the effects of miniaturization in insects encompasses not only morphology but also genomics, connectomics, the study of flight, and the study of cognitive abilities of the smallest insects. Leads a group of researchers that explore various aspects of miniaturization in the smallest arthropods.