The VSU's Faculty of Geography, Geoecology and Tourism is one of the largest in Russia that teaches specialists in the sphere of geography, geoecology, natural resources management, and tourism. Developing the traditions of the world-famous landscape school of Voronezh, the Faculty is actively involved in developing modern research areas aimed at studying the landscape-ecological and natural resources potential of the Central Black Earth Region, as well as the territorial regional management organization, and the ecological and geographical principles of the sustainable use of natural resources.
The study of alien plant species conducted by Dmitry Vladimirov, lecturer at the Department of Recreational Geography, Country Studies and Tourism, has become the basis for the Voronezh Region Black Book.
'There is the Red Book of the Russian Federation that enlists rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi. Everyone knows about this book in our country. But we need a book that will show quite the opposite. In today's world, with globalisation expanding every year, goods are being delivered from any part of the world. Together with the goods come the alien plant species, and that is why we need a special book that will document the new species artificially brought to the region. These kinds of books are called Black Books', – said Dmitry Vladimirov. ' In our region the data for the Book is accumulated by the researchers of VSU, the Voronezh nature biosphere reserve, and the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Book, however, includes not all the species accidentally brought to the region, but only those that threaten the local plant species. Such plants can inhabit a small area, but then they suddenly start expanding over large territories, threatening the local species with extinction'.
The problem of alien plant species is a very urgent one. Scientists all over the world conduct studies on the problem, and researchers in Russia are no exception. On 6th March 2015, Dmitry Vladimirov had his thesis defence on the "Biogeographical assessment of the structure and placement of the invasive flora in Voronezh Region" under the academic supervision of Professor A.Ya. Grigorievskaya.