Igor Popov studied zoology at Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia. His earliest work was on the ecology and taxonomy of bats, and the ecology of flying squirrels and some other rodents. From 1993 to 2003 he worked at the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences. His PhD thesis (1998) was devoted to the history of studies of geographical variability and the formation of the evolutionary synthesis. Since 1998 he has been dealing mainly with the history of non-Darwinian evolutionary concepts and the history of the attempts to create a “periodical system of elements” in biology. Since 1995 he also works at the Institute for Lake and River Fisheries (Saint-Petersburg), where he is involved in various studies of Salmonid fishes. Dr. Popov's current research is devoted to the idea of directed evolution.