Dr. Zardykhan completed his Ph.D. in 2007 at Bilkent University (Ankara) with a dissertation on Ottoman policy towards the Muslim and Turkic population of the Russian empire during the First World War. He had studied political science, international relations, and history at undergraduate and graduate levels. His primary research interests include Eurasian history, post-Soviet politics, Middle East politics, ethnic and religious conflicts, nationalism, and identity formation. Between 2008 and 2020, he served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations and Regional Studies at the KIMEP University (Almaty) and the Deputy Director of the Central Asian Studies Center (CASC). Between 2020 and 2022, he worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Eurasian Research Institute (Almaty). He is fluent in several Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and European languages.