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Department of Ecosystem Research, Environmental Risk Assessment and Conservation Biology

Research priorities of the department

  • Ecotoxicology and biological monitoring with lichenized fungi, macromiceti, moss, seed plants and animal tissue for analysis of the ecological situation – presence and concentration of pollutants related to biogeochemistry, cycle of macro- and microelements in communities, productivity, energy value and energy reserves;
  • Genotoxicology and genetic monitoring – screening for genotoxicity, mutagenesis/cancerogenics of xenobiotics; short- and long-term tests and prognosis for outlying genetic consequences;
  • Adaptation – thermoregulation and physiological adaptations; genotype and induced stability (“adaptive response”), molecular mechanisms and interdependence;
  • Mutagenesis and antimutagenesis – screening for genotoxicity, mutagens and comutagens of natural and artificial biologically active substances; prevention of induced mutagenesis – applying different biologically active substances on a complex of test-systems in vivo and in vitro on laboratory animals, selected wild animal species, vegetation test-systems and human lymphocyte cultures;
  • Community ecology and conservation biology – changes in mammal community structure through space and time; statistical modelling of empirical georeferenced data on current species distribution and a number of environmental factors in view of their extrapolated use; factors and mechanisms leading to biodiversity loss in Bulgaria and ways to limit and overcome their effects; sound characteristics of bats and other animal species – communication, echolocation and their application in monitoring and environmental protection;
  • Ecosystem research – monitoring of different ecosystem types, assessment of their status and degradation processes; modelling of ecosystem processes and developing sustainable management plans; key functional processes and components for the ecosystems – role of biodiversity, air pollution, etc. Mechanisms for transformation of pollutants introduced by rainfall in water catchments with different vegetation cover; short- and long-term ecological processes in ecosystems; changes in functional regime and energetic status of ecosystems; assessment of ecosystem services for the benefit of society.


Current and recent projects

  • 2017-2019: "Ecological and genetic assessment of the environment, management and strategies for risk overcoming". Funded by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Coordinator: Assoc. Professor Gabriele Jovtchev, PhD.
  • 2016-2020: "Assessment of qualitative and quantitative indicators in small mammals from regions with different anthropogenic influence in Bulgaria and Mexico ". Funded by a program for bilateral cooperation between Bulgaria and Mexico. Project leader:Assoc. Professor Michaela Nedialkova, PhD.
  • 2014-2020: "The seeker falcon (Falco cherrug): study and conservation ". Funded by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Project leader: Biologist Dimitar Ragyov.
  • 2015-2017: "Wetland Ecosystem services Mapping and Assessment in Bulgaria (WEMA)". Funded by program BG03 "Biodiversity and ecosystem services" of the EEA and Norway grants. Project coordinator: Chief Assistant Nevena Ivanova, PhD.
  • 2015-2017: "Methodological assistance for ecosystems assessment and biophysical valuation (MetEcosMap)". Funded by program BG03 "Biodiversity and ecosystem services" of the EEA and Norway grants. Project coordinator:Assoc. Professor Svetla Bratanova-Doncheva, PhD.
  • 2014-2016: "Ecological and genetic risk: assessment methods and prevention strategies". Funded by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Project leader: Prof. Stefka Chankova, PhD.
  • 2014-2016: "Effect of cliniptilolite sorbent on gama-exposed white laboratory mice". Funded by a program for bilateral cooperation between Bulgaria and Mexico. Project leader: Assoc. Professor Michaela Nedialkova, PhD.
  • 2011-2015: "Assessment of indicators for soil monitoring and ecological risk in the development of programs for sustainable management of polluted and anthropogenically impacted areas". Funded by grant for Encouragement of scientific research in priority areas", contract 01-105 / 05.01.2010. Project leader for IBER-BAS:  Prof. Stefka Chankova, PhD.