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Division of Paleobotany and Palynology

Research background

Main directions and scientific research priorities in the activity of the Division of Palaeobotany and Palynology, of national and international importance are:
  • Earth and Earth evolution studies
  • Biodiversity and biodiversity evolution studies
These priorities are being developed via local, regional and national research projects – subject to the Division’s activity. On international scale this is currently supported by projects as NECLIME (Neogene Climate Evolution in Eurasia); projects with international research institutes, where Bulgarian institutions have agreements for a bilateral cooperation.
The activities of the Division, which is an integral part of the Department of Plant and Fungal Diversity and Resources associated with the implementation of three of the priority research areas of the Department:
(1) Taxonomy and evolution of plants, species content, structure and history of the flora and plant communities, species and habitats with conservation status;
(2) Floristic and plant diversity in Bulgaria, fundamental and applied aspects of their dynamics, evolution, conservation and sustainable management;

(3) Studying the evolutionary mechanisms of Bulgarian plant genofund since the Tertiary.

With its research on the palaeoflora and climate reconstruction during the Cenozoic (including Quaternary), the Division contributes to the priority research programme of the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research: “Environment, ecosystem functions, biodiversity and climatic changes”.


Head of Division:
Corr. member Prof. Dimiter Ivanov, DSc (paleobotany, pollen analysis)
Assoc. Prof. Detelina Belkinova, PhD  (phytoplankton, non-pollen palynomorphs)
Assoc. Prof. Maria Lazarova, PhD – volunteer (pollen analysis)
Chief Assistant Mila Andonova-Katsarski, PhD (archeobotany)
Yoanna Katreva (archeobotany, pollen analysis)

Priority directions

  • Composition and evolution of the flora and vegetation during the Cenozoic.
  • Reconstruction of the climate during the Cenozoic.
  • Morphology of pollen, spores and permanent stages of prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae.
  • Taxonomy and ecology of phytoplankton algae.
  • Archaeobotanical studies (carpology and anthracology): restoration of socio-cultural practices of societies in the past, as well as reconstruction of the paleoenvironment surrounding them and the influence of man on it.
  • Maintaining the available paleobotanical and palynological collections, creating an archaeobotanical collection.
  • Popularization of paleobotany and archaeobotany among the Bulgarian society and at the international level.

Other directions

Melissopalynology (Pollen analysis of bee products)