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Polina Nikova

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Personal information



Curriculum vitae

2021 - 2023: MSc Applied Hydrobiology and Aquaculture, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria.

Dissertation topic: "Distribution and pathways of introduction and spread of two invasive alien species of fish in the region of Sofia City" with supervisor Dr. Teodora Trichkova. The two study species were the pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) and the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). This topic involved a desk study in order to fill out a methodology for invasion pathway analysis developed by the ESENIAS-TOOLS project (2015 - 2017) as well as gathering distribution data in the field and interviewing other fishermen specifically about the largemouth bass. It was found that the pumpkinseed is the dominant species in the region and that fishermen show great interest in introducing largemouth bass, with some bragging about doing so. Pumpkinseed are introduced and dispersed via unintentional pathways, while the largemouth bass does so via intentional pathways and natural dispersal.

2017 – 2021: MBiol Ecology and Conservation Biology student at the University of Leeds, England - First Class.

Dissertation topic: Preventing the spread of invasive species in water supplies of Yorkshire Water with supervisor Prof. Alison M. Dunn. The project explores the effectiveness of chlorine as a biosecurity treatment against Dikerogammarus villosus and Crassula helmsii for equipment; and Ca(OH)2 in the treatment of water transfers between reservoirs against Dikerogammarus villosus and Dreissena polymorpha.

2012 – 2017: PSHS American College Arcus, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria - Bulgarian Diploma of Secondary Education and International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Research interests

invasive species, freshwater ecology, species conservation, climate change, environmental law


Nikova, P. K., Kachamakova, M., Koshev, Y. (in prep.). First documented records in the wild of American mink (Neogale vision von Schreber, 1776)(Carnivora: Mustelidae) in Bulgaria: monitoring distribution, circadian activity and potential interactions with native species of mink farm escapees via camera traps. NeoBiota


Return or Invasion? Study of the distribution and ecological features of the beaver (Castor fiber) in Bulgaria after more than 150 years of absence (договор КП-06-М61/1 от 13.12.2022; сигнатура Н-22-МКАЧ-020); (2023 - 2025); Funded by the National Science Fund.

Development of ‘Strategy for protection of biodiversity of Sofia Municipality for 2030 and Action plan for protection of biodiversity of Sofia Municipality for 2030’ (2022–2023); Agreement No. СОА22-ДС96-1288/04.07.2022; Funded by Sofia Municipality.

Advising and assisting in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data on habitat types and species for the purposes of the National System for Monitoring of Biological Diversity (НСМСБР); (2022); Funded by NMNH-BAS and the Ministry of Education and Science.

Consultations and development of Action plans on priority pathways for unintentional introduction and spread of invasive alien species of concern to the European Union according to Art. 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 (2022–2023); Agreement No. Д-30-38/20.07.2022; Funded by the Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria.

Development of specific and detailed conservation objectives for 22 protected areas of the NATURA 2000 network in Bulgaria; (2021 - 2023); Funding from the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW); Objective: Studying of the distribution, conservation status and determination of conservation objectives for the conservation of 3 mammal species - otter (Lutra lutra), European ground squirrel Spermophilus citellus) and Dobrudzha hamster (Mesocricetus newtoni).

Potential threats to environmental and economic sustainability in the Danube and Black Sea region: Danube River as invasive alien species corridor (2012 – ongoing); Funded within the frame of Danube Region Invasive Alien Species Network (DIAS), Priority Area 06 of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, EUSDR, International Association for Danube Research (IAD).

Conferences and other public speaking events

Trichkova, T., Tomov, T., Vladimirov, V., Todorov, M., Tsvetkova, E., Tyufekchieva, V., Kalcheva, H., Nikova, P. K. (06 - 09 Februrary 2023). Collecting data on invasive alien species trough BioBlitz surveys in the Danube and Black Sea basins in Bulgaria. 44th IAD Conference "Tackling Present & Future Environmental Challenges of a European Riverscape". Kems, Austria. Access from:

Nikova, P. K., Trichkova, T., Todorov, M. (13 – 15 November 2022). Invasive alien species of Union concern in fresh water bodies of Sofia Region, Bulgaria: Preliminary survey. . Joint ESENIAS and DIAS Scientific Conference and 11th ESENIAS Workshop “Invasive alien species under conditions of global crisis". Demre, Turkey. Access from:

Nikova, P. K. (30 October 2022). Invasive alien species: the real aliens in our environment. Presentation for European Researchers' Night at NMNH-BAS, Sofia, Bulgaria. Access from:

Nikova, P. K. (03 March 2022). Interview about the escaping American mink in the region of Stara Zagora for "If They Could Talk" with Vasilena Spasova and Stanimir Simeonov at POTV. Access from:

Nikova, P. K., M. Kachamakova, Y. Koshev. (07 – 09 December 2021). Is there an established American mink (Neovison vison Schreiber, 1777) population in Bulgaria? Initial results from a survey on escapees from fur farms.. Joint ESENIAS and DIAS Scientific Conference and 10th ESENIAS Workshop “Ten years of cooperation and networking on invasive alien species in East and South Europe". Demre, Turkey. Access from:


Aquatic Ecosystems
Biodiversity and Processes in Freshwater Ecosystems
Research group
Lentic Ecosystems


Member for
1 year 16 weeks