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Stela Lazarova

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Personal information


Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
2 Gagarin Street, 1113 Sofia
Phone: +359 886 532 609
E-mail address:

Curriculum vitae

1996 – 2000 PhD degree in Nematology, Department of Biodiversity, Central Laboratory of General Ecology, Bulgarian Acad. Sci., PhD thesis: Comparative Analyses of Nematode Diversity of Forest Ecosystems.
1993 - 1994 MSc degree in Ecology and Environmental Protection, University of Forestry (Sofia).
1989 - 1994 BSc degree in Forestry, University of Forestry (Sofia).

At present - Associate Professor - Division of Biodiversity and Ecology of Invertebrates. Department of Animal Diversity and Resources;
2010 – 2013 Chief assistant. Division of Biodiversity and Ecology of Invertebrates. Department of Animal Diversity and Resources, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Acad. Sci.;
2001 – 2010, Research fellow. Department of Biodiversity, Central Laboratory of General Ecology, Bulgarian Acad. Sci..
1999 – 2001, Ecologist. Department of Biodiversity, Central Laboratory of General Ecology, Bulgarian Acad. Sci.

Research experience:
• 2002 – 2003 (1 year) Postdoctoral research fellowship, Project title: Co-evolutionary development of symbiotic Verrucomicrobia and Xiphinema americanum-group nematodes. Scottish Crop Research Institute, Dundee, Scotland, UK.
• 2000 - Research fellowship (4 months), Application of DNA techniques for nematode taxonomy and phylogeny; Laboratory of Nematology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
• 1999 - Research fellowship (3 months), Soil nematodes as bioindicators, Laboratory of Nematology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Scholarships and research grants:
• Joint Research Centre scholarship grant, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra, 4th Summer School on Soil Survey (28 August – 2 September);
• Postdoctoral research grant, NATO/Royal Society of London, United Kingdom, (June 2002- September 2003);
• Predoctoral research fellowship, International Agricultural Centre, Wageningen University, The Netherlands (June-November 2000);
• Predoctoral research fellowship, Wageningen University, The Netherlands (June-August 1999);

Training courses:
• 2012 – Basic Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics, 12 –16 March, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Sofia, Project WETLANET.
• 2010 – Statistics and modeling of wetlands, 31 May – 4 June, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Sofia, Project WETLANET.
• 2010 – Computational Molecular Evolution, EMBO Practical course, 3 – 12 May, Institute of Marine Biology and genetics, Iraklio, Crete, Greece.
• 2010 – Creation and management of databases, 18 – 20 May, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Sofia, Project WETLANET.
• 2006 – 4th European Summer School on Soil Survey, 28 August – 2 September, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, JRC, Ispra, Italy.
• 2006 – Spring School on Molecular Approaches in Ecology and Evolution, 3 – 7 April, Central Laboratory of General Ecology, Sofia, Project BIOCORE.
• 2005 – International Training Course in Bioinformatics, 6 – 10 June, Institute of Experimental Pathology and Parasitology, Bulgarian Acad. Sci..
• 1999 – Nematode identification course, Laboratory of Nematology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Project participation:
• 2020-2027: Upgrade of the Research Infrastructure Distributed System of Scientific Collections – Bulgaria (DiSSCo-BG): Phase 1. Funded by the Ministry of Education and Science, National Roadmap for Research Infrastructure for the period 2020-2027 (ДО1-403/18.12.2020);
• 2020-2027: LTER - BG: Upgrading the distributed scientific research infrastructure „Bulgarian Long-term Ecosystem Research Network” Funded by the Ministry of Education and Science, National Roadmap for Research Infrastructure for the period 2020-2027 (ДО1-405/18.12.2020);
• 2018-2022: National Research Programme "Healthy Foods for a Strong Bio-Economy and Quality of Life" Component: 1.2. Agricultural practices and impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Funded by National Science Fund (NSF) DCM # 577/17.08.2018;
• 2015-2020: STACCATO: SusTaining AgriCultural ChAnge Through ecological engineering and Optimal use of natural resources. Funded by BiodivERsA network (NSF ДО02/2 - 26.11.2015);
• 2014-2018: Nematodes of fam. Longidoridae and fam. Trichodoridae in various crops under different management systems in China and Bulgaria. Funded by NSF (ДНТС/Китай/01/3);
• 2014-2017: MetEcoSMap - Methodological Support for Ecosystem Services Mapping and Biophysical Valuation. Activity: Development of biodiversity indicators of cropland soil condition. Funded by EEA-Norway grants -BG03 "Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services";
• 2013-2018: BioLink - Linking belowground biodiversity and ecosystem functions in European forests Funded by EU COST program (Action FP1305);
• 2013-2018: JMBiotc - Establishment of a new joint master degree in biotechnology applied to agri-science, environment and pharmacology in Egypt. Funded by EU TEMPUS program (543865-TEMPUS-1-2013);
• 2009-2012: WETLANET - Enhancing research potential by strengthening a local network of laboratories for studying wetland ecosystems functioning, restoration and management; funded by FP7 EC (FP7 CSA – SUPPORT ACTION, contract No. 229802);
• 2009 – 2011: CEBDER - Development of National Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research. Funded by NSF (DO 02-15/2009);
• 2009 – 2010: Development of sustainable agriculture in South-East Europe: Risk assessment of virus vector nematodes (family Longidoridae) in agricultural and horticultural crops in Slovenia and Bulgaria; Bilateral agreement between Bulgaria and Slovenia. Funded by NSF;
• 2007 – 2009: Morphology, molecular identification and phylogenetic relationships of Longidoridae nematodes from Apeninian and Balkan peninsulas; joint project in the frames of the co-operation agreement between CLGE, BAS and the Plant protection Institute, Bari, Italy;
• 2007 – 2009: Confocal laser scanning microscope for evaluation of Bulgarian bioresources. Project coordination - Institute of Microbiology; Funded by NSF;
• 2005 – 2007: Centre for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research – BioCORE. Funded by NSF, Leader of Work Package 1;
• 2004 – 2007: Biodiversity and ecology of nematodes of family Longidoridae from Bulgaria and adjacent territories. Funded by NSF;
• 2004 – 2006: Morphology, molecular markers and phylogeny of the genus Xiphinema (Nematoda: Longidoridae). Funded by NSF; Project coordinator;
• 2003 – 2004: Fauna Europaea Funded by EC 5th Framework Programme. Contributor on some groups;
• 2002 – 2003: Co-evolutionary development of symbiotic Verrucomicrobia and Xiphinema americanum-group nematodes: a molecular approach. Funded by NATO/Royal Society; Single investigator;
• 1999 – 2003: Biological diversity, biocoenotic organization and conservation of biota at Livingston Island, Antarctica. Funded by the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute and the NSF;

Expertise in:
• Molecular methods: DNA isolation, PCR, RFLP, cloning, sequencing, application of basic methods for phylogenetic analysis of molecular data.
• Nematode taxonomy and identification: at generic level - for community analyses and bioindication purposes; and at species level - for economically important plant parasitic nematode taxa involved in virus transmission.
• Statistical analyses: application of classification and ordination methods for community analyses.

Research interests

• Nematode identification, systematics, taxonomy and evolution;
• Application of DNA-based techniques for:
- species identification of economically important plant parasitic nematodes;
- species delimitation for diversity studies and molecular systematics;
- studying host-endosymbiont relationships;
- other ecological studies;
• Diversity and ecology of soil nematodes, methods for quantitative community analyses;
• Impact assessment of environmental changes on soil nematode communities;
• Symbiotic relationships;
• Molecular evolution and phylogeny.


Lazarova S., Coyne D., G. Rodríguez M., Peteira B., Ciancio A. 2021. Functional Diversity of Soil Nematodes in Relation to the Impact of Agriculture—A Review. Diversity, 13(2):64.

Todorova M., Petkova N., Grozeva N., Gerdzhikova M., Lazarova S., Lozanova L., Mladenov A. 2021. NDVI, chlorophyll and carotenoids content of leaves of Rosa damascena Mill under organic and conventional farming. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 1031 (1), p. 012013). IOP Publishing

Lozanova L., Zhiyanski M., Vanguelova E., Doncheva S., Marinov M. P., Lazarova S. 2019. Dynamics and Vertical Distribution of Roots in European Beech Forests and Douglas Fir Plantations in Bulgaria. Forests 10(12): 1123.

Lazarova S., Elshishka M., Radoslavov G., Lozanova L., Hristov P., Mladenov A., Zheng J., Fanelli E., De Luca F., Peneva V. 2019. Molecular and morphological characterisation of Longidorus polyae sp. n. and L. pisi Edward, Misra & Singh, 1964 (Dorylaimida, Longidoridae) from Bulgaria. ZooKeys, 830: 75-98.

Lazarova S., Oliveira C.M.G., Prior T., Peneva V., Kumari S. 2019. An integrative approach to the study of Xiphinema brevicolle Lordello and Da Costa 1961, supports its limited distribution worldwide (Nematoda: Longidoridae). European Journal of Plant Pathology, 153 (2): 441-464.

Barsalote E.M., Pham H.T., Lazarova S., Peneva V., Zheng J. 2018. Description of Longidorus cheni sp. n. (Nematoda, Longidoridae) from China. ZooKeys 744: 1–18.

Groza M., Lazarova S., De Luca F., Fanelli E., Elshishka M., Radoslavov G., Hristov P., Coman M., Peneva V. 2017. The morphological and molecular identity of Longidorus piceicola Lišková, Robbins & Brown, 1997 from Romania (Nematoda, Dorylaimida). ZooKeys 667: 1–19.

Elshishka M., Lazarova S., Radoslavov G., Hristov P., Peneva V.K. 2017. Biogeography and phylogenetic position of Enchodeloides signyensis (Loof, 1975), gen. n., comb. n. from Maritime Antarctic (Nematoda, Nordiidae). ZooKeys 697: 37–58.

Barsalote E., Lazarova S., Tian Z., Peneva V., Jeng Z. 2017. Longidorus hangzhouensis Zheng et al., 2001 (Nematoda: Longidoridae) from China, with a description of first-stage juvenile and a new host report. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, 69 (4): 447-455.

Lazarova S.S., Brown D.J., Oliveira C.M., Fenton B., MacKenzie K., Wright F., Malloch G., Neilson R. 2016. Diversity of endosymbiont bacteria associated with a non-filarial nematode group. Nematology 18(5): 615-623.

Lazarova S., Peneva V., Kumari S. 2016. Morphological and molecular characterisation, and phylogenetic position of X. browni sp. n., X. penevi sp. n. and two known species of Xiphinema americanum-group (Nematoda, Longidoridae). ZooKeys 574: 1–42.

Elshishka M., Peneva V., Lazarova S., Kumari S. 2016. Characterisation of Trichodorus similis (Nematoda: Trichodoridae) associated with potato from the Czech Republic. Helminthologia 53 (4): 401-407.

Elshishka M., Lazarova S., Radoslavov G., Hristov P., Peneva V.K. 2015. New data on two remarkable Antarctic species Amblydorylaimus isokaryon (Loof, 1975) Andrássy, 1998 and Pararhyssocolpus paradoxus (Loof, 1975), gen. n., comb. n. (Nematoda, Dorylaimida). ZooKeys 511: 25-68.

Nedelchev S., Elshishka M., Lazarova S., Radoslavov G., Hristov P., Peneva V. 2014. Calcaridorylaimus castaneae sp. n. (Nematoda, Dorylaimidae) from Bulgaria with an identification key to the species of the genus. ZooKeys 410: 41–61.

Pleško I.M., Marn M.V., Lazarova S., Peneva V., Širca S., Urek G. 2014. First detection of Raspberry leaf blotch virus in red raspberry in Bulgaria. Journal of Plant Pathology 96 (2): 437.

Peneva V., Lazarova S., De Luca F. & Brown D.J.F. 2013. Description of Longidorus cholevae n. sp. (Nematoda, Dorylaimida) from a riparian habitat in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria. ZooKeys 330: 1–26. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.330.5750

De Luca F., Lazarova S., Troccoli A., Vovlas N. Peneva V. 2013. Morphological and molecular characterisation of Xiphinema macroacanthum Lamberti, Roca & Agostinelli, 1989 (Nematoda: Longidoridae) from olive orchards in southern Italy. Syst Parasitol 85:157–171.

Bontă (Groza) M., Lazarova S., Roşca I., Peneva V. 2013. New data on the morphology and distribution of two species of the Xiphinema americanum group (Nematoda: Dorylaimida) from Romania. Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy, LVI:513-519.

Elshishka M., Lazarova S., Peneva V. K. 2013. Heterodorus magnificusAltherr, 1952 and H. arcuatus (Thorne, 1939) (Nematoda: Dorylaimida) from Arctic polar deserts, new geographic records. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica 65 (4): 447-456.

Bontă (Groza) M., Peneva V., Lazarova S., Roşca I. 2012. Diversity of Xiphinema species (NEMATODA: DORYLAIMIDA) associated with different crops in Romania. Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy, LV-2012: 387-390. ISSN 2285-5785.

Elshishka M., Lazarova S., Peneva V. 2012. Studies of the genus Enchodelus Thorne, 1939 (Nematoda, Nordiidae) from Arctic polar deserts. 1. Species with long odontostyle: E. makarovae sp. n. and E. groenlandicus (Ditlevsen, 1927) Thorne, 1939, with an identification key to the species of the E. macrodorus group. ZooKeys 212: 1-23.

Peneva V. K., Urek G., Lazarova S., Širca S., Knapič M., Elshishka M., Brown D. J. F. 2012. Longidoridae and nepoviruses in Bulgaria and Slovenia. Helminthologia, 49, 1: 49-56.

Lazarova S., Elshishka M., Peneva V., Biserkov V. 2011. Soil biodiversity in a changing environment. International Conference 100 Years Bulgarian Soil Science 16-20 May 2011, Sofia part 2: 764-749.

Peneva V., Lazarova S., Nedelchev S., Elshishka M. 2011. Plant nematodes of the Rhodopes Mountains: an overview and additional data. In: P. Beron (Ed.) Biodiversity of West Rhodope Mountains. Vol. II Pensoft Publishers, pp. 31-54. P-ISBN hardback: 9789546426154, P-ISSN: 1312-0174.

Širca S., Urek G., Lazarova S., Elshishka M., Peneva V. 2011. Longidorus carniolensis sp. n. (Nematoda, Longidoridae) from vineyard soil in Slovenia. ZooKeys 141: 1–27.

Mincheva Y., Lazarova S., Peneva V. 2009. Nematode assemblages from Mountain Pine (Pinus mugo Turra) communities in Pirin Mountain, Bulgaria. Helminthologia, 46 (1): 49 – 58.

Peneva V., Lazarova S., Elshishka M., Makarova O., Penev L. 2009. Nematode assemblages of hair-grass (Deschampsia spp.) microhabitats from polar and alpine deserts in Arctic and Antaractic. In: Golovatch S.I., Makarova, O.L., Babenko A.B., Penev, L.D. (Eds.) Species and communities in extreme environment. Pensoft Publishers & KMK Scientific Press, Sofia-Moscow, pp. 419-438. ISBN 978-954-642-452-5.

Peneva V., Sususlovsky A., Lazarova S. 2009. Description of Longidorus holovachovi n. sp. (Nematoda: Dorylaimida) and Xiphinema sp., a member of Xiphinema americanum group from Ukraine. Russian Journal of Nematology, 17 (2): 115 – 126.

Mincheva Y., Lazarova S., Peneva V. 2008. Xiphinema pirinense n. sp. Dorylaimida: Longidoridae), a new species with a digitate tail from Bulgaria. Systematic Parasitology 70: 215–222.

Mincheva Y., Lazarova S., Peneva, V. 2008. Nematode assemblages from Macedonian pine communities in Northern Pirin Mountain. Comptes Rendus de l’Academie Bulgaire des Sciences 61(9): 1169-1174.

Lazarova S., Peneva V., De Luca F. 2008. On two closely related species of Xiphinema americanum-group: X. simile Lamberti, Choleva & Agostinelli, 1983 and X. parasimile Barsi & Lamberti, 2004 (Longidoridae), with a description of the male of X. parasimile from Bulgaria. ZooKeys 3: 29-50.

Lazarova S., Malloch G., Oliveira C. M.G., Hübschen J., Neilson R. 2006. Ribosomal and mitochondrial DNA analyses of Xiphinema americanum-group populations. Journal of Nematology 38(4): 404-410.

Lazarova S., Peneva V., Mladenov A. 2005. Soil nematodes as biological indicators of soil quality. Proceedings of the International conference ‘Management, use and preservation of soil resources” Sofia, 15-19 May 2005, 152-154.

Lazarova, S., De Goede, R.G.M., Peneva, V.K. & Bongers, T. 2004. Spatial patterns of variation in the composition and structure of nematode communities in relation to different microhabitats: a case study of Quercus dalechampii Ten. forest. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 36, 701-712.

Lazarova, S., Peneva, V., Nedelchev, S. 2004. New records of plant nematodes from Bulgaria. Comptes Rendus de l’Academie Bulgaire des Sciences 57(5), 97-98.

Mladenov, A., Lazarova, S., Peneva, V. 2004. Nematode assemblages of litter and soil from a mixed forest in ‘Knjaz Borisova gradina’ Park. In: Penev, L., Niemela, J. Kotze, J. & N. Chipev (Eds.), Ecology of the City of Sofia. Species and Communities in Urban Environment. PENSOFT Publishers, Sofia-Moscow 281-297.

Lazarova, S., Peneva, V. & Loof, P. 2002. Paravulvus rhodopensis sp.n. (Nematoda: Nygolaimidae) and three known species from Bulgaria, with notes on the taxonomy of the genus. Nematology 4(4), 505-520.

Peneva, V., Lazarova, S. & Chipev, N. 2002. Description of the male of Enchodelus (Rotundus) signyensis Loof, 1975 (Nematoda, Nordiidae) from Livingston Island, Antarctica, and notes on its morphology and distribution. In: Golemansky, V. & Chipev, N. (Eds). Bulgarian Antarctic Research. Life Sciences, Vol. 3: 83-90. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow.

Lazarova, S., Peneva, V., & Penev, L. 2000. Nematode assemblages from the moss Hypnum cupressiforme Hedw. growing on different substrates in a Balkanic durmast forest (Quercus dalechampii Ten.) on Mount Vitosha, Bulgaria. Nematology 2, 263-272.

Lazarova, S., Peneva, V. & Neilson, R. 1998. Nematodes of the genus Tripyla Bastian, 1865 (Nematoda: Enoplida) from woodlands in Bulgaria. Russian Journal of Nematology 6, 165 -174.

Popular science publications:
Лазарова С., Дончева Н., Цавков Г., Лазаров С. 2013. Старите гори – непознатите съкровища на България. Изд. WWF-България: 22 стр. ISBN 978-954-8552-04-2. [Lazarova S. Dontcheva N. Tsavkov G. Lazarov S. Old-growth forests - the unknown treasures of Bulgaria, WWF Bulgaria, 22 p.]

Лазаров С., Димова Д., Лазарова С. 2012. Инвентаризация и управление на мъртвата дървесина в горски екосистеми. Геософт ЕООД, 27 стр. ISBN 978-954-9433-16-6 [Lazarov S., Dimova D., Lazarova C. Inventory and management of deadwood in forest ecosystems. Geosoft Ltd, 27 pp.]


Animal Diversity and Resources
Biodiversity and Ecology of Invertebrates
Research group


Member for
9 years 13 weeks