Home / The University / Faculties / Faculty of Biology / Structures / Departments / Botany


Head: Assoc. Prof. Anita Tosheva, PhD

Phone: (+359 2) 8167 352
E-mail: atosheva@biofac.uni-sofia.bg

The Department of Botany is the first Bulgarian institution for higher education in botany, but also the first institution for higher education in biology in Bulgaria. It was created in 1891 and named Institute of Botany by Prof. Stefan Georgiev, who was its first Head. Since then, the name changed several times and since 1975 the Department is known as Department of Botany. Since its creation, the Department constantly follows the educational and scientific traditions for blazing a trail for teaching botany in Bulgaria. It generated all subsequent botanical departments in other institutes and universities and all botanical centres in Bulgaria. The research activities changed their accent during the years, but were always based on the investigation and protection of the biodiversity in Bulgaria, the roots of which lie in the Union for the Protection of our native nature. This Union was created in 1929 and its first Chair, Prof. Stefan Petkov, the actual Head of the Department, played an important role in the achievement of the first Bulgarian Regulation Order for Nature Protection (1936).







Acad. Prof. Stefan Georgiev, the first professor of Botany

In 1891, an additional departamental institution, the Herbarium (SO in Index Herbariorum), was developed. Recently, in 2009, the Collection of living algal cultures (АCUS in theWorld Register of Microbiological Collections) and Laboratory for cultivation of fungi were created.

Collection of living algal cultures (АCUS in theWorld Register of Microbiological Collections)

Subsequently the position of the Head of the Department was occupied by Prof. Stefan Georgiev (1991-1900), Acad. Stefan Petkov (1901-1936), Prof. Nikolay Stoyanov (1936-1951), Acad. Daki Yordanov (1951-1965), Prof. Boris Kitanov (1965-1967, 1970-1973), Prof. Ivan Penev (1967-1970), Assoc. Prof. Maria Karagyozova (1973-1975), Prof. Velcho Velchev (1975-1994), Assoc. Prof. Boris Bakalov (1994-1995), Prof. Dobrina Temniskova (1996-2002), Prof. Spasimir Tonkov (2002-2008), and currently, since 2008, Prof. Maya Stoynevа.

Currently the teaching staff of the department consists of Prof. Spasimir Tonkov, PhD, Prof. Maya Stoyneva, PhD, Assoc. Prof. Yuliana Atanassova, PhD, Assoc. Prof. Dimitrina Koleva, PhD, Assoc. Prof. Dolya Pavlova, PhD, Assoc. Prof. Aneli Nedelcheva, PhD, Assist. Anita Tosheva, PhD, Assist. Plamen Ivanov, PhD, Assist. Tsveta Ganeva, PhD, Assist. Blagoy Uzunov, PhD, Assist. Ralitsa Zidarova, PhD and Assist. Miroslava Stefanova,PhD. Mr. Asen Asenov, PhD, Mrs. Anna Kirkova and Ms. Blagovesta Bogoeva work as specialists in the Department.

The Department has three signed Erasmus agreements with the algological laboratories of the Universities of Ghent and Namur in Belgium, and University of Innsbruck in Austria, where partners are Prof. Wim Vyverman, Prof. Jean-Pierre Descy and Prof. Dr.H.C. Georg Gärtner.

The Department contains 3 autonomous sectors, which, during the last 2 years, worked on 16 scientific projects, 4 of which – international.

The Sector of Anatomy and Morphology of Plants works on studies of the structure and function of the plant cells, tissues and organs. The investigations are deepened towards cell ultrastructure and become more ecological, turned towards exogenic impacts and stress, and heavy metals tolerance of aquatic plants related to biological purification of waters. Palaeobotanical, anatomical and morphological studies are also
carried on.
The Sector of Vascular Plant Systematics works predominantly in the field of palaeoecological and palaeobotanical studies in Bulgaria, archaeobotanical investigations, melissopalynology, etc. Floristic and biosystematic studies of Bulgarian vascular flora and of medicinal plants and their ethnobotanical role are also developed.
The Sector of Algal and Fungal Systematics studies algae, fungi and lichens of Bulgaria and abroad and carries on biostratigraphical and palaeoecological investigations by means of the diatom analysis method. Research is expanded in the fields, concerning ecology and bioconservation, biodiversity of peculiar habitats and taxonomic investigations, based on cultures.

During the last 5 years one PhD Thesis was successfully defended, and currently there are 3 PhD students, trained in theDepartment of Botany.

The compulsory subjects of Botany for all student specialties in the Faculty and for the students in Eco-chemistry and Pharmacy are conducted in I and II courses by Prof. DSc Spasimir Tonkov, Prof. Dr Maya Stoyneva, Assoc. Prof. Dr Dimitrina Koleva, Assoc. Prof. Dr Dolya Pavlova and Assoc. Prof. Dr Juliana Atanassova as principals. Additionally, teachers from the Department of Botany are principal lecturers of the following elective and optional subjects: Plant Cytohistology, Medical Algae and Fungi, Ecology of Algae, Mycology, Lichenology, Phytogeography, Palaeoecology, Medicinal Plants, Decorative Plants and Taxonomy of Plants.

Practicals in Botany - 2000 Practicals in Botany - 2013

Teachers from the Department of Botany conduct three master programmes, which are in conformity with the main research lines of the Department: “Structural Botany”, “Algology and Mycology” and “Vascular plants”. Additionally, teachers from the Department of Botany participate in the following master programmes: “Bio-business” (Fac. Biology), “Medical Chemistry” (Fac. Chemistry and Pharmacy), “Archaeometry” (Fac. History), “Ecotourism” (Fac. Geology and Geography).

Teachers from the Department of Botany conduct lectures in Botany for all forms of postgraduate qualification courses.