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Head: Assoc. Prof. Yovana Todorova, PhD

Phone: (+359 2) 8167-205
E-mail: yovanatodorova@biofac.uni-sofia.bg


The Department of General and Applied Hydrobiology was established as an independent unit of the Faculty of Biology in 1950. The initiator of its creation was Prof. DSc Alexander Valkanov, founder of hydrobiology in Bulgaria. During the years the Department was consistently lead by Assoc. Prof. Dr Angel Angelov (1960-1973), Prof. DSc Tzolo Peshev (1973-1977), Assoc. Prof. Dr Margarita Mihaylova (1978-1984), Prof. DSc Nicola Margaritov (1984-1996). Originally, the unit functioned under the name Department of Hydrobiology and Fishery. Later it was transformed into Department of Hydrobiology and Ichthyology. Prof. Raicho Dimkov was elected head of the Department in 1996. Under his leadership, the area of scientific research and educational activities was expanded and in 2005 the unit was renamed to Department of General and Applied Hydrobiology. Since 2008 Prof. DSc Yana Topalova is Head and under her management the Department currently continues its development in the spirit of the new educational and research traditions and good practices.

The following hydrobiologists worked in the Department during the years: Assoc. Prof. St. Kovachev and Assoc. Prof. I. Yaneva, Assoc. Prof. V. Tishinova-ichthyotoxicology; Assoc. Prof. B. Marinovichthyology, Prof. R. Dimkov-functional hydroecology. Prof. B. Rusev, Prof. V. Naidenov, Prof. Y. Uzunov were guest lecturers.


The founder of the Department, Corr. Member Prof. DSc Alexander Valkanov - zoologist, hydrobiologist and protistologist

The Department provides education for students in the bachelor’s and master’s degrees and develops research activities in three main areas: (1) Hydrobiology; (2) Ichthyology and Aquaculture; (3) Biological Water Treatment and Environmental Biotechnology. These activities are realized in collaboration with local and international research institutes.

The Department maintains close relationships with the state and municipal entities, private companies with object of activity - conservation and management of waters and water resources, design and biocontrol of different wastewaters treatment technologies, modern approaches to management of fishery resources and aquacultures. The Department has traditionally excellent and useful contacts with leading universities from Poland, Belgium, Germany, France, Turkey, Macedonia in the frame of Erasmus program and other scientific and educational programs.

The academic staff of the Department now includes 9 lecturers, 4 of which are professors: Prof. DSc Yana Topalova - Head of the Department and the Laboratоry of “Biological Water Treatment and Environmental Biotechnology”, Assoc. Prof. Galerida Raikova , PhD - Head of aboratory “Ichthyology and Aquaculture”, Assoc. Prof. Dimitar Kozuharov, PhD - Head of Laboratory “Hydrobiology”, Assoc. Prof. Ivaylo Ivanov, PhD. Assisstants, PhD are 5 - Eliza Uzunova, Irina Schneider, Desislava Rozdina, Lyubomir Kenderov and Yovana Todorova. The laboratory specialists are Elmira Daskalova and Marieta Stanachkova, PhD.

Assessment of water quality in the lab of Biological water sanitation Studying the ichtiofauna during summer practice in the fish farm Nikolaevo Sewage treatment plant Koubratovo is included in the Summer practice

The research interests of Department’s staff are concentrated in three main directions: (1) Hydrobiology - studies of pelagic and bottom communities in water bodies with different anthropogenic influence; hydrobiological monitoring and management of protected wetlands; saprobiologic characteristic of waters; (2) Ichthyology and Aquaculture - ecology and populational biology of fishes, biodiversity and protection of fish populations; modern technologies for aquacultures; diseases and parasites of fishes; ichthyotoxycology, sustainable exploitation and increasing natural fish productivity, (3) Biological Wastewater Treatment - management of water quality and processes with chemical, biological and enzymological control of trivial and hazardous pollutants; detoxification processes; modeling of the wastewaters treatment processes; bioremediation of waters, sediments and sludges; biodesign of modern, effective and target treatment technologies.

The Department manages and participates successfully in more than 30 international and national research projects funded by the EU Framework Programs, NSF and private partnerships. The members of staff are recognized experts in the field of water sciences and participate in the implementation of OP “Environment”, Natura 2000 and others.

During the last 5 years, 7 young professionals successfully defended their PhD theses. Currently, other 7 PhD students develop PhD theses in the Department.


Hydrobiological probing in water basein Zrebchevo


In situ analyses of water samples, from Hydroelectrical power station Sreden Iskar.

The academic staff of the Department developed and implemented the following subjects:
Hydrobiology with principal lecturer Assoc. Prof. Kozuharov for students from Bachelor’s Degree Programme of Biology; Ecology and Environmental Protection (EEP); Biomanagement and Sustainable Development (BSD).
Biotechnological Methods in Ecology for Environmental Protection with principal lecturer Prof. R. Dimkov for students from Biotechnology, EEP, Biology and BSD.
Water Management with principal lecturer Prof. DSc Y. Topalova for students from EEP and BSD.
Biomanagement and Sustainable Development with principal lecturer Prof. DSc Y. Topalova for students from BSD.
Foundations of Biodiversity for students from Biology and BSD.

The Department is responsible for education in four master’s
degree programmes (MP):
MP Applied Hydrobiology and Aquaculture - the academic staff of the department participates in the conduction of all 11 compulsory and 14 elective subjects.
MP Environmental Biotechnology - the staff has a leading role for realization of all 9 compulsory and 10 elective subjects.
MP Bio-business and MP Eco-management - the base department subjects are Environmental management with risk assessment, Corporate environmental activity, Management of environmental projects, Applied Limnology and others.

The various forms of postgraduate qualification in the scientific area of hydrobiology are conducted by the Department.


Graduated master students