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Head: Assoc. Prof. Elena Tasheva-Terzieva, PhD

Phone: (+359 2) 8167 276
E-mail: tasheva@biofac.uni-sofia.bg


The Department of Zoology is one of the oldest in the structure of the Faculty of Biology. It was established back in 1897 as Zoological Institute in the Higher School in Sofia and back then the first Assoc. Prof. in Zoology was elected – Dr. Georgi Shishkov. Later on two separate departments were established: Anatomy and Systematic of Invertebrates (later renamed to Zoology of Invertebrates) and Comparative Anatomy and Systematic of Vertebrates (later renamed to Zoology of Vertebrates). The first head of the Department was Prof. Stefan Yurinich. Among the following heads of both departments are Prof. S. Konsoulov, Acad. M. Popov, Prof. T. Morov, Prof. G. Paspalev, Prof. Kozarov, Prof. T. Peshev, Prof. D. Tashev, Prof. Sh. Gateva, Assoc. Prof. I. Vassilev, Prof. M. Shishiniova and Assoc. Prof. D. Peshev.

The Department of Cytology, Histology and Embryology was separated from the Department of Zoology of Vertebrates in 1973.


Prof. Dr Georgi Shishkov - the first associate professor of Zoology

That same year three of the departments of the Faculty of Biology – Zoology of Invertebrates, Zoology of Vertebrates and Hydrobiology were united into the Department of Zoology. Two years later the Department of Hydrobiology was separated again. In 1985 a sector of Human Anatomy and Anthropology was formed in the Department of Cytology, Histology and Embryology, that later was incorporated into the Department of Zoology. Thus the Department of Zoology and Anthropology was established in the form it exists now.
The newest trend in the Department is related to the education in biostatistics. It was established in 1998 by Assoc. Prof. Elena Tasheva-Terzieva, PhD, primary as an elective and later as a compulsory subject.

Presently there are 23 teachers and staff in the Department: Prof. Maria Shishiniova, PhD, Assoc. Prof. Danielo Peshev, PhD, Assoc. Prof. Ventsislav Delov, PhD and Assoc. Prof. Plamen Mitov, PhD, Assoc. Prof. Elena Tasheva-Terzieva, PhD Assoc. Prof. Albena Gionova, PhD are habilitated. Assistants are Assist. Ganina Lavchieva-Nacheva, PhD, Assist. Angel Vasilev, PhD, Assist. , Assist. Denis Gradinarov, PhD, Assist. Roumiana Kostova, PhD, Assist. Diana Zlatanova, PhD, Assist. Ilian Iliev,PhD Assist. Slavka Georgieva, PhD, Assist. Sevdan Nedelchev, Assist. Veneta Angelova, Assist. Atanas Grozdanov, PhD, Assist. Magdalena Pirinska – Apostolou, Assist. Elena Todorova, PhD, Assist. Nadezda Paraskova, Specialists: Boyan Zlatkov, PhD, Petar Petrov, Nevena Kolarova and Velichka Velikova.
PhD students in the Department are Ognyan Sivilov, Svetoslav Kozichev, Genadi Gavrilov, Miroslav Slavchev, Ilia Gionov, Boyan Vagalinski and Daniela Dimitrova.


Presently the scientific studies of the Department are directed toward several major trends and are conducted in the corresponding labs: Entomology, Nematology, Biological Struggle, Zoology of Vertebrates, Human Anatomy and Anthropology. In the entomology field the studies are directed toward particular insect’s taxa: aphids, ants, beetles and butterflies. A special attention is drawn on the morphology, anatomy and taxonomy of those insects as well as on their symbiotic interactions with other animals. The studies in nematology are directed toward entomopathogenic and entomoparasitic nematodes and their application in biological fight, free living soil nematodes and phytonematodes. The major studies on vertebrates are directed toward reptiles, birds and mammals. Studies on physical development, paleoanthropology and dermatoglyphics are conducted in the field of anthropology.


Studying nightly active insects with a light trap


Part of the collection of invertebrates in the educational lab of Department of Zoology

Besides scientific activity, the teachers from the Department also conduct expert activity, related mainly to biodiversity and evaluation of its influence on the environment. Some of the teachers of the Department took part as experts in the largest project of Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria: Mapping and assesment of the natural habitats and species condition - phase I. The Department is training PhD students in Zoology and Entomology. There are three successfully defended PhD theses in the last 5 years. Currently there are nine PhD students and part of them are employed on a permanent position by the Department.

Teachers from the Department are training students in 14 compulsory, 12 elective and 2 optional subjects in the bachelor’s degree.
Compulsory subjects: Zoology of Invertebrates (Prof. M. Shishiniova), Structural and Functional Zoology (Prof. M. Shishiniova and Assoc. Prof. V. Delov), Zoology part I and part II (Assoc. Prof. E. Tasheva-Terzieva, PhD and Assoc. Prof. D. Peshev), Functional and Structural Zoology (Assoc. Prof. P. Mitov and Assist. A. Vasilev, PhD), Zoology of Vertebrates (Assoc. Prof. D. Peshev), Zoology (Assist. D. Gradinarov, PhD), Biostatistics (Assist. E. Tasheva-Terzieva, PhD), Human Anatomy (Assist. D. Dardanov, PhD and Assist. V. Angelova), Anthropology (Corr. Member Prof. Y. Yordanova), Mathematical Models in Ecology (Assist. E. Tasheva-Terzieva, PhD), Principles of Biological Diversity (Assist. I. Iliev), Biological Monitoring (Assoc. Prof. V. Delov, Assist. S. Georgieva).

Summer practice in Zoology of Invertebrates Summer practice in Zoology of vertebrates Monitoring of the Sofia Valley

Elective subjects: General Entomology (Assist. G. Nacheva, PhD), Principles of Parasitology (Assist. D. Gradinarov, PhD), Nematology (Assist. S. Nedelchev), Biological Fight (Assist. D. Gradinarov, PhD), Ornithology (Assoc. Prof. V. Delov), Zoogeography (Assoc. Prof. D. Peshev), General Theriology (Assist. A. Vasilev), Principles of Biological Monitoring (Assoc. Prof. V. Delov), Biology of Behavior (Assoc. Prof. V. Delov), Paleoanthropology (Prof. T. Minkov).

Teachers from the Department conduct lectures in four master’s programmes: Entomology, Parasitology, Zoology and General Anthropology, as well as in master’s programmes of other departments of the Faculty of Biology (Virology, Ecological Education) and inter-faculty master’s programmes (Ecotourism).

Master students in General Anthropology and archeologists during excavations around Silistra

Different courses in PGQ are conducted by the Department. The most praised are Human Anatomy and Anthropology.