A Brief History of the Department

The department has a long and rich history. Тhe former department of “Physical geography of Bulgaria and the continents” changed its name to “Landscape Science” back in 1972. It extended its name to “Landscape Science and Environmental Protection” in 1977, keeping it the same for the next 42 years. This step was essential from a practical point of view, focusing on the research competences of the academic personnel. The present name of the department of “Landscape Ecology and Environmental Protection” was adopted in 2019, craving for wider national and international recognition.

Department Members

The current academic personnel incorporate two professors (Assen Assenov and Rumen Penin), four associated professors (Bilyana Borissova, Alexander Sarafov, Zornitsa Cholakova and Kamen Nam) and three assistant professors (Dimitar Zhelev, Borislav Grigorov and Petko Bozhkov). The department also includes four PhD students (Nikolay Nikolov, Lidia Semerdzhieva, Ilia Tamburadzhiev and Martina Tsenova).

Education in Bachelor’s Degree

The educational profile of the department has been presented in several scientific fields. Its main scientific subjects are the following: Landscape ecology, Physical geography of Bulgaria, Physical geography of the continents, Geography of soils and Biogeography. The students may choose from a list of optional subjects, such as: Landscape geography of Bulgaria, Protected areas in Bulgaria, Anthropogenic landscapes of Bulgaria, Biogeography of Bulgaria, Karst landscapes of Bulgaria, Physical geography of the Balkan Peninsula, Global ecology, Geoecological problems and protected areas in the world, Natural risks and catastrophes and Geography of soils in Bulgaria.

Education in Master’s Degree

The master’s degree programme prepares graduates with ample theoretical and practical
knowledge in the fields of:

  1. landscape ecology;
  2. analysis and evaluation of natural capital;
  3. ecosystem/landscape goods and services;
  4. ecogeochemistry, monitoring and management of the environment;
  5. ecological expertise;
  6. landscape planning and management;

The specialits’ education continues for 2 semesters, while non-specialists will need 3 semesters to graduate. Alumni may apply for jobs in:

  1. structures of the national administration, as environmental experts;
  2. governmental and non-governmental ecological organizations;
  3. consultant agencies, focusing on the evaluation of the pollution risk and environmental monitoring, evaluation of ecosystem/landscape goods and services, soil bonitation, habitat diversity and biodiversity.

PhD Programmes

The department of “Landscape Ecology and Environmental Protection” offers two PhD programmes. The programme of “Physical geography and Landscape science” has longstanding traditions. PhD students form competences in complex physico-geographical investigations, including the formation, development and evolution of landscapes. The programme has been evaluated by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency with the mark of 9,22. The next accreditation is expected to occur in 2024. An individual approach is incorporated for each student, allowing for particular scientific development. Graduators acquire theoretical and practical skills that are sufficient for job applications in governmental and non-governmental agencies, conducting complex landscape research, planning and monitoring.

The second PhD programme – “Biogeography and Geography of soils” was evaluated in 2016 by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency with the mark of 8,76. The accreditation is valid until 2021, thus a new accreditation is undergoing. The individual approach is also applied here, with the cumulation of theoretical and practical knowledge in its basis. PhD graduates may look for employment in universities and in the field of habitat research.

Contact Us

Address: bul. „Tsar Osvoboditel“ 15, 1504 Sofia Center, Sofia, North Wing, 2nd floor, 261A 

Department Chair

Prof. Assen Assenov, PhD


Master’s degree programme coordinator

Asoc. Prof. Bilyana Borisova, PhD


Administrative support

Nikolay Nikolov