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WETLANET jobs positions

Currently, five WETLANET researchers were employed, four biologists and one chemist. The team of WETLANET project and the IBER - BAS were glad to welcome the new colleagues!


Dr Merlijn Jocqué


About me

I graduated as ecologist at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven (Belgium), specialized in marine and lacustrine sciences at the Universiteit Gent and then completed a PhD on freshwater ecology again in Leuven at the Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I am also involved seasonally as senior on-site freshwater biologist in the cloud forests of National Park Cusuco (Honduras) with Operation Wallacea coordinating the research on aquatic animal communities in bromeliads and rivers. In a new project we look at the role of endangered tree frogs in a cloud forest ecosystem, and the extinction threat posed by the amphibian chytrid fungus.

My position as wetland biologist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is framed in the WETLANET project and mainly encompasses the analysis of long term data collected on the internationally renowned Srebarna wetland in the north east of Bulgaria. Research attention points are ecosystem stability and the effect of management changes.

For more information, visit my home-page.



Since 1st November 2010 Dr Merlijn Jocqué was leaving the team of the WETLANET project due to the start of his new job contract with another institution abroad. The WETLANET team and all colleagues from the former CLGE-BAS are very grateful to Dr. Jocqué for the fruitful collaboration, which we hope will continue in the future. Good luck, Merlijn!


Dr Pavel Zehtindjiev

Pavel Zehtindjiev

About me

I have been working in the field of avian biology since 1993. The main focus of my research is on the microevolution of birds. My research is broadly in population ecology with particular emphasis on the responses of individuals to changing environmental conditions and the proximate factors influencing these responses.

I have a strong interest in interdisciplinary approaches and collaborations. My research plans are aimed at the population structure of most numerous species of birds breeding in the wetlands Srebarna and Atanasovsko Lake. My intensions are to carry out studies on evolutionary biology and ecology of wetland birds and their blood parasites, which will help better understanding formation and maintenance of biodiversity in wetlands. This will contribute to the development of the molecular ecology expertise of Central Laboratory of General Ecology in synchrony with the WETLANET project objectives in the outstanding atmosphere of the team working in this project.

For more information, visit my home-page.



Dr Elka Kraleva

Elka Kraleva

About me

My research activity is focused on the following research areas: ecology and catalysis - new clean catalytic processes and technologies for environmental protection; novel catalytic materials for preparation of clean fuels from renewable sources and for the waste cleaning. Studies on the structure and properties of nanostuctured materials using different physico-chemical methods: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, Temperature-programmed reduction, SEM and TEM microscopy, GC/MS, ICP and etc.

-   Using of physicochemical methods for characterization of environmental matrices of protected wetlands in Bulgaria

-   Using GC/MS methods for analysis of aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides and chlorinated organic compounds and their effectiveness in samples from coastal marine and transitional waters and sediments

My postdoc position at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is framed in the WETLANET project and mainly encompasses using of GC/MS and different physicochemical methods for analysis of aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides and chlorinated organic compounds and their effectiveness in samples from coastal marine and transitional waters and sediments.

For more information, visit my home-page.



Dr Georgi Daskalov


My main research achievement is the discovery of a trophic cascade driven by overfishing, in  the Black Sea. Тogether with colleagues, we revealed the mechanisms leading to ecosystem regime shifts, fisheries collapse and invasive gelatinous species (M. leidiy) outbursts. I have interests and experience in the fields of ecosystem modelling, fisheries research and management and fisheries oceanography and have worked in the Black, Caspian, Mediterranean and North Seas and the Atlantic Ocean, with intitutes from Bulgaria, France, Namibia and the UK. Since 2008 I have been chairing the Working Group on Black Sea Fisheries with the EU Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF) and since 2010 I joined STECF as a member.

 My main tasks with the WETLANET project, which I joined in 2010, is to build a comprehensive food web model (Ecopath) of the Black Sea and contribute to capacity and project building in the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosytem Research.



Dr Caterina Casagranda


About me

I am a quantitative conservation biologist who explores the consequences of anthropogenic effects on marine ecosystem functioning. I am interested in connecting academic science to decision tools and effective conservation practice. My field program aims to quantify and to conceptualize the relationships of organisms critical to ecosystem functions that may be incorporated into ecological models that are useful for decision-making. While my research focuses primarily on marine ecosystems, I am most broadly driven by questions rather than particular species or processes. Most recently, I have focused on benthos organisms of coastal wetlands and linking standing stock and trophic flow through functional groups into ecosystem-level analyses. I have worked on developing approaches to communicate complicated scientific information to decision makers and stakeholders.

My position at the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosytem Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Science is part of the EC FP7 Capacities Programme „WETLANET“, supporting scientific research on natural and man-made resources of Atanasovsko lagoon that will help the local laboratory network enhance the research potential for studying wetlands ecosystem functioning, restoration and management.

For more information, visit my home-page.





Dr Philippe Gil de Mendonça

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