Department of Phytopathology

The Department of Phytopathology was founded in 1963. Professor Krastyu Krastev was the first head of department. Professor Alexander Hristov from the Higher Institute of Agriculture - Sofia was the first lecturer in phytopathology. At that time Ignat Tafradzijski, holder of a PhD degree, became the first assistant professor. Later, as a professor, he became a head of department and a vice rector. 

Some of the renown lecturers over the years are: prof. Stojtcho Karov, DSc (head of department and dean over the years); prof. Boris Nakov, DSc (head of department and head of the science and development sector over the years); assoc. prof. Petar Kotetzov, PhD; prof. George Neshev, DSc (vice dean and vice rector over the years). 

After the establishment of the Faculty of Plant Protection the Department of Phytopathology was integrated within its structure. Lecturers from the Higher Institute of Agriculture - Sofia have joined the department: prof. Nikola Mitov, PhD; prof. Vasil Bogdanov, PhD; prof. Atanas Popov, DSs (vice rector over the years); assoc. prof. Liliya Beleva, PhD; assoc. prof. Maria Georgieva, PhD; assoc. prof. Irina Kutova, PhD; assistant professor Stoyan Kotev, PhD.

Both the Department of Phytopathology and the Department of Entomology are basic and leading units within the structure of the Faculty of Plant Protection and Agroecology. At present, the Department of Phytopathology consists of seven full-time lecturers: prof. Mariana Nakova, DSc, (head of department up to date), prof. Svetoslav Bobev, DSC; assoc. prof. Dimitrijka Sakalieva, PhD; assoc. prof. Milena Dimova, PhD; three assistant professors – Neshka Piperkova, PhD; Zvezdomir Gelev, PhD; Maria Vitanova, PhD. 

The department provides training of undergraduate students enrolled in Bachelor`s, Master`s and PhD degree programmes. 

Many PhD students have successfully defended their theses in the department – Bulgarian nationals as well as international students from Cuba, Egypt, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Greece, Sweden, Yemen, etc.

Courses of phytopathology are offered to the bachelor students from all faculties as follows:       

  • Introductory/General Plant Pathology for BSc students of plant protection and BSc students of tropical and subtropical agriculture;
  • Special Plant Pathology for BSc students of plant protection and BSc students of tropical and subtropical agriculture;
  • Diseases and Pest Forecasting and Signaling; 
  • Plant Quarantine;
  • Plant Immunity;
  • Plant Pathology for BSc students of horticulture, general agriculture, biological agriculture, ecology, plant breeding and seed production, plant biotechnology, landshaft agriculture /ornamental gardening/,  agribusiness;
  • Plant Virology for  BSc students of plant biotechnology;
  • Biotechnology Methods Applied in Plant Protection for BSc students of plant biotechnology.

Courses privided in various MSc degree programmes: 

  • Plant Bacteriology;
  • Plant Virology;
  • Plant Quarantine;
  • Phytosanitary Monitoring and Expertise;
  • Integrated Pest and Disease Management;
  • Pest and Disease during Storage of Plant Products and Materials;
  • Plant Protection for MSc students of plant breeding and seed production, viticulture and horticulture, plant crop production.

A number of scientific and applied technologies have been developed by the department`s academic staff. Lecturers have also been working on different projects funded by national and European programmes: 

  • two TEMPUS projects; 
  • a 3-year project related to the establishment of the faculty  and its departments; 
  • a 3-year project related to the adaptation of plant protection curricula to the standards of the European higher education and MSc programme development. 

The department`s lecturers are active participants in the Erasmus Mobility Programme having long-term relationships with universities in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Norway, etc. The mobility of incoming and outcoming students is strongly supported by the academic staff.

Lecturers have been visiting colleague scientists at different universities in Europe, the USA and Israel. They have also taken part in research projects funded by European Institutions (the 7th Framework program, COST, See-Era, etc.), the Bulgarian National Fund and other institutions. There are two projects funded by the Foundation America for Bulgaria resulted in the establishment of a Center for Integrated Disease Control. 

The department`s academic staff offers consultancy and expertise to external clients and companies in solving phytosanitary problems of all major agricultural crops, as well in the development of IPM and biological agriculture technologies.


Дисциплината Фитопатология се разделя на 2 части: обща и специална и има за цел  да запознае студентите от специалност “Екология и опазване на околната среда” с основни въпроси от общата фитопатология, с различните групи патогени: гъби, вируси, бактерии и фитоплазми, как ...