Assoc. Prof. Dr. Miglena Zhiyanski



Organisational unit

Forest ecology


Forest Research Institute – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
132 “Kl. Ohridski”Blvd.

1756 Sofia


Phone: +359 2 9620447
Fax: +359 876298118

Web / E-Mail 


Research Interests

I am currently working as a Director of Forest Research Institute – BAS and I am very excited to have this chance to lead and contribute to an inclusive research agenda for forests – our treasure and it’s people!

In my research activity as Associate Professor of the department of “Forest ecology” I have achievement in the field of urban and forest ecology, soil science and radioecological studies. In the recent years I am working on the problems related with elemental cycle in soil-to-plant system under climatic and land-use changes, ecosystem services assessment and mapping, green infrastructure in urban and peri-urban areas.


ESPON EGTC “Linking networks of protected areas to territorial development (LinkPAs)” project. 2017-2018. Coordinator (Bulgaria)

“Enhancing Resilience of urban ecosystems through green infrastructure” EnRoute, JRC – EC. 2017-2018 – team member. 

„Toward better UNderstanding the Ecosystem Services in URBan environments through assessment and mapping TUNESinURB“, funded under the program BG 03 Biodiversity and ecosystems financed by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA FM) 2009-2014, MoEW – R Bulgaria and Contract. Д 33-82/14.08.2015 г. 2015 – 2017. Coordinator. 

BG.03PDP2 „Methodological support in assessment of ecosystem services and biophysical assessment“ MetEcosMap, funded under the FM of EEA, MoEW, 2014 – 2017 – team member, Leader “Urban ecosystems”

„Elaboration of e-based information system for vulnerable mountain regions” NSF, bilateral cooperation between Bulgaria and Germany – 2014-2017 – Coordinator (Bulgaria)

“Geochemical and ecological characteristics of soils from urban areas”, internal project to the Dept. “Soil chemistry”, Institute of soil science, agrotechnology and plant protection N. Poushkarov, 2017-2019 – team member

“Study the combined impact of natural radioactivity, UV radiation, climate changes and cosmic rays on selected model groups of plant and animal organisms in mountain ecosystems”, INRNE – BAS, NSF,  2017-2019 – team member.  

Past projects

Land-use and management impacts on carbon sequestration in mountain ecosystems, Bulgarian-Swiss Research Programme, 2011-2016 – Principal investigator (Bulgaria)

„Complex assessment the potential of forest-tree and agro- species for creation energy plantations in Bulgaria” NSF, 2012-2015 – team member

„Distribution of radiocaesium in forest ecosystems from Greece and Bulgaria”, NSF, 2005-2007 – team member

„Mathematical modelling of soil organic matter in mountain forest ecosystems” Interinstitutional cooperation – BAS, 2009-2010 – team member

„Programme of measures for adaptation of forests in Republic of Bulgaria to climatic changes and mitigation the negative impact”, ExAF. Topic 5 – Carbon sequestration, 2010

COST actions

Linking belowground biodiversity (BioLink)” FPS COST FP1305, 2014-2018 – MC member and STSM manager

Green Infrastructure approach: linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests“ FPS COST Action FP1204, 2013-2017 – MC member

Enhancing the resilience capacity of SENSitive mountain FORest ecosystems under environmental change (SENSFOR), ESSEM COST Action ES1203, 2012-2016 – MC member and WG leader 

Belowground carbon turnover in European forests, EC COST Action FP 0803, 2009-2012 – MC member


Publications (max 10)

Cudlín P., M. Klopčič, R. Tognetti, F. Máliš, C.L. Alados, P. Bebi, K. Grunewald, M. Zhiyanski, V. Andonowski, N. La Porta, S. Bratanova-Doncheva, E. Kachaunova, M. Edwards-Jonášová, J.M. Ninot, A.  Rigling, A. Hofgaard, T. Hlásny, P. Skalák, F.E. Wielgolaski. 2017. Drivers of treeline shift in different European mountains. CR SPECIAL 34 Resilience in SENSitive mountain FORest ecosystems under environmental change. Editors: Nils C. Stenseth, Frans E. Wielgolaski. Vol. 73: 135–150. 

Moscatelli M.C., E. Bonifacio, T. Chiti, P. Cudlin, L. Dinca, E. Gömöryova, S. Grego, N. La Porta, L. Karlinski, G. Pellis, M. Rudawska, A. Squartini, M. Zhiyanski, G. Broll. 2017. Soil properties as indicators of treeline dynamics in relation to anthropogenic pressure and climate change. CR SPECIAL 34 Resilience in SENSitive mountain FORest ecosystems under environmental change. Editors: Nils C. Stenseth, Frans E. Wielgolaski. Vol. 73: 73–84. 

Nedkov S., M. Zhiyanski, S. Dimitrov, B. Borisova, A. Popov, I. Ihtimanski, R. Yaneva, P. Nikolov, S. Bratanova-Doncheva. 2017. Mapping and assessment of urban ecosystem condition and services using integrated index of spatial structure. One ecosystem (under press)

Menichetti, L., J. Leifeld, L. Kirova, Szidat L., M. Zhiyanski. 2017. Consequences of planned afforestation versus natural forest regrowth after disturbance for soil C stocks in Eastern European mountains. Geoderma 297:19-27. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.02.028

Vanguelova, E., E. Bonifacio, B. De Vos, M.R. Hoosbeek, T.W. Berger, L. Vesterdal, K. Armolaitis, L. Celi, L. Dinka, O.J. Kjønaas, P. Pavlenda, L. Pumpanen, Ü. Püttsepp, B. Reidy, P. Simončič, B. Tobin, M. Zhiyanski. 2016. Sources of errors and uncertainties in the assessment of forest soil carbon stocks at different scales – review and recommendations. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2016. 188(11):630 WoS. 

Vranic P., M. Zhiyanski, S. Milutinovic. 2016. A conceptual framework for linking urban green lands ecosystem services with planning and design tools for amelioration of micro-climate, Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 13:2-4, 129-143, DOI: 10.1080/1943815X.2016.1201516

Sen, A., M. Zhiyanski, M. Glushkova, K. Petkova, J.P.A. Ferreira, H. Pereira. 2016. Chemical composition and cellular structure of corks from Quercus suber trees planted in Bulgaria and Turkey, Wood Science and Technology, November 2016, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 1261–1276. DOI 10.1007/s00226-016-0836-y, ISSN 0043-7719, Online ISSN 1432-5225, pp.1-16.60.

Lyubenova M., M. Grozeva, N. Georgieva, M. Zhiyanski, A. Asenov. 2016. Model study of urban plant-soil complex in Dragalevtsi experimental base, Sofia University “St. Kl. Ohridski”. International journal of ecological science and environmental engineering. 2016. 3(3):52-67. ISSN: 2375-3854

Nedkov, S., Zhiyanski, M., Nikolova, M., Gikov, A., Nikolov, P., Todorov, L. 2016. Mapping of carbon storage in urban ecosystems: a Case study of Pleven District, Bulgaria. Proceedings of scientific conference “Geographical aspects of land use and planning under climate change”. Varshets 23-25.09.2016. pp. 223-233.

Zhiyanski M., M. Glushkova, A. Ferezliev, L. Menichetti, J. Leifeld. 2015. Carbon storage and soil property changes following afforestation in mountain ecosystems of the Western Rhodopes, Bulgaria. iForest, Vol. 9, pp. 626-634. doi: 10.3832/ifor1866-008 [online 2016-05-06]