Our team

Nikolai Petkov

Project Manager

Nikolai has been a member of BSPB since 1989, worked on different positions at BSPB in the period 1995 – 2015.  In the period 207-2010 he worked for Wetlands International in the Netherlands, as Flyway & Site Network Officer.

Nikolai has a PhD in Ecology. He is a member of the IUCN/WI Specialist Groups on: Threatened Waterfowl, Duck Specialist Group, Swan Specialist Group, Goose Specialist Group and Ibis Specialist Group. Since 2010 he has been the coordinator of the AEWA International Working Group on Red-breasted Goose.

With his knowledge of the project region and the problems that the species faces along its flyway, Nikolai would contribute to the successful implementation of the project activities. Within this project, he also has the task of monitoring the allocation and implementation of activities by team members and partners from each country, preparing the necessary reports on the work done and ensuring communication between the different partner organizations and the Project Steering Group.

Emilia Yankova

Communications Officer

Emilia is responsible for the communications public relations of the “LIFE for Safe Flight” Project. She takes care of the good tone of the project’s internal communication and liaise with the different audiences. Emilia is a part of the staff of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) since 2011.

Michael Iliev

Michael is a longtime member and volunteer in the BSPB and has taken part in many of the nature conservation activities since 2003. He has a Master’s degree in Ecology at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski “. He has participated in a number of projects related to birds monitoring and research at national and international level.

He is familiar with the project area and has actively been involved in the monitoring and conservation activities of the Red-breasted Goose since 2008. Originally he is from Dobrich. Within the project framework he is responsible for the field activities in the area of the lakes Shabla and Durankulak, as well as coordinating the monitoring of geese in the project areas in Bulgaria and in the range countries.

Manuela Murdzheva

Project Administrator

Manuela is the Project Administrator for “LIFE for Safe Flight” Project.

Ivan Russev

Coordinator for Ukraine

Dr. Ivan Russev is the coordinator for “LIFE for Safe Flight” project activities in Ukraine.
Ivan Russev is a long term conservationists and researcher who is currently Scientific Director of National Nature Park Tuzlovski Lymani.

Ivan will oversee the field activities such as poaching patrols and will coordinate the surveys on the species along the Ukrainian Black Sea coast.

Emil Todorov

Coordinator for Romania

Emil is the coordinator of the national winter goose monitoring scheme in Romania and is responsible for the Project activities carried out on the territory of our northern neighbor on behalf of the Romanian Ornithological Society.
His knowledge on the conservation and monitoring of wintering geese in Southeastern Romania will contribute to the implementation of several key activities of the Project, such as: impact study of the hunting pressure, mapping sensitive geese areas and mutual patrolling with the institutions to control the implementation of the hunting legislation.
He is member of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) since 1995. He was responsible for the regional activities of BSPB along the Danube River between 2002 and 2012, after which he moved and started working for the BirdLife
partner in Romania. He has extensive experience in managing and coordinating nature conservation projects. Winner of the 2009 Whitley Fund for Nature Award.

Alyona Koshkina

Coordinator for Kazakstan

Alyona Koshkina works as a research fellow at the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (Birdlife partner in Kazakhstan) since 2011. She coordinates two species conservation projects (Identifying Population Status and Migratory Ways of White-headed Duck in Kazakhstan and the Study of the Steppe Wolf Population Status in Central Kazakhstan) and participates in the ecosystem-based research on the impact of agriculture on steppe biodiversity. Alyona has a MSc degree in Biology and since 2015 she is doing her PhD study at the Institute of Landscape Ecology at the University of Muenster in Germany, being most of her time based in Kazakhstan.