Predator–prey interactions play a major role in determining the structure and function of terrestrial communities. I am interested in understanding the mechanisms that shape the sensory systems and behaviour within a complex multiple predator–multiple prey community. I focus on two closely related sibling bat species and their prey – the bushcrickets of the family Tettigoniidae.
I will study bats and their prey both in the lab and in the field at the Siemers Bat Research Station in Bulgaria, run by the Acoustic and Functional Ecology Group of the MPIO. I will use acoustic and playback experiments, high-speed flight video tracking, and diet analysis to understand how the sensory and behavioural variations among animals allow them a stable coexistence in the same communities.
Since 2017: PhD student, Bulgarian Academy of Science and MPI for Ornithology, Supervisors: Dragan Chobanov and Holger Goerlitz
2010 – 2012: Master of Science in Ecology in Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“, Bulgaria, supervisor Dr Björn M. Siemers, Max Plank Institute for Ornithology
2006 – 2010: Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Environmental Protection, Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“, Bulgaria
Scholarships, grants and awards
2016: Distinguished as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) in Bulgaria in category “Moral and/or Environmental leadership”
2014: Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation Travel Grant covering the travel expenses to Malawi, Africa
2014: British Ecological Society Travel Grant to attend the XVth Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge University, UK
2010-2012: Governmental Master Study Scholarship from Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“, Bulgaria
September 2014 – February 2015: Research assistant and camp manager at African Bat Conservation, University of Bristol
April 2013 – July 2013: Intern in the project Unlocking the Mysteries of Sleep – Improved Learning as a Shared Functional Benefit; Advisors: Dr Rachel Page and Dr Barrett Klein, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama
2009-2012: Graduate student and field assistant in Tabachka Bat Research Station ran by the Sensory Ecology Group, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology; Advisor: Dr Björn Siemers
May 2012 – July 2012: Intern in the project Scales of Habitat Selection in the Endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus); Advisor: Dr Frank Bonaccorso, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, USGS, USA