Ecology and Protection of Ecosystems





Training in the doctoral programme of  Ecology and Protection of Ecosystems at the University of Mining and Geology “St. Ivan Rilski” is based on the existing long traditions in conducting scientific and applied research aimed not only to characterise and assess the negative effects of anthropogenic activity on the environmental components, but also in research and implementation in practice of: innovative low-emission methods in the extraction of non-ferrous and precious metals from minerals; methods for the purification of water and treatment of soil which have been contaminated with inorganic and organic pollutants; and testing of these methods on a pilot scale.

The main objective of the training of students taking a PhD in this programme is to carry out fundamental and scientifically applicable research in order to reveal the processes taking place in the ecosystems that have been affected by human activity, their direction and speed, as well as the influence of certain environmental factors on these processes, thus making it possible to apply ecosystem restoration methods.

The major outcome of the training offered within the doctoral programme of Ecology and Protection of Ecosystems at the University of Mining and Geology reveals the following types of relationship which are published in specialised scientific journals:

  • Relationship between the magnitude of the critical load of the ecosystem when exposed to a specific type of pollutant (heavy metal, toxic/radioactive element, organic compound, etc.) and the quantitative and qualitative variations occurrind in their biotope and biocenosis;
  • Interrelation on the ongoing biogeochemical processes in the affected ecosystem, which directly determine the degree of exposure of organisms to the respective
  • pollutant and the amount of the dose formed, as well as the degree of bio-accumulation of the pollutant within the organisms of the respective population;
  • Relationship between some environmental factors, the speed of
  • bio-geochemical processes in the ecosystem, and their effect on the fractional composition and mobility of the respective pollutant in the biotope, whereby its specific bio-assimilation and the size of the dose formed are directly determined;
  • Interrelation between the introduced innovative low-emission methods in the processing of minerals, in the treatment of polluted water, in the purification of polluted soil, in the rehabilitation/reclamation of disturbed terrains, on the one hand, and the processes of distribution of pollutants in the environment, the critical load on ecosystems, the exposure of organisms, and the the dose formed, on the other;

Research on the ongoing processes in the biotope and biocenosis of polluted ecosystems, resulting from the implementation of remedial measures for their decontamination and the restoration of their productivity.