The people

Researchers (PhD)

Dr. Christina Kassara [CK]

Christina is a free-lancer biologist with a PhD (2012: University of Patras) on spatial ecology of a migratory falcon, specialized in movement ecology and species distribution modelling. Her research interests extend to conservation biology in terrestrial ecosystems. She currently works on the optimal spatial planning of windfarms in terms of fragmentation and land use change. She has participated in various conservation projects in the past, involved in project coordination, GIS and statistical analysis. BLC projects: WIND, ROADLESS, NATLAND, LIVEMOUNT.

Dr. Dina Zografou [DZ]

Dina was, until recently, a postdoctoral researcher at the Ecology and Evolution division, University of Bern (PhD 2015: University of Ioannina). Her research focuses on investigating and predicting how climate change leads to the decline of endangered species, changes in species communities, and how it modifies species interactions and impacts the ecosystem functions they provide. Her research is field-oriented and combines integrated methods, including landscape and laboratory experiments. In her previous postdoc she clarified long-term population trajectories for an extremely rare butterfly species (Speyeria idalia idalia) and was able to show how species traits anchor a dynamic pollination network. She is a lecturer under contract in BAT, teaching the course “Fauna of Greece: terrestrial invertebrates”. She gained an excellence post-doc grant and runs the project MEIOSIS as P.I. in our lab. BLC projects : BUTALL, MEIOSIS, APOLLO, INTEGRADIV, LIVEMOUNT

Dr. Olga Tzortzakaki [OT]

Olga is a free-lancer biologist with a PhD (2018: University of Patras) in urban ecology, focusing on the effects of urbanization on bird, butterfly and bat communities. She has participated in various biodiversity conservation projects, such as the national butterfly monitoring scheme, environmental impact assessment studies, and bird (“Ornithopolis”) and butterfly citizen-science projects. Recently, she compiled the first National Action Plan for invertebrates in Greece, specifically for the Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo), within the framework of the project LIFE IP-4 Natura. She has worked as a lecturer under contract, contributing to the labs of the Ecology course and the Biodiversity and Climate Change course. She is currently a NECCA staff and external collaborator of our Lab. BLC projects: WIND, ROADLESS, BUTALL, SOER, APOLLO, PINS, LAC, PARNO, OITI, ALEXANOR, NATLAND, INTEGRADIV, LIVEMOUNT.

Dr. Yorgos Iliopoulos [YI]

Yorgos is a freelance biologist working on conserving wolves and other large carnivores, which was also his PhD specialization (2010: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). He has yearlong experience in coordinating and implementing large national and international multi-partner projects, such as the first LIFE program in Greece for wolf conservation, monitoring programs of the impacts of highways on large carnivores and mitigation of human-wolf conflicts. In his previous post-doc, he tested the efficacy of fladry corral fences by excluding wild wolves from experimental feeding sites. He has taught the course “Biology of Large Mammals” in the Department (2018-2020). He collaborates with Callisto NGO and is an external collaborator of our Lab. BLC projects: COEXIST, LIVEMOUNT

Dr. Haritakis Papaioannou [HP]

Haritakis is a Biologist (M.Sc. in Conservation Biology, Ph.D. Thesis on Balkan chamois) and Ichthyologist. He has been involved in nature conservation and wildlife management for more than 25 years, as a field researcher in projects for brown bear, Balkan chamois, amphibians, raptors, Natura 2000 habitats and protected areas management and conservation. He has been involved in nature and culture interpretation, authored 6 books and several scientific publications. He has participated in more than 60 environmental studies including field research, mainly in the wider Pindus mountain range. Recently, he compiled the
National Action Plan for Balkan Chamois in Greece and he is the director of Vikos-Aoos UNESCO geopark. BLC projects: ROADLESS, AOOS, NATLAND, LIVEMOUNT.

Dr. Elli Tzirkalli [ET]

Elli is an environmentalist and has a PhD (2022) on the patterns of plant, orthoptera and butterfly diversity along an elevational gradient (BCL doctoral student). She has participated in various research and monitoring programs in Greece and Cyprus concerning flora and fauna protection and she is the co-chair of the Cyprus Butterfly Study Group (2012-present). She is interested in the composition and structure of ecological communities and patterns and drivers of biodiversity. Currently, she is working as a researcher at the Open University of Cyprus. BCL project: BUTALL, LAC2.

Dr. Maria Petridou [MP]

Maria gained her PhD from our Lab (2023) on the topic of wolf ecology and human-large carnivore conflict mitigation under a State Scholarship Foundation grant (IKY). She is an agronomist and a freelancer expert on large carnivores, having worked on several conservation and monitoring projects. She combines social surveys with fieldwork (sign transects, camera trapping, GPS telemetry), lab (diet analysis), and data analysis. She currently works as a postdoc fellow in the Bavarian Forest National Park in Germany, continuing her research on wolves. BLC projects: COEXIST, ROADLESS, AOOS, NATLAND.

Kostantinos Papakostas [KP]

Kostas is a PhD candidate (since 2022) working with chamois conservation in Greece. He is an agronomist, and he gained an excellence grant for Ph.D. students in 2023 (ELIDEK). When not doing science, he is running on mountains. BLC projects: PONT.

Lavrentis Sidiropoulos [LS]

Lavrentis is a PhD candidate (since 2018) on the ecology of the Golden Eagle in Northern Greece, involving its diet, movement ecology of territorial and dispersing individuals through high-resolution telemetry and conservation status and distribution modeling. He is supported by a Natural Research ltd – Scotland grant for telemetry and the Leventis Scholars Foundation. He has been a freelance field ornithologist since 2008, mostly in conservation and monitoring projects concerning birds of prey. He spends a lot of time in the field in his study area covering Macedonia and Thrace.

L. Sidiropoulos_@LS
Apostolis Stefanidis [AS]

Apostolis is a PhD candidate (since 2022); his research focuses on species diversity and community ecology of Orthoptera. He is a biologist and has conducted his diploma thesis on Orthoptera diversity patterns of Mitsikeli mountain. Since 2021, he has participated, as a freelancer, in research projects for the monitoring and conservation of rare, endemic, and endangered Orthoptera of mountainous ecosystems in protected areas, studying their relationship to habitat characteristics. He gained an excellence grant for PhD students in 2023 (ELIDEK). BLC projects: PINS, LAC, PARNO, OITI, ALEXANOR, LIVEMOUNT.

Nikos Bukas [NB]

Nikos is a free-lancer biologist, specialized in ornithology. He has worked in various bird monitoring and conservation projects in several Special Protected Areas of Greece. He currently works on Management Plans for Protected areas, Environmental Impact Assessments and Specific Ecological Assessments. His previous research has focused on benthic macro-invertebrates’ abundance in the feeding areas of shorebirds, habitat selection of waterbirds, Odonata diversity. He currently studies the breeding ecology of Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus). BCL project: AOOS.

Tonia Galani [TG]

Tonia is a biologist and a free-lancer ornithologist. Her work focuses on the avifauna of Lake Pamvotis. She has gained experience as a project manager for several European programs for nature conservation, working for Pindos Perivallontiki NGO. She conducts Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for several projects throughout Greece. When no doing science, she is a vivid birder with a special interest in wildlife photography. BCL projects: AOOS, ROADLESS (Project coordinator/ NGO), NATLAND.



  • Elvira Sakkoudi. Coming.

    Floral composition and structure of the habitats of endemic and threatened Orthoptera in the mountain ecosystems of Central Greece. Financial support: DEMO grant (travel expenses)

  • Eleutheria Kaltsouni. 2023-…Evolution of butterfly body size over 160 years: a museum approach. Financial support: project MEIOSIS (BCL)
  • Nikos Filippidis. 2023-…Diversity patterns of butterflies in Ioannina town
  • Katerina Zymarikopoulou. 2023-. Linking Roadless Areas with international policy and ecological importance of Roadless Areas of Greece.
  • Giota Papatzima. 2023-. Diversity and activity patterns of mammals vs. human disturbance in Ioannina region. BAT Department.
  • *Konstantina Nasiou. 2022-2023. Mountainous insect communities of Northern Pindos National Park: the role of grazing. BAT Department. Student Grant: Feraki Fund
  • *Nikos Filis. 2022-… Ecology and conservation status of the endemic and endangered grasshopper species Prionotropis willemsorum. BAT Department. Financial support: Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (WILLEMSORUM: fieldwork expenses).
  • *Aimilia Ioakeimidou. 2021-2022. Spatiotemporal patterns of the wolf in the National Park of Axios Delta. 2021-2022. BAT Department. Collaboration: Callisto NGO. Financial support: contract with Callisto.
  • Antonia Galani. 2021-2022. Great crested grebe ecology: the case of Pamvotis Lake. Interdepartmental MSc. “Environmental Sciences and Education for Sustainability”
  • *Stratos Papantoniou. 2021-… Roadless areas of Greece and Natura 2000 network. BAT Department. Financial support: contract under ROADLESS project (BCL)
  • Marina Savvopoulou. 2021-… Wind energy development in Greece: a media analysis. BAT Department. Abandonned.
  • Despoina Sagxaridou. 2020-2021. Impact of grazing on invertebrate diversity: a review. BAT Department.
  • *Apostolis Stefanidis. 2020-2021. Grasshopper diversity patterns in Mitsikeli mountain. BAT Department. Student Grant: Feraki Fund


  • Nikos Boukas. 2019-2020. Ecology of the glossy ibis in the protected area of Kalamas. MSc. “Environmental Sciences and Education for Sustainability”


  • Maria-Elena Rizou. 2018-2020. Spatiotemporal distribution patterns of Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) in Pamvotis Lake, Greece. BAT Department.
  • Haris Korompilis. 2017-2018. The ecological value of Pamvotis Lake, in terms of the trends of wintering waterfowl and the reproduction of Podiceps cristatus.       BAT Department.
  • Xrysanthi Zaharou. 2017-2018. Diversity patterns of butterflies in Greece. BAT Department.


* Financially supported.

The Department of Biological Applications & Technology (BAT) offers one-year diploma studies accounting for a Master’s integrated program.

“Environmental Sciences and Education for Sustainability” is an interdisciplinary Master’s program of the University of Ioannina led by the Department of Early Childhood Education.


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