On April 7, 2021, our dear colleague and longtime director of the museum Prof. Nikolai Spassov turned 70 years. Nikolai is a world-renowned scientist and author of over 200 publications, many of them in prestigious international publications (Nature, Nature Ecology & Evolution, Ethology Ecology & Evolution and many others) and several monographs. A scientist with an indisputable contribution to world science in the field of theriology, palaeontology and archaeozoology, his main research is focused on the taxonomy, evolution and behaviour of vertebrates, with an emphasis on large carnivores and the conservation of vertebrates in Bulgaria. In recent years he has been actively working on the study of the Neogene and Quaternary mammal fauna of the Balkans, the evolution of hominids and the origins and processes of domestication of a number of domestic animals (horse, dog, cat, etc.) in Europe. With his scientific works and international projects Prof. Spassov has significantly contributed to the establishment of the prestige of the museum and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the international zoological and palaeontological community. He has led a large number of research projects and prepared doctoral students working in various fields of palaeontology and zoology. Prof. Spassov has been a director of the National Museum of Natural History for nine years and has played a key role in the establishment and maintenance of the Palaeontological Museum in Asenovgrad.
We wish Prof. Spassov good health and many more years of creative success!