Meet the starter team

This project started with a conversation about senses and echolocation (the way bats get around, using sounds). We were a randomly assembled group, sitting around a table in a beautiful abandoned building in the center of Ruse, Bulgaria.

We were participants in a festival for conversation between arts and sciences, organized by the Austrian Foreign Ministry and the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, Austria. The point of the festival was to gather people, specializing in different fields from the countries around the Danube and to direct their potential towards doing something useful for society.

Sitting around this table, we were developing a project together. The topic could be anything we come up with. We discussed many options, but this project, which we later named „Seeing in the dark“ was the most exciting for us. So when four of us (Tony, Savina, Ana and Nina) went back to our homes, we talked to the local blind people organizations and, seeing that they also felt excited about the idea, we carried it forward and applied for funding to the Austrian Foreign Ministry.

None of us had ever done a similar project, so we’ve learned and still keep learning amazing things on the way.

Here’s who we are in short:

Savina Stoitsova

10Savina Stoitsova is currently a PhD candidate in Epidemiology in the National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Sofia, Bulgaria.  She studies how diseases spread and how they can be controlled.  And as this topic combines knolwedge from many fields (medicine, biology, geography, even sociology), it does not stop being exciting.


Antonia Hubancheva

11Antonia Hubancheva is a biologist, specializing in sensory biology, who focuses on the amazing abilities of bats.  She is based in Sofia, but is currently having an adventure in Panama, where she is studying the local bat populations.






Ana Šimatović 

12Ana Šimatović was born on December 21st, 1984 in Nova Gradiška and graduated from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Biology in 2009.  Since 2009 she is employed as a research assistant in the Laboratory for Evolutionary Genetics,  Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute , Zagreb. The laboratory has a longstanding tradition in investigating recombination and DNA repair in bacteria.


Nikolina Stojanović

13Nikolina Stojanović was born on November, 15th,1984. in Zagreb and graduated from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Molecular Biology , Zagreb in 2009. Since 2009 she is employed as a research assistant in the Laboratory for Genotoxic Agents, Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute , Zagreb, working on integrin-mediated tumor cell resistance to antitumor drugs.


Special thanks for assisting in the project application process also go to Claudia Mongini from Austria.