The team behind PPNEA nature
                protection and conservation work

kujtim mersini
Kujtim Mersini

Kujtim is the current chairman of PPNEA. Since childhood he nurtured a special passion for nature and animals, he further developed it by joining PPNEA as volunteer in 1998. Later on Kujtim became PPNEA secretary for almost a decade. His main research interests are on wildlife diseases and population biology.  

2004: Graduated in Veterinary   Medicine, Agricultural University Tirana.  

2009: Master of science in Veterinary (major in Veterinary Epidemiology), Agricultural University Tirana.  
2010: PhD in infectious diseases, Agricultural University Tirana.  

Spase Shumka

Spase is a lecturer of Zoology and Hydrobiology at the Agricultural University of Tirana. He is active within PPNEA since 1997 and is working in various projects with protected area planning, establishement and capacity building. Spase has published many  papers in scientific journals and is coauthor of several books on nature conservation.
     Email: [email protected]

1987: Graduated in biology, University of Elbasan.  

2001: Master of science in Environmental sciences UC Berkeley USA.  

2009: Professor of hydrobiology, Agricultural University Tirana.

Aleksandër Trajçe

Aleksander joined PPNEA in 2006 as a wildlife researcher within Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme. He is coordinating projects with focus on wildlife conservation and sustainable resources use. His main research interests are on human-wildlife relationships with a focus on large carnivores and their conservation dynamics.
     Email: [email protected]

2007: Graduated in Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic University of Tirana

2010: Master of Sciences on Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, University of Oxford

2013: (continuing) – DPhil candidate on biosocial aspects of large carnivore conservation, University of Roehampton

Elisabeta Shkurti

Elisabeta is working as PPNEA Finance Officer. However, she is as well as an expert on social work with a long experience in working with marginalized groups.
Her research interests are on socio-ecological systems approach to sustainability and development policies.

2004: Graduated in Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences/University of Tirana.  

2009: Master of Science in Gender and Developement, Faculty of Social Sciences/University of Tirana.

2012: Bachelor degree in Finance and Accounting, Agricultural University of Tirana.  

Bledi Hoxha

Bledi joined PPNEA Balkan lynx team in 2009. He works as a wildlife biologist monitoring lynx, bear, and wolf in different studies in Albanian highlands. He is a "master of the mountain" and very skillful in snow tracking, telemetry, camera trapping, etc. His main research interest are on large carnivores ecology.  

2008: Bachelor degree in Biology Faculty of Natural Sciences Tirane.

2009: Several postgraduade trainings in wildlife monitoring techniques.  

Mirjan Topi

Mirjan is a project manager at PPNEA and he is involved in several projects related to brid protection and sustainabile developement. Mirjan is a prominent ornithologist and is coordinating  activities aiming at the survival of Egyptian Vulture in Albania. His main research interest are on raptor species.
       Email: [email protected]

2008: Bachelor degree on “Agro-Environment and Ecology”, Agriculture University of Tirana, Albania

2010: Master of Science “Local Development and Sustainable Development in Agriculture”, University of Copenhagen, Denmark & University Montpellier SupAgro, France

Oresta Saliaj

Oresta is a lecturer of Biology at the Vlora University.  At PPNEA she is engaged as a local coordinator in Vlora region helping with the costal management programs. She is quite apasionate about birdlife and is involved in several birdwatching activities. Her major research interest are on bird conservation and eco-tourism.

2012: Graduated in Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences Tirane.

2012 and on: Master of Science in Environmental Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences Tirane.

Klaudia Koçi

Klaudia is engaged with PrespaNet to enhance cross-border cooperation and to promote Prespa lakes and park. She is also the education and outreach coordinator of PPNEA creating and implementing activities with school children and youth for wildlife and nature protection. Her reserch insterest is on outdoor eduction.

2011: Graduated in Political Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tirana.  

2014: Master of Arts in ‘’Transcultural European Outdoor Studies’’, Joint Degree from University of Marburg (Germnay), University of Cumbria (England) and University of Sport Sciences (Oslo, Norway)

Roland Lleshi

Roland is dedicated to the potection of one of the largest birds on earth the Dalmatian pelican. He is currently coordinating a project on the pelican conservation in Karavasta lagoon. His main reasearch insterests are related to pelican conservation and biology.  

2008: Graduated as Forestry Engenier, Agricultural University Tirana.  

2013: Master of Science in Environmental Studies on Urban Planning and Management, Polis University.    


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