Nickolay Hristov

Research Designer

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I grew up in the mountains of Bulgaria and didn’t cross the Atlantic Ocean to set foot in North America until I was 20.  The reason for the adventure?  Endless desire for learning!  Lots of it!  I completed my BS from the University of Maine in Orono in Zoology and Wildlife Ecology along with Psychology and Computer Science in 1997.  I received an MS and Ph.D. in Animal Communication from Wake Forest University before completing postdoctoral work at Boston University and Brown University.  In 2009, I joined the Center for Design Innovation (CDI), a research center of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system through a joint appointment as Assistant Professor in organismal biology at Winston-Salem State University and as the inaugural Design Researcher at CDI.  I hold additional research and academic appointments at Wake Forest University and UNC School of the Arts.  My interests include zoology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and science of motion, in addition to fluency with digital techniques for motion analysis and visualization, and advanced technologies such as high-speed videography, laser-scanning, and thermal-imaging.  My work inevitably spans the film set, art and design studios, the research laboratory, and the outdoors – from the deserts of the American West to Eastern Europe.  Lack of time is my worst nemesis!  When that’s not an issue I like to hike, bike, break things, fix them, build new ones, read about places and then travel to visit them, take and make pictures, share experience, learn about anything.  I like nature, photography, 3D modeling, design and architecture!  After thinking about and iSWOOPing in the South-central US for over 2 years, I am eager to iSWOOP the Northeast as well.  What better place to start than Acadia National Park where I first fell in love with America’s Best Idea.