In this capacity, Totev led archaeological excavations and research projects in archaeological sites from the period of the First Bulgarian Empire (632/680-1018 AD), especially, the two early Bulgarian capitals – Pliska (capital in 680-893 AD) and Veliki Preslav (“Great Preslav") (capital in 893-970 AD).
He specialized in the study of the art of Veliki Preslav, and the Ancient Bulgar material and spiritual culture in the 9th and 10th century AD.
In 1990, Totev became a university professor at the Shumen University “Bishop Konstantin Preslavski" teaching Christian and church archaeology, Christian art, medieval Bulgarian culture, and history of Byzantium.
In 1992-1995, he served as the Dean of the Department of Bulgarian Studies, History, and Theology of Shumen University.
In 1996-2000, he served as the President of Shumen University “Bishop Konstantin Preslavski".
Totev has also taught university courses in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski" and Varna Free University.
As a researcher, Totyu Totev has published over 200 scientific articles, and a dozen case studies.
“We are parting with a person who is inextricably connected with the study, preservation, and presentation of Bulgaria’s historical and cultural heritage. As the lead archaeologist of many archaeological sites, author of numerous scientific articles and research, he established himself as one of the most respected professionals and public figures with a great contribution to Bulgarian science.
“His dedicated work as an archaeologist and medievalist has been assessed highly and recognized in Bulgaria and abroad,"Shumen Mayor Lyubomir Hristov has declared in a letter of condolences to Totev’s family.