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Farzad Aslani


Dr. F. Aslani
+31 71 527 2727

I am a double PhD holder with over 10 years of research experience as a research assistant and postdoctoral researcher, specializing in soil microbial ecology and plant-plant interaction. I have been involved in several research projects mainly focused on the assembly of plant and microbial communities and their interactions.

More information about Farzad Aslani


I completed a PhD and a 30-month postdoc in the field of Weed Science at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). I attempted to understand how phytochemical properties of plant species mediate plant-plant competition in agricultural and natural ecosystems. I screened phytotoxic compounds of invasive and weed species to assess a potential link between the compounds' quantity and quality and the plants' competition capability. The huge role of microbes in plant growth and health as well as recent advancements in high-throughput sequencing and computational tools brought me to Leho Tedersoo’s research group at University of Tartu to gain skills in metabarcoding, bioinformatics, and biostatistics.

My second PhD at University of Tartu was a complementary degree on belowground biodiversity responses to the biotic and abiotic factors. It broadened my understanding of the ecology of plants and soil communities and their interactions. Following my qualifications and experiences in plant and below-ground communities, I have recently joined Above-Belowground Interactions Group at Leiden University to work on Silva Nova project. The aim is to restore degraded lands using soil manipulation/inoculation. I am always willing to learn about the complex interactions among the plants, the associated microbial communities, and the environment.

Grants and prizes


  • 2019 - Dora Plus mobility scholarship
  • 2012 - International Graduate Research Fellowship (IGRF), UPM


  • 2017 - Geran Putra Berimpak (GP-IPB), Research Management Centre (RMC), UPM
  • 2017 - The Higher Institution Centers of Excellence (HICoE), Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia
  • 2017 - Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Ministry of Education (MOE), Malaysia

Key publications

  • Aslani, F., Geisen, S., Tedersoo, L., Bahram, M. 2024. Land use intensification homogenizes soil protist communities and alters their diversity across Europe. Soil Biology and Biochemistry
  • Aslani, F., Geisen, S., Ning, D., Tedersoo, L., Bahram, M. 2022. Towards revealing the global diversity and community assembly of soil eukaryotes. Ecology Letters. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13904
  • Aslani, F., Tedersoo, L., Põlme, S., Knox, O., Bahram, M. 2020. Global patterns and determinants of bacterial communities associated with ectomycorrhizal root tips of Alnus species. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 148, 107923

Brief biography

I was born in a Kurdish family in Iran. My passion for discovering the world and gaining new experiences has led me to pursue my education and research interests in Malaysia, Estonia, Australia, and now in The Netherlands. I have completed a PhD in Malaysia and my second PhD in Estonia. I have had collaborations with researchers across the globe and published more than 30 papers in international peer-reviewed journals such as Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Fungal Diversity, and Ecology Letters which are high-ranked in the fields of Soil Science, Mycology, and Ecology, respectively. 


  • Science
  • Instituut Biologie Leiden
  • IBL Plant Sciences

Work address

Sylviusweg 72
2333 BE Leiden
Room number 3.5.07


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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