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Nadia Soudzilovskaia

Assistant professor

Dr. N.A. Soudzilovskaia
+31 71 527 7485

Nadia Soudzilovskaia is working at the interface of environmental sciences and ecology, focusing her research on the impacts of land use and global environmental change on biodiversity and sustainable provision of ecosystem services.

More information about Nadia Soudzilovskaia

Tenure-track researcher. Leader of the research line "Plant-soil interactions across gradients of environmental stresses”


Nadia works at the intersection of ecology and environmental sciences. Her research aims to obtain a quantitative, process-based understanding of plant-soil interaction dynamics along natural and human-induced gradients of environmental stresses, in order to unravel mechanisms enabling provisioning of soil-related ecosystem services at regional and global scale. The research of Nadia’s group is framed within three work packages (WP) covering three core aspects of quantitative, process-based understanding of plant-soil interactions across scales.

WP1. Quantitative Ecology. Nadia’s group strives to understand relationships between environment,  functioning of soil biota and ultimate impacts on ecosystem services in quantitative terms. In order to do so,  we combine a thorough experimental-based understanding of the ecological processes underpinning community dynamics, with a development of mathematical models thereof.

WP2. Theory of functional traits. Nadia bases her research on the theory of organism functional traits, which provides a unifying concept to understand the impact of individual organisms on ecosystem functioning.

WP3. Global patterns of in spatial  distribution of above and belowground biota and environmental drivers thereof.  In order to be able to upscale the knowledge about plant-soil interactions and their impacts on provisioning of ecosystem services, we conduct quantitative assessments of spatial distribution of soil biota in terms of both species richness and functional diversity. Currently this work is primarily focused on mycorrhiza, by far the most prominent form of symbiotic interaction between plants and soil microorganisms.

Currently the research topics of Nadia her group include:

  • Ecology and biogeography of mycorrhizas. Global distribution patterns of distinct mycorrhizal types and ecological drivers of these patterns.
  • Impacts of mycorrhizas on carbon cycling processes.
  • Relationships between plant-soil interactions and biogeochemical processes, and impacts of (multiple) human-induced stresses on these relationships
  • Quantitative trait-based analyses of vegetation patterns through remote sensing

PhD projects supervision

Period PhD Researcher    Topic
2018-2022 Chenguang Gao Impacts of belowground diversity on dune functioning
2017-2021 Weilin Huang Modelling mycorrihzal impact on carbon cycling
2014-2018   Sofia Gomes  Global ecology of mycoheterotrophic plants.
2015-2019 Anne Uilhoorn Global fitness maximising approaches to evaluate the trade-offs involved in the evergreen and deciduous conundrum.
2015-2019 Eefje de Goede Remote sensing-based assessment of functional diversity for polar ecosystems.  
2016-2020 Amie Corbin Improving vegetation representation in Multi-sensor Earth Observation Products through phenology and trait-based priors.
2016-2020 Leon Hauser Development of remote-sensing-based indications of functional diversity.
2017-2021 Milagros Barcelo Global distribution of mycorrhizas and environmental drivers thereof.  
2017-2021 Riccardo Manchelli Impacts of distinct types of mycorrhizas of soil carbon cycling processes

CV Overview

Nadia has received her MSc degree in Computer Sciences and Artificial Intelligence ( cum laude) at State Moscow Technical University. During her study she developed a strong interest in conservation biology and related societal challenges, and was actively participating in a student nature conservation movement of Moscow State University. In 2006 She has obtained her PhD degree in Ecology at Moscow State University and in 2007 Nadia won a NWO Rubicon grant which allowed me to start postdoc research in VU-Amsterdam. During 2005-2013, together with Prof. Hans Cornelissen, she was a coordinator of NWO-funded Dutch-Russian Center of Excellence FUTURE (Functional Trait Upscaling Research Centre). In 2015 she has joined the Institute of Environmental Sciences as a tenure-track assistant professor. In 2016 she won a prestigious VIDI grant of The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) aiming to understand how distinct types of mycorrhizas mediate soil carbon budgets.


Former ISI peer-reviewed publications (before 2016)

  • Blauw, L. G., N. Wensink, L. Bakker, R. S. P. van Logtestijn, R. Aerts, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2015. Fuel moisture content enhances nonadditive effects of plant mixtures on flammability and fire behavior. Ecology and Evolution 5:3830-3841.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., J. C. Douma, A. A. Akhmetzhanova, P. M. van Bodegom, W. K. Cornwell, E. J. Moens, K. K. Treseder, M. Tibbett, Y. P. Wang, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2015. Global patterns of plant root colonization intensity by mycorrhizal fungi explained by climate and soil chemistry. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24:371-382.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., M. G. A. van der Heijden, J. H. C. Cornelissen, M. I. Makarov, V. G. Onipchenko, M. N. Maslov, A. A. Akhmetzhanova, and P. M. van Bodegom. 2015. Quantitative assessment of the differential impacts of arbuscular and ectomycorrhiza on soil carbon cycling. New Phytologist 208:280-293.
  • Makarov, M. I., T. I. Malysheva, O. V. Menyailo, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, R. S. P. Van Logtestijn, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2015. Effect of K2SO4 concentration on extractability and isotope signature (C-13 and N-15) of soil C and N fractions. European Journal of Soil Science 66:417-426.
  • Makarov, M. I., V. G. Onipchenko, T. I. Malysheva, R. S. P. van Logtestijn, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, and J. H. C. Comelissen. 2014. Determinants of N-15 natural abundance in leaves of co-occurring plant species and types within an alpine lichen heath in the Northern Caucasus. Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research 46:581-590.
  • Onipchenko, V. G., A. M. Kipkeev, M. I. Makarov, A. D. Kozhevnikova, V. B. Ivanov, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, D. K. Tekeev, F. S. Salpagarova, M. J. A. Werger, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2014. Digging deep to open the white black box of snow root phenology. Ecological Research 29:529-534.
  • Moles A.T., Perkins S.E., Laffan S.W., Flores-Moreno H., Awasthy M., Tindall M.L., Sack L., Pitman A., Kattge J., Aarssen L.W., Anand M., Bahn M., Blonder B., Cavender-Bares J., Cornelissen J.H.C., Cornwell W.K., Dıaz S., Dickie J.B., Freschet G.T., Griffiths J.G., Gutierrez A.G., Hemmings F.A., Hickler T., Hitchcock T.D., Keighery M., Kleyer M., Kurokawa H., Leishman M.R., Liu K., Niinemets U., Onipchenko V., Onoda Y., Penuelas J., Pillar V.D., Reich P.B., Shiodera S., Siefert A., Sosinski E.E., Soudzilovskaia N.A., Swaine E.K., Swenson N.G., van Bodegom P.M., Warman L., Weiher E., Wright I.J., Zhang H., Zobel M., and B. S.P. 2014. Which is a better predictor of plant traits: temperature or precipitation? Journal of Vegetation Science.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., P. M. van Bodegom, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2013. Dominant bryophyte control over high-latitude soil temperature fluctuations predicted by heat transfer traits, field moisture regime and laws of thermal insulation. Functional Ecology 27:1442-1454.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., T. G. Elumeeva, V. G. Onipchenko, I. I. Shidakov, F. S. Salpagarova, A. B. Khubiev, D. K. Tekeev, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2013. Functional traits predict relationship between plant abundance dynamic and long-term climate warming. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110:18180-18184.
  • Elumeeva, T. G., V. G. Onipchenko, A. V. Egorov, A. B. Khubiev, D. K. Tekeev, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2013. Long-term vegetation dynamic in the Northwestern Caucasus: which communities are more affected by upward shifts of plant species? Alpine Botany 123:77-85.
  • Onipchenko, V. G., A. M. Kipkeev, M. I. Makarov, A. D. Kozhevnikova, V. B. Ivanov, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, D. K. Tekeev, F. S. Salpagarova, M. J. Werger, and J. H. Cornelissen. 2013. Digging deep to open the white black box of snow root phenology. Ecological Research:1-6.
  • Freschet, G. T., W. K. Cornwell, D. A. Wardle, T. G. Elumeeva, W. Liu, B. G. Jackson, V. G. Onipchenko, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, J. Tao, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2013. Linking litter decomposition of above- and below-ground organs to plant-soil feedbacks worldwide. Journal of Ecology 101:943-952.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., A. A. Aksenova, M. I. Makarov, V. G. Onipchenko, O. A. Logvinenko, C. J. F. ter Braak, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2012. Legumes affect alpine tundra community composition via multiple biotic interactions. Ecosphere 3.
  • Onipchenko, V. G., M. I. Makarov, A. A. Akhmetzhanova, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, F. U. Aibazova, M. K. Elkanova, A. V. Stogova, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2012. Alpine plant functional group responses to fertiliser addition depend on abiotic regime and community composition. Plant and Soil 357:103-115.
  • Freschet, G. T., A. T. C. Dias, D. D. Ackerly, R. Aerts, P. M. van Bodegom, W. K. Cornwell, M. Dong, H. Kurokawa, G. Liu, V. G. Onipchenko, J. C. Ordonez, D. A. Peltzer, S. J. Richardson, I. I. Shidakov, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, J. Tao, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2011. Global to community scale differences in the prevalence of convergent over divergent leaf trait distributions in plant assemblages. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20:755-765.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., B. J. Graae, J. C. Douma, O. Grau, A. Milbau, A. Shevtsova, L. Wolters, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2011. How do bryophytes govern generative recruitment of vascular plants? New Phytologist 190:1019-1031.
  • Elumeeva, T. G., N. A. Soudzilovskaia, H. J. During, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2011. The importance of colony structure versus shoot morphology for the water balance of 22 subarctic bryophyte species. Journal of Vegetation Science 22:152-164.
  • Kattge, J., S. et al. incl. N. A. Soudzilovskaia, 2011. TRY - a global database of plant traits. Global Change Biology 17:2905-2935.
  • Gavazov, K. S., N. A. Soudzilovskaia, R. S. P. van Logtestijn, M. Braster, and J. H. C. Cornelissen. 2010. Isotopic analysis of cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation associated with subarctic lichen and bryophyte species. Plant and Soil 333:507-517.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., J. H. C. Cornelissen, H. J. During, R. S. P. van Logtestijn, S. I. Lang, and R. Aerts. 2010. Similar cation exchange capacities among bryophyte species refute a presumed mechanism of peatland acidification. Ecology 91:2716-2726.
  • Cornwell, W. K., J. H. C. Cornelissen, K. Amatangelo, E. Dorrepaal, V. T. Eviner, O. Godoy, S. E. Hobbie, B. Hoorens, H. Kurokawa, N. Perez-Harguindeguy, H. M. Quested, L. S. Santiago, D. A. Wardle, I. J. Wright, R. Aerts, S. D. Allison, P. van Bodegom, V. Brovkin, A. Chatain, T. V. Callaghan, S. Diaz, E. Garnier, D. E. Gurvich, E. Kazakou, J. A. Klein, J. Read, P. B. Reich, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, M. Victoria Vaieretti, and M. Westoby. 2008. Plant species traits are the predominant control on litter decomposition rates within biomes worldwide. Ecology Letters 11:1065-1071.
  • Cornelissen, J. H. C., S. I. Lang, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, and H. J. During. 2007. Comparative cryptogam ecology: A review of bryophyte and lichen traits that drive biogeochemistry. Annals of Botany 99:987-1001.
  • Cornelissen, J. H. C., P. M. van Bodegom, R. Aerts, T. V. Callaghan, R. S. P. van Logtestijn, J. Alatalo, F. S. Chapin, R. Gerdol, J. Gudmundsson, D. Gwynn-Jones, A. E. Hartley, D. S. Hik, A. Hofgaard, I. S. Jonsdottir, S. Karlsson, J. A. Klein, J. Laundre, B. Magnusson, A. Michelsen, U. Molau, V. G. Onipchenko, H. M. Quested, S. M. Sandvik, I. K. Schmidt, G. R. Shaver, B. Solheim, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, A. Stenstrom, A. Tolvanen, O. Totland, N. Wada, J. M. Welker, X. Zhao, and M. O. L. Team. 2007. Global negative vegetation feedback to climate warming responses of leaf litter decomposition rates in cold biomes. Ecology Letters 10:619-627.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., V. G. Onipchenko, J. H. C. Cornelissen, and R. Aerts. 2007. Effects of fertilisation and irrigation on 'foliar afterlife' in alpine tundra. Journal of Vegetation Science 18:755-766.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., and V. G. Onipchenko. 2005. Experimental investigation of fertilization and irrigation effects on an alpine heath, northwestern Caucasus, Russia. Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research 37:602-610.
  • Soudzilovskaia, N. A., V. G. Onipchenko, J. H. C. Cornelissen, and R. Aerts. 2005. Biomass production, N : P ratio and nutrient limitation in a Caucasian alpine tundra plant community. Journal of Vegetation Science 16:399-406.
  • Soudzilovskaia N.A., Vagin L.A., Onipchenko V.G. Production of an alpine lichen heath under fertilization and irrigation: results of 6 years experiments in the Northwest Caucasus, 2006, Bulleten' Moskovskogo obschestva ispytateley prirody ,  111: 41-51 (in Russian, with English summary).
  • Soudzilovskaia N.A., Onipchenko V.G. 2003. “Effects of increased soil nutrient availability on abundance of alpine lichen vascular plants”, 2003, Bulleten' Moskovskogo obschestva ispytateley prirody, 18: 54-58 (in Russian, with English summary). 
  • Soudzilovskaya N.A., Onipchenko V.G. “Influence of soil nutrient availability on generative production in an alpine heath, the North-Western Caucasus”, 2002, Oecologia Montana , 10: 29-37.


Assistant professor

  • Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
  • Centrum voor Milieuwetenschappen Leiden
  • CML/Conservation Biology

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A3.06



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