Ali Nawaz

Contact / Address

Ali Nawaz
Research Fellow

Department of Community Ecology
Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research - UFZ
Theodor-Lieser-Strasse 4 | D-06120 Halle/Saale


+49 345 558 5316
+49 345 558 5449

Ali Nawaz

Research Interests

  • Microbial Ecology
  • Functional Microbial Diversity
  • Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitats
  • Surface and subsurface microbial communities
  • Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
  • Microbial Metagenomics and Meta-transcriptomics
  • Plant-microbial interactions
  • Synthesis work on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF)

Current Research Topic

My current research project is within the framework of Biodiversity Exploratories in the project Seed Addition and Disturbance Experiment. Currently, I am part of the team of Dr. Tesfaye Wubet, to analyze the soil microbial (Bactria and Fungi) communities in terms of their diversity and community composition of grass land and forest ecosystems along land use gradients in the framework of Seed Addition and Disturbance Experiment (SADE) in three German Biodiversity Exploratories.

PhD Research Topic

"Links between surface and subsurface fungal communities along different land use gradients in Hainich Critical Zone Exploratory"

This work is the sub-project (BIODIV3) in German Research Foundation funded Collaborative Research Center AquaDiva ( CRC AquaDiva ).

Short Description

In the project titled "Towards functional microbial subsurface biodiversity research (BIODIV3)", we want to unravel the hidden diversity within the Critical Zone (CZ) in the Hainich groundwater observation transects. At UFZ-Halle, employing a pyrosequencing approach, we will target bacteria and fungi. Links between surface and surface microbial communities will be identified by comparing the microbial communities from soil and groundwater in the lower and upper aquifers within the Critical Zone (CZ). Additionally material from the shallow and deep aquifer will be analyzed using shotgun sequencing of the metagenome.

Subsurface compartment in Hainich

Curriculum Vitae

since 2014

PhD student, Department of Soil Ecology, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research - UFZ (with the focus on the links between surface and subsurface microbial communities (fungal and bacterial) in the earth's critical zone (CZ) along land-use gradients

2011 - 2013

Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Microbiology, University of Jena, specialization in Microbiology
Master thesis: “The root-associated fungal communities of field-grown roots of Nicotiana attenuata plants impaired in the interaction with arbuscular mycorrhiza and control plants”.
Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology, Department Molecular Ecology, Jena ( Baldwin's Lab )

2006 - 2010

Bachelor of Science (Honors), Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) Pakistan, specialization in Biotechnology.

Cooperations at the UFZ

Dr. Antonis Chatzinotas
Research Group Microbial Systems Ecology, Department of Environmental Microbiology ( Microbial Systems Ecology ).

Cooperations with other partners

Prof. Dr. Kirsten Küsel
Department of Aquatic Geomicrobiology, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena ( Küsel Lab ).

Publication List


2020 (1)
2019 (1)
2018 (1)
2017 (2)
2016 (1)
2015 (1)

You could use our publication index for further requests.

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2019 (1)

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2018 (1)

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2016 (1)

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2015 (1)

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Oral Contributions

Nawaz A., Küsel K., Buscot F. and Wubet T. Linking the surface fungal diversity and community structure with the subsurface in Hainich Critical Zone Exploratory. Bio-Geo-Colloquium Series of University of Jena. Jun 2107

Nawaz A.,  Buscot F. and Wubet T. Are subsurface fungal communities reflection of surface fungal communities? 6th International Conference on Microbial Communication for Young Scientists MiCom17, Jena, Germany, Mar 2017

Conference Papers

Nawaz A., Buscot F. and Wubet T. (2015)
Does distance from the surface and local hydrochemistry affects the fungal community structures in subsurface limestone aquifers?

ISME-16, Montreal, Canada, Aug 2016

Nawaz A., Buscot F. and Wubet T. (2015)
First insights into the fungal communities of terrestrial subsurface karstic aquifers in the Earth's Critical Zone.
Aquatic Microbial Ecology, SAME 14. Uppsala, Sweden, Aug 2015

Nawaz A., Buscot F. and Wubet T. (2015)
Aquatic fungi: an important but a neglected component of fresh water aquifers in the Earth’s Critical Zone.
IP11, Emerging Ecosystems, Leipzig, Germany, 2015

Nawaz A., Groten K., Baldwin I.T. (2013)
A new approach to study the effect of arbuscular mycorrhiza in the field.
Botanikertagung 2013, Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft, Tübingen, Germany, Oct 2013

Gase K., Schäfer M., Rahman J., Rothe E., Yon F., Joo Y., Nawaz A., Groten K., Kim S.G., Baldwin I.T.  (2013)
New manipulative tools to study ecological interactions in Nicotiana attenuata.
ICE Symposium, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany, Sep 2013