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Running projects
Modelling root causes of conservation conflicts for biodiversity conservation in protected areas

Finished projects
Understanding the root causes of human-wildlife conflicts for improving biodiversity conservation in protected areas (DAAD–PRIME)
Assessment of ungulate monitoring techniques in Iran
Population estimation of Rusa deer and hunting patterns in Tanah-Papua, Indonesia
Assessing anthropogenic pressures on large mammal species in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran (PhD project)

Curriculum Vitae

August 2020 – present Postdoctoral fellow
Department of Conservation Biology, University of Göttingen (DAAD–PRIME)

2019–2020 Postdoctoral fellow
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. (DAAD–PRIME)

2018–2019 Postdoctoral fellow
University of Göttingen (GIZ)

2015–2017 PhD in Biodiversity and Ecology
(Erasmus Mundus scholarship), University of Göttingen

Thesis title: Assessing anthropogenic pressure on large mammal species in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran. Overall grade: magna cum laude

2008–2010 MSc in Natural Resources Engineering-Environment
Habitats and Biodiversity. Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.

2014–2016 Project leader National Ungulate Monitoring Techniques Assessment (NUMP)
Iranian Department of Environment.

2012–2013 Senior research assistant
Dietary identification of wild sheep (Ovis orientalis) and bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus) from gut samples. Department of Environmental Science Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran and Iranian Department of Environment.

2011–2012 Senior research assistant
Assessment of conservation status of threatened roe deer in Bozin-Markheil protected area. College of Environment, Karaj, Iran.

Google Scholar

Bleyhl B., Gerngross P., Askerov E., Farhadinia M.S., Ghoddousi A., Heidelberg A., Khorozyan I., Manvelyan K., Mengülluoglu D., Ostrowski S., Rosen T., Rozhnov V.V., Soofi M., Yachmenikova A., Kuemmerle T. 2022. Mapping the distribution and habitat of Persian leopard across its historical range. Catnews Special Issue 15: 9-18.

Farhdinia M.S., Soofi M., Rosen T., Mogha-Das P., Hobeali K., Behnoud P., Amanov A., Dieterich T., Hojamuradov H.-M. Hudaikuliev N., Karryeva S., Kaczensky P., Mengliev S., Muhashov A., Nurhuambetov Z., Pestov M., Potaeva A., Terentyev V., Salmanpour F., Tizrouyan H., Alinezhad H., Jafari B., Ommatmo-Hammadi M., Rabie K., Veyisov A., Linnell J.D. 2022. Status of Persian leopards in northern Iran and Central Asia. Catnews Special Issue 15: 29-35.

Nayeri D., Mohammadi A., Zedrosser A., Soofi M. 2022. Characteristics of natural and anthropogenic mortality of an endangered brown bear population. Journal for Nature Conservation 70, 126288. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126288

Pangau-Adam M., Flassy M., Trei J.-N., Waltert M., Soofi M. 2022. The role of the introduced rusa deer Cervus timorensis for wildlife hunting in West Papua, Indonesia. Ecological Solutions and Evidence 3: e12118. https://doi.org/10.1002/2688-8319.12118

Ghoddousi A., Van Cayzeele C., Negahdar P, Soofi M., Hamidi A.Kh., Bleyhl B., Fandos G., Khorozyan I., Waltert M., Kuemmerle T. 2022. Understanding spatial patterns of poaching pressure using ranger logbook data to optimize future patrolling strategies. Ecological Applications (Online). https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2601

Soofi M., Qashqaei A.T., Mousavi M., Hadipour E., Filla M., Kiabi B.H., Bleyhl B., Ghoddousi A., Balkenhol N., Andrew Royle N., Pavey C.R., Khorozyan I., Waltert M. 2022. Quantifying the relationship between prey density, livestock and illegal killing of leopards. Journal of Applied Ecology 59:1536–1547. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.14163

Soofi M., Qashqaei A., Trei J.-N., Shokri S. Selyari J., Ghasemi B., Sepahvand P., Egli L., Nezami B., Zamani N., Yusefi G.H., Kiabi B.H., Balkenhol N., Royle A., Pavey C.R., Redpath S.M., Waltert M. 2022. A novel application of hierarchical modelling to decouple sampling artifacts from socio-ecological effects on poaching intensity. Biological Conservation (Online). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109488

Soofi M., Sharma S., Safaei-Mahroo B., Sohrabi M., Organli M.G., Waltert M. 2022. Lichens and animal camouflage: some observations from central Asian ecoregions. Journal of Threatened Taxa 14: 20672-20676. https://threatenedtaxa.org/index.php/JoTT/article/view/7558.

Soofi M., Soufi M., Royle A., Waltert M., Khorozyan I. 2022. Numbers and presence of guarding dogs affect wolf and leopard predation on livestock in northeastern Iran. Basic And Applied Ecology 64: 147-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2022.08.001

Soofi M., Khorozyan I., Ghasemi B. 2022. Coexistence between leopards and local people – challenges and solutions. Catnews Special Issue 15: 50-56.

Yusefi, G.H., Brito J.C., Soofi M., Safi K. 2022. Hunting and persecution drive mammal declines in Iran. Scientific Reports. 12,17743. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-22238-5

Ahmadpour M., Shokri S., Varasteh-Moradi H., Waltert M., Khorozyan I., Soofi M. 2021. The occurrence of the rare corsac fox (Vulpes corsac) in Iran is mainly determined by prey presence and land use. Journal of Arid Environments 189: 104475. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2021.104475

Bleyhl B., Ghoddousi A., Askerov E., Bocedi G., Breitenmoser U., Manvelyan K., Palmer S.C.F., Soofi M., Weinberg P., Zazanashvili N., Shmunk V., Zurell D., Kuemmerle T. 2021. Reducing persecution is more effective for restoring large carnivores than restoring their prey. Ecological Applications e02338. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2338

Husemann, M., Rajaei, H., Saboori, A., Zahiri, R., Yusefi, Gh.H., Soofi, M., Elisabeth Haring, Joger, U. 2021. Editorial: Special issue on Iran's zoological biodiversity. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 59: 1515. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzs.12549

Shokri Sh., Jafari, A., Rabei K., Hadipour E., Alinejad H., Zeppenfeld T., Soufi M., Zehzad B., Kiabi H. B., Pavey R. Ch., Balkenhol N., Waltert M., Soofi M. 2021. Conserving populations at the edge of their geographic range: the endangered Caspian red deer (Cervus elaphus maral) across protected areas of Iran. Biodiversity and Conservation 30: 85–105 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-020-02077-4

Kuemmerle T., Bluhm H., Ghoddousi A., Arakelyan M., Askerov E., Bleyhl B., Ghasabian M., Gavashelishvili A., Heidelberg A., Malkhasyan A., Manvelyan K., Soofi M., Yarovenko Y., Weinberg P., Zazanashvili N. 2020. Identifying priority areas for restoring mountain ungulates in the Caucasus ecoregion. Conservation Science and Practice 2:e276. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.276

Ghoddousi A., Bleyhl B., Sichau C., Ashayeri D., Moghadas P., Sepahvand P, Hamidi A.Kh., Soofi M., Kuemmerle T. 2020. Mapping connectivity and conflict risk to identify safe corridors for the Persian leopard. Landscape Ecology 35: 1809–1825. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-020-01062-0

Khorozyan I., Ghoddousi S., Soufi M., Soofi M. and Waltert M. 2020. Studded leather collars are very effective in protecting cattle from leopard (Panthera pardus) attacks. Ecological Solutions and Evidence 1: e12013. https://doi.org/10.1002/2688-8319.12013 Media Coverage: [The Applied Ecologist]

Soofi M., Ghoddousi A., Zeppenfeld T., Shokri S., Soufi M., Egli L., Jafari A., Ahmadpour M., Qashqaei A., Ghadirian T., Filla M., Kiabi B., Balkenhol N., Waltert M. and Khorozyan I. 2019 Assessing the relationship between the intensity of illegal hunting of ungulates, wild prey occurrence and livestock depredation rate by large carnivores. Journal of Applied Ecology 56: 365-374. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13266

Ghoddousi A., Soofi M., Hamidi A. Kh., Ashayeri S., Egli L., Ghoddousi S., Speicher J., Khorozyan I., Kiabi B.H. and Waltert M. 2019. The decline of ungulate populations in Iranian protected areas calls for urgent action against poaching. Oryx 53: 151-158. https://doi.org/10.1017/S003060531600154X

Bleyhl, B., Arakelyan, M., Askerov, E., Bluhm, H., Gavashelishvili, A., Ghoddousi, A., Heidelberg, A., Khorozyan, I., Malkhasyan, A., Manvelyan, K., Masoud, M., Moqanaki, E., Radeloff, V.C., Soofi, M., Weinberg, P., Zazanashvili, N., Kuemmerle, T. (2019): Assessing niche overlap between domestic and threatened wild sheep to identify conservation priority areas. Diversity and Distribution 25,129–141. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12839

Zamani, A, Marusik, Y.M, Soofi, M., Koponen, S., Caleb, J.T.D., Šestáková, A. (2019): First record of Poltys nagpurensis (Araneae: Araneidae) from Iran. Arachnology Letters 57:4-7. https://doi.org/10.30963/aramit5702

Soofi M., Ghoddousi A., Zeppenfeld T., Shokri S., Soufi M., Jafari A., Ahmadpour M., Qashqaei A.T., Egli L., Ghadirian T., Chahartagh N.R., Zehzad B., Kiabi B.H., Khorozyan I., Balkenhol N. and Waltert M. 2018. Livestock grazing in protected areas and its effects on large mammals in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran. Biological Conservation 217: 377–382. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2017.11.020

Meinecke L., Soofi M., Riechers M., Khorozyan I., Hosseini H., Schwarze S. and Waltert M. 2018. Crop variety and prey richness affect spatial patterns of human-wildlife conflicts in Iran’s Hyrcanian forests. Journal for Nature Conservation 43: 165-172. DOI:10.1016/j.jnc.2018.04.005

Khorozyan, I., Ghoddousi, S., Soufi, M., Soofi, M., Waltert, M. (2018): Cattle selectivity by leopards suggest ways to mitigate human-leopard conflict. Ecology and Evolution. 16, 811-8018. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4351

Feizpour, Sh., Müller B., Soofi M., Fekrat L., Rajaei H. (2018): Alsophila aescularia (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775). A genus and species new to the fauna of Iran, a species from a threatened habitat (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Ennominae). Spixiana 41, 111-115.

Ghadirian, T., Qashqaei, A.T., Soofi, M., Abolghasemi, H., Ghoddousi, A. (2017): Diet of Asiatic black bear in its westernmost distribution range, southern Iran. Ursus 28,15-19. https://doi.org/10.2192/URSU-D-16-00003.1

Soofi, M., Ghoddousi, A., Hamidi, A.Kh., Ghasemi, B., Egli, L., Vionopol-Sassu A., Kiabi, B., Balkenhol, N., Khorozyan, I., Waltert, M. (2017): Precision and reliability of indirect population assessments for the Caspian red deer (Cervus elaphus maral). Wildlife Biology https://doi.org/10.2981/wlb.00230

Soofi, M., Qashqaei, A., Aryal, A., Coogan, S.C.P. (2017): Autumn food habits of the brown bear Ursus arctos in the Golestan National Park: a pilot study in Iran. Mammalia 82: 338–342. https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2016-0051

Khorozyan, I., Lumetsberger, T., Ghoddousi, A., Soofi, M., Waltert, M. (2017): Global patterns of biomass models describing consumption of wild and domestic prey by big cats. Mammal Review 47,124-132. https://doi.org/10.1111/mam.12084

Ghoddousi, A., Soofi, M., Hamidi, A.Kh., Lumetsberger, T., Egli, L., Ashayeri, A., Khorozyan, I., Kiabi, B., Waltert, M. (2017): When pork is not on the menu: assessing trophic competition between large carnivores and poachers. Biological Conservation 209, 223-229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.02.032

Khorozyan, I., Soofi, M., Soufi, M., Hamidi, A.Kh., Ghoddousi, A., Waltert, M. (2017): Effects of shepherds and dogs on livestock depredation by leopards (Panthera pardus) in north-eastern Iran. PeerJ 5:e3049. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3049

Ghoddousi, A., Egli, L., Soofi, M., Khorozyan, I., Waltert, M. (2017): After sanctions: the urge to upgrade and integrate conservation in Iran. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 15,9-10. https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.1452

Soofi, M., Ghoddousi, A, Egli, E, Khorozyan, I, Waltert, M. (2017): Incorrect identification of study species. Comparative Clinical Pathology 26, 9-10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00580-016-2371-5

Zarei, F., Hosseini, N., Amini, S.S., Pezeshk, J., Soofi, M., Esmaeili, H.R. (2017): A new locality of the Kurdistan newt, Neurergus derjugini derjugini (Nesterov, 1916) (Urodela: Salamandridae) represents a large population in Iran: Implication for conservation. Herpetology Notes, 10:611-614.

Ghoddousi, A., Hamidi, A.Kh., Soofi, M., Khorozyan, I., Kiabi, B., Waltert, M. (2016): Effects of ranger stations on predator and prey distribution and abundance in an Iranian steppe landscape. Animal Conservation 19, 273-280. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12240

Ghoddousi, A., Soofi, M., Hamidi, A.Kh., Lumetsberger, T., Egli, L., Khorozyan, I., Kiabi, B., Waltert, M. (2016): Assessing the role of big cat prey choice using spatiotemporal availability patterns. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0153439. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0153439

Khorozyan, I., Soofi, M., Ghoddousi, A., Hamidi, A.Kh., Waltert, M. (2015): The relationship between climate, diseases of domestic animals and human-carnivore conflicts. Basic and Applied Ecology16, 703713. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2015.07.001

Khorozyan, I., Ghoddousi, A., Soofi, M., Waltert, M. (2015): Big cats kill more livestock when wild prey reaches a minimum threshold. Biological Conservation192, 268-275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.09.031

Khorozyan, I., Soofi, M., Hamidi, A.Kh., Ghoddousi, A., Waltert, M. (2015): Veterinary services is associated with leopard (Panthera pardus) predation on domestic animals. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0129221. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0134886

Soufi, M., Nasserzadeh, H., Kami, H. Gh., Zehzad, B., Kiabi, B.H., Qashqaei, A.T. (2013): First record of the Truly Aquatic Spider, Argyroneta aquatic (Clerck, 1757) in Iran (Araneae Cybaeidae). Zoology in the Middle East 2,186-188. https://doi.org/10.1080/09397140.2013.810889

Rogers, Ch., Soufi, M. (2013): A new species of Chirocephalus (Crustacea: Anostraca) from Iran. Zootaxa 3609, 319-326. https://www.biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.3609.3.6