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Muhammad Shahbaz

Muhammad Shahbaz
I’m the newest addition to the Soil and Environment department (as a postdoc), having recently completed my PhD at Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany, where I worked with the Prof. Kuzyakov group in the Department of Agricultural Soil Sciences. After receiving my master degree in Soil Science at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan, I became interested in the use of the stable (13C/15N) and radioactive (14C) isotopes for understanding the processes involved in soil organic matter stabilization after C_inputs. Accordingly, during my Ph.D. I worked on exploring the mechanisms involves in soil organic matter stabilization, by using contrasting quality of crop residues (13C/15N labeled) and labile substrate (14C labeled glucose). In my free time, I enjoy playing with my son, reading, watching movies, and traveling.



Soil biology and biogeochemical cycles (student project supervisor)

Pedagogical pieces of training:

Teaching in higher education (3 weeks)

Doctoral supervision (3 weeks)

Grading assessment (1 week)

Critical thinking in higher education (2 weeks) 

Education for sustainable development (2 days)



In the Dr. Gunnar Börjesson lab, I’m working on the project “Turnover of organic matter in agricultural soil throughout the year” in a long-term experiment (started in 1956). In the proposed project, we aim at investigating how much of the old organic matter (C3-before 2000) in agricultural soils is decomposed by microbes, and how much of new plant material (C4-after 2000) that is converted to stabilized humus, as an effect of different fertilizer strategies. Thus, I’m looking to better understand the role of microbial communities in degrading the old and recent soil organic matter. New technologies are planned to be used, combining analysis of stable isotopes (13C/12C) in soil respiration and in PLFAs (phospholipid fatty acids) in microbes with molecular biology (sequencing of DNA markers) methods. This will give a better understanding of SOM dynamics in the agricultural ecosystem. The project has a direct impact on the national reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and will provide a scientific basis for policy instruments aiming at management practices for increasing soil fertility and carbon sequestration.



Since May 2017: Postdoc researcher (project: Turnover of organic matter in agricultural soil throughout the year) with Assoc. Prof. Gunnar Börjesson at the department of soil and environment, SLU, Uppsala 

2013-2014: Research assistant in a project "Role of abscisic acid and acid invertase activity in kernel setting of maize under salt stress" at the Institute of plant nutrition, Justus liebig university Giessen, Germany

2011-2012: Research assistant in a project "Role of foliar feeding technology in yield maximization of the cotton crop" Institute of Soil and Environment, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan


Ph.D. (Feb 2017) – Agricultural Soil Sciences
Georg-august University of Göttingen Germany

Dissertation: Crop residue decomposition and stabilization in soil organic matter

M.S. – Soil and Environmental Sciences
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

B.S. – Soil and Environmental Sciences
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Selected publications

Shahbaz M, Menichetti L, Käterrer T, Börjesson G (2019) Impact of long-term N fertilisation on CO2 evolution from old and young SOM pools measured during the maize cropping season. Science of the Total Environment.

Fan L, Shahbaz M, Tida G, Wu J, Dippold M, Thiel V, Kuzyakov Y, Drodonikov M (2019) To shake or not to shake: 13C-based evidence on anaerobic methane oxidation in paddy soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.

Fan L, Shahbaz M, Tida G, Wu J, Kuzyakov Y, Drodonikov M (2019) To shake or not to shake: silicone tube approach for incubation studies on CH4 oxidation in submerged soils. Science of the Total Environment.

Shahbaz M, Kumar A, Kuzyakov Y, Börjesson G, Blagodatskaya E (2018) Interactive priming effect of labile carbon and crop residues depends on residue decomposition stage: a three source partitioning to evaluate mechanisms. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.

Shahbaz M,Kumar A, Kuzyakov Y, Börjesson G, Blagodatskaya E (2018) Priming effects induced by glucose and decaying plant residues on SOM decomposition: A three-source 13C/14C partitioning study. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.

Kumar A, Shahbaz M, Blagodatskaya E, Kuzyakov Y, Pausch J (2018) Maize phenology alters the distribution of enzyme activity in soil: field estimates. Applied Soil Ecology.

Shahbaz M, Kuzyakov Y, Maqsood S, Weendlad M, Heitkamp F (2017) Decadal nitrogen fertilization decreases mineral-associated and subsoil carbon. Land Degradation & Development. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2667

Shahbaz M, Kuzyakov Y, Heitkamp F (2017) Decrease of soil organic matter stabilization with increasing inputs: mechanisms and controls. Geoderma.  DOI:10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.05.019

Shahbaz M, Kuzyakov Y, Sanaullah M, Heitkamp F, Zelenev V, Kumar A, Blagodatskaya E (2017) Microbial decomposition of soil organic matter is mediated by quality and quantity of crop residues: mechanisms and thresholds. Biology and Fertility of soils. DOI : 10.1007/s00374-016-1174-9

Shahbaz M, Akhtar MJ, Ahmed W, Wakeel A (2014) Integrated effect of different N-fertilizer rates and bioslurry application on growth and N-use efficiency of okra (Hibiscus esculentus L.). Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. DOI:10.3906/tar-1303-65

Yaseen M, Ahmed W, Shahbaz M (2013) Role of foliar feeding of micronutrients in yield maximization of cotton in Punjab. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. DOI:10.3906/tar-1206-56

Postdoctor at the Department of Soil and Environment; Mark och miljö, Växtnäringslära
Telephone: 018-672094, 072-2303489