Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

Dr. Arash Ghoddousi







Office location



Postal address


Postdoctoral researcher




Rudower Chaussee 16, Room 2'105

+49 (0)30 2093-5394

+49 (0)30 2093-6848

Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany


Credit Arash Ghoddousi 2.JPG

Curriculum Vitae


since 2016   Postdoctoral researcher, Geography Department, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany

2012 - 2016


PhD, J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology & Anthropology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

2009 - 2010


MSc & DIC, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, UK

2002 - 2007


BSc, Department of Biology, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran

A detailed CV can be found here.


Research interests


My interests lie in understanding how ecological and social factors interact in natural systems and how they impact the effectiveness of conservation interventions. The focus of my research is in understanding and improving the effectiveness of protected areas and law enforcement mechanisms, offering insight into human-wildlife conflict and poaching, as well as, improving methods in monitoring large mammals. I am particularly interested in the conservation of big cats and mountain ungulates with a special focus on southwest Asia and the Caucasus. My current project (PArCS) focuses on understanding the effects of socioeconomic and political shocks on protected area effectiveness in the Caucasus.




Selected publications in peer-reviewed journals

  • Ghoddousi, A., Van Cayzeele, C., Negahdar, P., Soofi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Bleyhl, B., Fandos, G., Khorozyan, I., Waltert, M. & Kuemmerle, T. Understanding spatial patterns of poaching pressure using ranger logbook data to optimize future patrolling strategies. Ecological Applications 32(5): e2610
  • Davoli, M., Ghoddousi, A., Sabatini, F. M., Fabbri, E., Caniglia, R., & Kuemmerle, T. Changing patterns of conflict between humans, carnivores and crop-raiding prey as large carnivores recolonize human-dominated landscapes. Biological Conservation, 269, 109553.
  • Soofi, M., T. Qashqaei, A., Mousavi, M., Hadipour, E., Filla, M., H. Kiabi, B., Bleyhl, B., Ghoddousi, A., Balkenhol, N., Royle, A., Pavey, C.R., Khorozyan, I. & Waltert, M. Quantifying illegal killing of leopards and its relationship with wild prey abundance and livestock density. Journal of Applied Ecology 59(6): 1536-1547.
  • Akramov, U., Najmiddinov, N., Ghoddousi, A., Khanyari, M., Moheb, Z., Sepahvand, P., Bhatnagar, Y.V. & Herrero. Markhor Capra falconeri monitoring in Tajikistan shows population recovery. Oryx 56(4): 493.
  • Ghoddousi, A., Loos, J. & Kuemmerle, T. An outcome-oriented, social-ecological framework for assessing protected area effectiveness. BioScience 72(2): 201-212.
  • Khalatbari, O’Neil, Ostrowski, Yusefi, Ghoddousi, Abolghasemi***, Breitenmoser-Würsten, Breitenmoser, Brito & Durant (2021) Risk to conservation of species in the wild from promoting ex situ management: Response to Farhadinia et al. 2020. Conservation Biology 35(4): 1327-1330.
  • 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. Reducing persecution is more effective for restoring large carnivores than restoring their prey. Ecological Applications 31(5): e2338.
  • Habibzadeh, N., Ghoddousi, A., Bleyhl, B. & Kuemmerle, T. Rear-edge populations are important for understanding climate change risk and adaption potential of threatened species. Conservation Science & Practice 3(5): e375.
  • Downey, H., Amano, T., Cadotte, M., Cook, C.N., Cooke, S.J., Haddaway, N.R., Jones, J.P.G., Littlewood, N., Walsh, J.C., [...] Ghoddousi, A., [...] Sutherland, W. Training future generations to deliver evidence-based conservation and ecosystem management. Ecological Solutions & Evidence 2(1): e12032.

  • Ghoddousi, A., Buchholz, E.K., Dietsch, A.M., Williamson, M.A., Sharma, S., Balkenhol, N., Kuemmerle, T. & Dutta, T. Anthropogenic resistance: Accounting for human behavior in connectivity planning. One Earth 4(1): 39-48.

  • Kuemmerle, T., Bluhm, H., Arakelyan, M., Askerov, E., Bleyhl, B., Gavashelishvili, A., Ghasabian, M., Ghoddousi, A., Heidelberg, A., Malkhasyan, A., Manvelyan, K., Soofi, M., Yarovenko, Y., Weinberg, P. & Zazanashvili, N. Identifying priority areas for restoring mountain ungulates in the Caucasus ecoregion. Conservation Science & Practice 2(11): e76.
  • Ghoddousi, A., Bleyhl, B., Sichau, C., Ashayeri, D., Moghadas, P., Sepahvand, P., Kh. Hamidi, A., Soofi, M. & Kuemmerle, T. Mapping connectivity and conflict risk to identify safe corridors for the Persian leopard. Landscape Ecology 35, 1809–1825.
  • Ghoddousi A., Soofi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ashayeri, S., Egli, L., Ghoddousi, S., Speicher, J., Khorozyan, I., H. Kiabi, B. & Waltert, M. The decline of ungulate populations in Iranian protected areas calls for urgent actions against poaching. Oryx 53(1): 151-158.
  • 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. & Khorozyan, I. Assessing the relationship between illegal killing of ungulates, wild prey occurrence and livestock depredation rate by large carnivores. Journal of Applied Ecology 56: 365-374.
  • Bleyhl, B., Arakleyan, 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. Assessing niche overlap between domestic and threatened wild sheep to identify conservation priority areas. Diversity and Distributions 25: 129-141.
  • Ansari H., M. & Ghoddousi, A. Water availability is the main predictor of brown bear distribution at the southern edge of the species’ global range. Ursus 29 (1): 13-24.
  • Khalatbari, L., Brito, J.C., Ghoddousi, A., Abolghasemi, H., Breitenmoser, U., Breitenmoser-Würsten, Ch., Zusefi, G.H., Ostrowski, S. & Durant, S.M. Sanctioning to extinction in Iran. Science 362 (6420):1255.
  • Ghoddousi, S., Pintassilgo, P., Mendes, J., Ghoddousi, A. & Sequeira, B. Tourism and nature conservation: A case study in Golestan National Park, Iran. Tourism Management Perspectives 26: 20-27.
  • Soofi, M., Ghoddousi, A., Zeooenfeld, T., Shokri, S., Soufi, M., Jafari, A., Ahmadpour, M., T. Qashqaei, A., Egli, L., Ghadirian, T., Raeesi Chahartaghi, N., Zehzad, B., H. Kiabi, B., Khorozyan, I., Balkenhol, N. & Waltert, M. Livestock grazing in protected areas and its effects on large mammals in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran. Biological Conservation 217: 377-382.
  • Rust, N.A., Abrams, A., Challender, D.W.S., Chapron, G., Ghoddousi, A., Glikman, J.A., Gowan, C.H., Hughes, C., Rastogi, A., Said, A., Sutton, A., Taylor, N., Thomas, S., Unnikrishnan, H., Webber, A.D., Wordingham, G. & Hill, C.M. Quantity does not always mean quality: The importance of qualitative social science in conservation research. Society & Natural Resources 30(10): 1304-1310.
  • Ghadirian, T., Qashqaei, A. T., Soofi, M., Abolghasemi, H. & Ghoddousi A. Diet of Asiatic black bear in its westernmost distribution range, southern Iran. Ursus 28(1): 15-19
  • Lumetsberger, T., Ghoddousi A., Appel, A., Khorozyan, I., Waltert, M. & Kiffner, C. New leopard-specific biomass regression models call for a recalculation of leopard diet studies. Journal of Zoology 302(3): 201-210.
  • Soofi, M., Ghoddousi A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghasemi, B., Egli, L., Vionopol-Sassu, A., Kiabi, B., Balkenhol, N., Khorozyan, I. & Waltert, M. Precision and reliability of indirect population assessments for the Caspian red deer (Cervus elaphus maral). Wildlife Biology. wlb.00230
  • Khorozyan, I., Lumetsberger, T., Ghoddousi A., Soofi, M. & Waltert, M. Global patterns of biomass models describing consumption of wild and domestic prey by big cats. Mammal Review 47(2): 124-132.
  • Ghoddousi A., Soofi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Lumetsberger, T., Egli, L., Ashayeri, A., Khorozyan, I., H. Kiabi, B. & Waltert, M. When pork is not on the menu: assessing trophic competition between large carnivores and poachers. Biological Conservation 209: 223-229.
  • Khorozyan, I., Soofi, M., Soofi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi A. & Waltert, M.  Effects of shepherds and dogs on livestock depredation by leopards (Panthera pardus) in north-eastern Iran. PeerJ 5:e3049.
  • Ghoddousi A., Egli, L., Soofi, M., Khorozyan, I. & Waltert, M. After sanctions: the urge to upgrade and integrate conservation in Iran. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment 15: 9-10.
  • Ghoddousi A., Kh. Hamidi A., Soofi M., Khorozyan I., H. Kiabi B. & Waltert M. Effects of ranger stations on predator and prey distribution and abundance in an Iranian steppe landscape. Animal Conservation 19(3): 273-280.
  • Ghoddousi A., Soofi M., Kh. Hamidi A., Lumetsberger T., Egli L., Khorozyan I., H. Kiabi B. & Waltert M. Assessing the role of big cat prey choice using spatiotemporal availability patterns. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0153439.
  • Khorozyan I., Soofi M., Ghoddousi A., Kh. Hamidi A. & Waltert M. The relationship between climate, diseases of domestic animals and human-carnivore conflicts. Basic & Applied Ecology 16: 703-713.

  • Khorozyan I., Ghoddousi A., Soofi M. & Waltert M. Big cats kill more livestock when wild prey reaches a minimum threshold. Biological Conservation 192: 268-275.

  • Khorozyan I., Soofi M., Kh. Hamidi A., Ghoddousi A. & Waltert M. (2015) Veterinary services is associated with leopard (Panthera pardus) predation on domestic animals. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0129221.

  • Kabir M., Ghoddousi A., Awan M. S. & Awan M. N. Assessment of human-leopard conflict in Machiara National Park, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan. European Journal of Wildlife Research 60: 291-296.
  • Ghoddousi A., Kh. Hamidi A., Ghadirian T., Ashayeri D. & Khorozyan I. The status of the endangered Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in Bamu National Park, Iran. Oryx 44(4), 551-557.

  • Ghoddousi A., Kh. Hamidi A., Ghadirian T., Ashayeri D., Hamzeh'pour M., Moshiri H., Zohrabi H. & Julayi L. Territorial marking by Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor Pocock, 1927) in Bamu National Park, Iran. Zoology in the Middle East 44, 101-103.


A full list of my publications can be found on ResearchGate.