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Iva Franic

My research focuses on different aspects of interactions between trees and associated organisms with the ultimate goal to improve plant biosecurity and forest health. Currently, I am studying the factors that explain vertical transmission of fungi from seeds to seedlings, which will help to better understand risks associated with seed trade. This project builds up on my PhD project which focused on exploring the factors that influence the differences in diversity of tree-associated fungi and insects on large-scales, and how this knowledge can be implemented to mitigate the risk of introduction of potentially harmful organisms via plant trade.


Postdoctoral fellow (Early Postdoc.Mobility Grant; Swiss National Science Foundation)


Guest lecturer in several BSc and MSc courses: "Selected Topics in Forest Mycology" at ETH (2020), "Broadleaves - Forest dynamics, biodiversity and management for multiple use" at SLU (2021), "Diagnosis, prevention and management of biotic forest damage" at SLU (2021) and "Trees: Structure & Function" at SLU (2021)


Currently, I work with Dr. Michelle Cleary (SLU) as a supervisor of my postdoc project which looks into nutrient utilisation, interactions and vertical transmission of seed endophytes. I am also involved in Euphresco project "Seed-borne pathogens of conifers (Cosepath)" which gathers experts on seed borne pathogens of conifers from 11 countries.


Postdoctoral researcher at Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape
Research, WSL, Birmensdorf, CH

July 2020 — October 2020

Project: "Early detection of new potential pests and pathogens, associated with dormant tree twigs, for Switzerland"

PhD candidate, collaboration between CABI, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research and University of Bern, CH

July 2016 — March 2020

Thesis: "Diversity of insects and fungi associated with trees: A plant health perspective"

Selected publications

1.      Franić I, Eschen R, Allan E, Schneider S, Hartmann M, Prospero S (2020) Drivers of richness and community composition of fungal endophytes of tree seeds. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 

2.      Franić I, Prospero S, Hartmann M, Allan E, Auger-Rozenberg M-A, Grünwald N J, Kenis M, Roques A, Schneider S, Sniezko R, Williams W, Eschen R (2019) Are traded forest tree seeds a potential source of nonnative pests? Ecological Applications. 

3.      Eschen R, De Groot M, Glavendekić M, Lacković N, Matošević D, Morales-Rodriguez C, O’ Hanlon R, Oskay F, Papazova I, Prospero S, Franić I (2019) Spotting the pests of tomorrow—Sampling designs for detection of species associations with woody plants. Journal of Biogeography.

4.      Morales-Rodríguez C, Anslan S, Auger-Rozenberg M-A, Augustin S, Baranchikov Y, Bellahirech A, Burokienė D, Čepukoit D, Çota E, Davydenko K, Doğmuş Lehtijärvi HT, Drenkhan R, Drenkhan T, Eschen R, Franić I, Glavendekić M, de Groot M, Kacprzyk M, Kenis M, Kirichenko N, Matsiakh I, Musolin DL, Nowakowska JA, O’Hanlon R, Prospero S, Roques A, Santini A, Talgø V, Tedersoo L, Uimari A, Vannini A, Witzell J, Woodward S, Zambounis A, Cleary M (2019) Forewarned is forearmed: harmonized approaches for early detection of potentially invasive pests and pathogens in sentinel plantings. NeoBiota 47: 95–123.