Paolina Garbeva

Dr. Paolina Garbeva

Senior Researcher
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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands


Microbial communities are largely shaped by chemical interaction networks mediated by specialized water-soluble and/or volatile metabolites


The focus of my current research is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of microbial chemical interactions and communication. Secondary metabolites (both volatile and water-soluble) play an important role in microbial interactions, e.g. as signalling compounds for communication or as suppressive agents in interference competition.
Using omics-based tools, advanced analytical chemistry and novel imaging techniques, my research aims to decipher, explore and exploit the so far unknown belowground microbe-microbe and plant-microbe chemical interactions and communication. Understanding the belowground inter-kingdom (bacteria, protists, fungi, plants) interactions is crucial for assessing the functioning of soil ecosystems, which underpins soil and plant health.

Research groups



  • 2015–Present
    Senior Scientist and Researcher group leader at NIOO-KNAW
  • 2013–2015
    Tenure track position within the Department of Microbial Ecology, NIOO-KNAW, VIDI personal grant (NWO)
  • 2013–2006
    Postdoctoral researcher within the Department of Microbial Ecology, VENI and MEERVOUD personal grants (NWO)


PhD degree Leiden University, the Netherlands

Projects & collaborations