Esmaeil Nasrollahiazar

Esmaeil Nasrollahiazar

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Viticulture Extension Educator




Growing up on my grandfather's farm and in my father's orchards gave me experience in plant and fruit cultivation and made me interested in studying agricultural science. After graduating in 2005 from the University in Iran with a B.Sc. in Agronomy and Plant Breeding, I accepted a position at the Seed and Plant Certification and Registration Institute (SPCRI), a governmental agricultural institution. While working I graduated from the university with my MS degree in Agronomy.
My enthusiasm for wine and agriculture prompted me to return to school for another master’s degree. In 2017, I pursued my second master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy and graduated in November 2018.
I came to Michigan State University as a visiting scholar in the Department of Horticulture to work in Dr. Paolo Sabbatini's viticulture laboratory. Following the completion of my visiting scholar program in 2020, I was hired by Michigan State University Extension as a Viticulture Extension Educator.

Research Interests

My research interests are centered on utilizing state-of-the-art Spectroscopy and Image Analysis (IA) techniques to evaluate plant growth, conduct advanced phenotyping, assess varietal true-to-type, and measure varietal performance. Through the integration of these cutting-edge technologies, my aim is to enhance our understanding of plant development and improve crop yield and quality, thereby assisting grapevine breeders in evaluating genotypes that are in development.


November, 2018

Master’s degree in  Viticulture and Enology, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy  Supervisor: Prof. Stefano Poni

February 2013

Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering - Agronomy, Islamic Azad University Karaj Branch, Iran. Thesis Title: An image analysis for the determination of genetic purity of different wheat varieties.  Supervisors: G. Tohidloo, M. Dehghanshoar  and S. Mobasser

February 2003

Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering - Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Islamic Azad University Karaj Branch, Iran.

Professional experience

June 2020 – Current

Viticulture Extension Educator

Michigan State University Extension

8527 E-Government Center Dr, Suttons Bay, USA

July, 2018 – June 2020

Scholar Visitor/Research Assistant

Paolo Sabbatini Lab (Viticulture) and Todd Einhorn Lab (Pomology).  College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Department of Horticulture, East Lansing, USA

January, 2016 – 2017

Seed Bank Coordinator

Seed bank of Department of Plant Variety Registration (PVR) of the Seed and Plant Certification & Registration Institute (SPCRI) Karaj, Iran.

Sep, 2009 – 2016

Image Analysis Lab Coordinator

Image Analysis Lab of the Department of Plant Variety Registration (PVR) of the Seed and Plant Certification & Registration Institute (SPCRI), Karaj, Iran.

2005 – 2017

Plant Variety Protection Examiner (DUS Exams)[1]

Seed and Plant Certification & Registration Institute (SPCRI) Plant Variety Registration (PVR) Dep, Karaj, Iran.

[1] Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) exams are tests used to evaluate a new plant variety's novelty, consistency, and stability. They assess the unique features that distinguish the new variety from existing ones, ensure the consistency of these features across different plants, and verify the variety's ability to maintain these characteristics over time. These tests are crucial in plant variety protection and are used to determine legal protection for the new variety.

Fundraising History


Meeting Michigan's Grape and Wine Industry's Educational Needs in 2023, Michigan Craft and Beverage Council ($26500.00).


Grant to provide scholarship, Michigan State Horticultural Society, (8,000.00).


Monitoring statewide grapevine cold hardiness evaluations in order to develop the Michigan Grapevine Cold Hardiness Model. Michigan State University AgBioResearch Project GREEEN Funding system ($40,000.00). This project leveraged matching funds from the Michigan Craft and Beverage Council ($20,172.43).               


Meeting Michigan Grape and Wine Industry's Educational Needs. Michigan Craft and Beverage Council ($ 21,746.00).


Project title: Cold Hardiness Monitoring for Grapevines in Northwest Michigan. Michigan State University AABI Programming Fund ($12,500).                                 


Project title: Looking into the effectiveness of triggering the grape gene contributing to anthocyanin biosynthesis. Parallel 45 Vines & Wines ($1900).                 

Recent publications and presentations:

VanderWeide, J; Del Zozzo,, F; Nasrollahiazar, E; Kennedy, JA; Peterlunger, E; Rustioni, L; Sabbatini, P. 2022. Influence of freezing and heating conditions on grape seed flavan-3-ol extractability, oxidation, and galloylation pattern, nature Scientific Reports, 12, Article number: 3838

Del Zozzo, F; VanderWeide, J; Nasrollahiazar, E; Peterlunger,E; Rustioni, L; Sabbatini, P. 2022. Artificial ripening of grape seed phenolics in Pinot noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. BIO Web Conf, doi: 10.1051/bioconf/20224406002

VanderWeide, J; Del Zozzo,, F; Nasrollahiazar, E; Kennedy, JA; Peterlunger, E; Sabbatini, P. 2021. Natural and Artificial Oxidation of Grape Seed Phenolics are Influenced by Extractability and Galloylation Pattern. Research Square, doi: 10.21203/

VanderWeide, J; Gottschalk, C; Schultze, SR; Nasrollahiazar, E; Poni, S; Sabbatini, P. 2021. Impacts of pre-bloom leaf removal on wine grape production and quality parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in plant science, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.621585

Moslemkhani, C; Hassani, F; Nasrollahiazar, E; Khelgatibana, F. 2019. Potential of spectroscopy for discrimination of PVY infected potato from healthy plants. Journal of Crop Protection. Vol.8 No.2 pp.143-151 ref.16

Van-Timmeren, S., Perkins, J., Sloan, C., García-Salazar, C., Reinke, M., Nasrollahiazar, E., Irish-Brown, A., Vandenberg, L., Plotkowski, D., Isaacs, R., M. 2022. Understanding the risk of Oriental beetle to Michigan blueberries Completed. Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo & Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo, Grand Rapids, Michigan.