Dr. Tina Heger

Restoration Ecology

Emil-Ramann-Strasse 6
85354 Freising

Telefon /Phone:       +49 8161 71 3715
Fax:                        +49 8161 71 4143

email:                      t.heger[at]wzw.tum.de

Curriculum vitae

since August 2016Scientific assistant, Biodiversity Research / Systematic Botany, University of Potsdam
since 2015

Associated researcher (“Habilitandin”), Restoration Ecology, TU München

Aug 2013, Aug 2014, 

Visiting researcher at the Latimer Lab, Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, USA

2015 - 2016 

Post-doctoral researcher at Restoration Ecology, TU München

2014 - 2015

Scientific assistant at Restoration Ecology, TU München

2012 - 2014Post-doctoral researcher at Restoration Ecology, TU München

2011 - 2012

Visiting researcher at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, USA 

2010 - 2011

Scientific assistant at Restoration Ecology, TU München

2008 - 2010

Scientific assistant at Landscape Ecology, TU München

2005 - 2008 

Lecturer at Landscape Ecology, TU München

2004 - 2008

Post-doctoral researcher at Landscape Ecology, TU München

Jan. 28, 2004 Date of graduation to PhD, grade "magna cum laude"
1998 - 2003

PhD thesis in Biology at Landscape Ecology, TU München
Subject: Development and application of a conceptual model for the analysis of plant invasions

1996 - 1997

Freelance Biologist

1992 - 1996

Student of Biology, Frankfurt/Main and Hamburg


Married, two children
Parental leaves: Oct. 2000 – Apr. 2001 and Apr. 2003 – Oct. 2003

Research interests

Ecological novelty: Novel ecosystems and biological invasions

Global change brings about many changes also on a local scale. These changes lead to the fact that many species now are confronted with environments in which they did not evolve. In my point of view, this is what makes novel ecosystems and biological invasions so interesting. I am studying the mechanisms driving biological invasions, and the consequences of ecological novelty for organisms. Especially, I am interested in the effects of a lack of eco-evolutionary experience for invasion success. In the work package ‘novel ecosystems’ within the BMBF funded project Bridging in Biodiversity Science, I am studying conceptual aspects of ecological novelty.

Conceptual ecology and meta-theory of ecology

On a more general level, I am interested in the question how ecology as a science works, and how the linkage between data and theory can be improved. Together with Jonathan Jeschke, I developed the hierarchy-of-hypotheses (HoH) approach. It can be used to organize existing knowledge, and to test how good major hypotheses are covered by empirical data (see the Journal of Ecology Blog on a workshop about this topic). In a book we are editing (Jeschke and Heger, eds: Invasion Biology – Hypotheses and Evidence; CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK; spring 2018) we use this method to uncover the level of empirical evidence for twelve major hypotheses in invasion ecology. Further, the HoH approach can be used to develop research programs. Plans are to develop a web portal for biodiversity science providing a hierarchical network of major hypotheses.

Evolutionary ecology of invasive plants

When species are transported out of their area of origin, this leads to their confrontation with ‘novel’ environmental conditions. I am interested in the question which consequences this has for their establishment success in the new region. So far, we do not really know whether plants are specifically adapted to their local neighbours. For the annual grassland species Erodium cicutarium, at least the structure of the vegetation surrounding it seems to induce an adaptation (Heger et al. 2014, Heger 2016). I would like to know whether such local adaptations to biotic conditions can induce differences in establishment success in an invaded range.

Membership in scientific societies

·        Gesellschaft für Ökologie (GfÖ)

·        Verband Biologie, Biowissenschaften & Biomedizin in Deutschland (VBIO)

·        Ecological Society of America (ESA)

·        Landesbund für Vogelschutz in Bayern (LBV)



Journals with peer review

  • Yannelli, F. A., Karrer, G., Hall, R., Kollmann, J., Heger, T. (2018) Seed density is more effective than multi-trait limiting similarity in controlling grassland resistance against plant invasions in mesocosms. Applied Vegetation Science DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12373
  • Heger, T., Nikles, G. & Jacobs, B. (2018) Population differentiation in response to surrounding vegetation: Germination patterns reflect mean and variance in cover in the native and invaded range. AoB Plants 10: ply009. DOI: 10.1093/aobpla/ply009. Open access
  • Higgs, E. S., Harris, J. A., Heger, T., Hobbs, R. J., Murphy, S. D., Suding, K. N. (2018) Keeping ecological restoration open and flexible. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: 580. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0483-9 
  • Braga, R.R., Gómez-Aparicio, L., Heger, T., Vitule, J.R.S. & Jeschke, J.M. (2017) Structuring evidence for invasional meltdown: broad support but with biases and gaps. Biological Invasions. DOI:10.1007/s10530-017-1582-2
  • Heger, T. (2016) Light availability experienced in the field affects ability of following generations to respond to shading in an annual grassland plant. Journal of Ecology 104, 1432–1440.
  • Heger, T., Jacobs, B. S., Latimer, A. M., Kollmann, J. & Rice, K. J. (2014): Does experience with competition matter? Effects of source competitive environment on mean and plastic trait expression in Erodium cicutarium. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics 16: 236-246. DOI: 10.1016/j.ppees.2014.06.002
  • Heger, T. & Jeschke, J. M. (2014): The enemy release hypothesis as a hierarchy of hypotheses. Oikos 123: 741-750. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706-2013.01263.x
  • Heger, T. (2013): Evolution's Wedge: Competition and the Origins of Diversity. D. W. Pfennig, K. S. Pfennig. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California (2012). 303 pp., ISBN: 978-0-520-27418-1. Basic and Applied Ecology 14: 622.
  • Kollmann, J., Heger, T. & Jeschke, J. (2013): Auswirkungen von Neobiota auf die Biodiversität - eine Frage des Maßstabs, der Artengruppen und ökologischen Mechanismen. Berichte der Reinhold-Tüxen-Gesellschaft 25: 123-131.
  • Saul, W.-C., Jeschke, J. M. & Heger, T. (2013): The role of eco-evolutionary experience in invasion success. NeoBiota 17: 57-74. DOI: 10.3897/neobiota.17.5208
  • Heger,T., Pahl, A. T., Botta-Dukát, Z., Gherardi, F., Hoppe, C., Hoste, I., Jax, K., Lindström, L., Boets, P., Haider, S., Kollmann, J., Wittmann, M. & Jeschke, J. M.(2013): Conceptual frameworks and methods for advancing invasion ecology. AMBIO 42: 527–540. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-012-0379-x
  • Heger, T., Saul, W.-C. & Trepl, L. (2013): What biological invasions 'are' is a matter of perspective. Journal for Nature Conservation 21: 93-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnc.2012.11.002
  • Jeschke, J.M., Gómez Aparicio, L., Haider, S., Heger, T., Lortie, C.J., Pyšek, P. & D.L. Strayer (2012a): Taxonomic bias and lack of cross-taxonomic studies in invasion biology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 349-350.
  • Jeschke, J.M., Gómez Aparicio, L., Haider, S., Heger, T., Lortie, C.J., Pyšek, P. & D.L. Strayer (2012b): Support for major hypotheses in invasion biology is uneven and declining. NeoBiota 14: 1-20.
  • Heger, T. & Trepl, L. (2008): Was sind gebietsfremde Arten? Begriffe und Definitionen. Natur und Landschaft 83: 399–401.
  • Steil, J. & Heger, T. (2008): Der Mink (Mustela vison SCHREBER 1777) in Deutschland – eine Bedrohung für heimische Arten? Natur und Landschaft 83: 365–369.
  • Heger, T. & Böhmer, H. J. (2005): The invasion of Central Europe by Senecio inaequidens DC. – a complex biogeographical problem. Erdkunde 59: 34–49.
  • Heger, T. & L. Trepl (2003): Predicting biological invasions. Biological Invasions 5: 313–321.
  • Heger, T. (2000): Biologische Invasionen als komplexe Prozesse: Konsequenzen für den Naturschutz, Natur und Landschaft 75: 250–255.


Books and special issues

  • Rabitsch, W., Heger, T., Jeschke, J., Saul, W.-C. & Nehring, S. (2018): Analyse und Priorisierung der Pfade nicht vorsätzlicher Einbringung und Ausbreitung invasiver gebietsfremder Arten in Deutschland gemäß Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1143/2014 - Analysis and prioritisation of pathways of unintentional introduction and spread of invasive alien species in Germany in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014. - BfN-Skripten 490. Bundesamt für Naturschutz, Bonn - Bad Godesberg, 103 S.
  • Jeschke, J. M. & Heger, T. (eds)(2018): Invasion Biology – Hypotheses and Evidence; CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, 177 pp.
  • ANL (Bayerische Akademie für Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege) (Hrsg.) (2011): Landschaftsökologie. Grundlagen, Methoden, Anwendungen. Laufener Spezialbeiträge 2011. Redaktion: S. Haider, T. Heger und U. Schuster.
  • Heger, T. (2004): Zur Vorhersagbarkeit biologischer Invasionen. Entwicklung und Anwendung eines Modells zur Analyse der Invasion gebietsfremder Pflanzen. – Schriftenreihen Neobiota Band 4, Berlin, 197 S.
  • Böhmer, H. J., T. Heger & Trepl, L. (2001): Fallstudien zu gebietsfremden Arten in Deutschland. Case Studies on Alien Species in Germany. Texte des Umweltbundesamtes 13/01, Berlin, 126 S.
  • Körner, S., Heger, T., Nagel A. & Eisel, U. (Hrsg.) (1999): Naturbilder in Ökologie und Naturschutz. – Landschaftsentwicklung und Umweltforschung (L&U), Schriftenreihe des Fachbereichs Landschaftsentwicklung der TU Berlin 111.


Book chapters and journals without peer review

  • Heger, T. (2018): Menschen, Pflanzen, Aversionen? Gebietsfremde Arten und neuartige Ökosysteme, Nodium – Zeitschrift des Alumni-Clubs Landschaft der TU München 10: 64-67.
  • Braga, R. R., Gómez Aparicio, L., Heger, T., Vitule, J. R. S. and Jeschke, J. M. (2018): Invasional meltdown hypothesis. –  Jeschke, J. M. and Heger, T. (eds). Invasion Biology. Hypotheses and Evidence. CAB International: 79-91.
  • Heger, T. and Jeschke, J. M. (2018): The hierarchy-of-hypotheses approach. –  Jeschke, J. M. and Heger, T. (eds). Invasion Biology. Hypotheses and Evidence. CAB International: 14-18.
  • Heger, T. and Jeschke, J. M. (2018): The hierarchy-of-hypotheses approach updated - a toolbox for structuring and analysing theory, research and evidence. –  Jeschke, J. M. and Heger, T. (eds). Invasion Biology. Hypotheses and Evidence. CAB International: 38-47.
  • Heger, T. and Jeschke, J. M. (2018): Enemy release hypothesis. –  Jeschke, J. M. and Heger, T. (eds). Invasion Biology. Hypotheses and Evidence. CAB International: 92-102.
  • Heger, T. and Jeschke, J. M. (2018): Conclusions and outlook. –  Jeschke, J. M. and Heger, T. (eds). Invasion Biology. Hypotheses and Evidence. CAB International: 167-172.
  • Peratoner, G. & Heger, T. (2017): Ökologie und Management von Alpen-Kreuzkraut und Schmalblättrigem Kreuzkraut – Deutscher Verband für Landschaftspflege e.V. (DVL) (Hrsg): Kreuzkräuter und Naturschutz. Tagungsband der internationalen Fachtagung in Göttingen 2017. DVL-Schriftenreihe Landschaft als Lebensraum 23: 45-51.
  • Heger, T. (2016) Can we predict whether a species will become invasive? – Krumm, F. & Vítková, L., (eds.) Introduced tree species in European forests: opportunities and challenges. European Forest Institute: 78-84.
  • Zu Castell, W., Fleischmann, F., Heger, T. & Matyssek, R. (2015): Shaping theoretic foundations of holobiont-like systems. Progress in Botany 77: 219-244
  • Heger, T., Haider, S., Saul, W. & Jeschke, J. M. (2015): A taxon-independent invasion perspective: Phylogenetically distant species show similar invasion traits. Immediate Science Ecology 3: 1-13. DOI: 10.7332/ise2015.3.1.dsc
  • CABI (2014) Senecio inaequidens (South African ragwort) [datasheet updated by Tina Heger] - Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. www.cabi.org/isc
  • Heger, T. (2012) Richardson, D.M., Editor (2011) Fifty years of invasion ecology: the legacy of Charles Elton. - Schweizer Zeitschrift für Forstwesen 63: 284.
  • Heger, T., Weil-Jung, A., Gnädinger, J. & Jax, K. (2011) Ungleiches ungleich behandeln: Ansätze einer organismenzentrierten Ökologie – Bayerische Akademie für Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege (ANL) (Hrsg.): Landschaftsökologie. Grundlagen, Methoden, Anwendungen. Laufener Spezialbeiträge 2011: 72–77.
  • Haider, S., Heger, T., Kirchhoff, T., Schuster, U., Vicenzotti, V. & Voigt, A. (2011) Einleitung – Bayerische Akademie für Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege (ANL) (Hrsg.): Landschaftsökologie. Grundlagen, Methoden, Anwendungen. Laufener Spezialbeiträge 2011: 4–6.
  • Wolfram, E. & Heger, T. (2008): Different meanings of ‘prevention’ in plant invasion ecology: Formation of a concept. – Rabitsch, W., Essl, F. & Klingenstein, F. (Eds.): Biological Invasions – from Ecology to Conservation. Neobiota 7: 34–40.
  • Böhmer, H. J., Heger, T., Alberternst, B. & Walser, B. (2006): Ökologie, Ausbreitung und Bekämpfung des Japanischen Staudenknöterichs (Fallopia japonica) in Deutschland – ANLiegen Natur 30: 29–34.
  • Heger, T. & Böhmer, H.J. (2006): NOBANIS – Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet – Senecio inaequidens. – Online Database of the North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien SpeciesNOBANIS www.nobanis.org.
  • Heger, T. & Trepl, L. (2005): Typen biologischer Eigenschaften. – Trepl, L.: Allgemeine Ökologie, Band 1 – Organismus und Umwelt. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main: 390–394.
  • Körner, S., Heger, T., Hadbawnik, K., Jäger, K. & Vicenzotti, V. (2002): Stadtökologie und Freiraumnutzung. Freiräume an der Universität Gesamthochschule Kassel. Stadt + Grün 9: 33–43.
  • Heger, T. (2001a): Biologische Invasionen: Inwiefern sind Vorhersagen problematisch? – H. Korn und U. Feit (Hrsg.): Treffpunkt Biologische Vielfalt. Interdisziplinärer Forschungsaustausch im Rahmen des Übereinkommens über die biologische Vielfalt. Bonn, Bundesamt für Naturschutz: 165–170.
  • Heger, T. (2001b): Interpreting the process of invasion: crucial situations favouring special characteristics of invasive species. – Brundu, G., Brock, J., Camarda, I., Child, L. & Wade, M. (eds.): Plant Invasions: Species Ecology and Ecosystem Management. Backhuys Publishers. Leiden. The Netherlands: 3–10.
  • Heger, T. & Trepl, L. (2001): Was macht Arten "invasiv"? – Rundgespräche der Kommission für Ökologie der Bayrischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 22: 99–110.
  • Heger, T. (1999): Biologische Invasionen: Die Problematik fremder Arten aus ökologischer Sicht. - Körner, S., Heger, T., Nagel, A. & Eisel U. (Hrsg.): Naturbilder in Ökologie und Naturschutz, Berlin: 77–83.