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My research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of tree species.

I specialized in genetic and genomic approaches to address questions regarding the local adaptation of forest tree species and the impact of plant-animal interactions on gene flow.

I am currently working as an Emmy Noether junior research group leader at the Philipps University Marburg, Germany. The Emmy Noether project focuses on the phenology of tropical tree species.

In all my projects, I use next-generation sequencing approaches as well as classical marker approaches to search for signatures of selection in forest tree populations, the imprint of gene flow on population structure, to investigate patterns of gene expression, and to tackle the association between genotype, phenotype and the environment.

Also, my research on plant adaptation brought my attention to the potential importance of epigenetic mechanisms which might critically impact the response of a plant to local and changing climatic conditions, but the importance of epigenetics in ecology and evolution is thus far little understood.

My research is mainly focused on European, and Southern and Central American tree species which by now comprise the following tree species: Abies alba, Alzatea verticillata, Betula pendulaCedrela montanaFagus sylvatica, Ficus spp. Graffenrieda emerginata, Handroanthus chrysanthusLeonia cymosa, Nothofagus pumilio,Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris, Populus nigra and Symphonia globulifera (and not to forget – one liana species – Marcgravia longifolia).




Dr. Katrin Heer


Philipps University Marburg
Conservation Biology
Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse 8
35039 Marburg, Germany




Tel. 0049 – 6421 – 2823374



Dr. Katrin Heer
+49 6421 2823374