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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.

Since October 2021, I work as professor of forest genetics at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg. My main project is an Emmy Noether research group 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).



Prof. Dr. Katrin Heer

Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg

Forest Genetics

Bertoldstraße 17 | 79089 Freiburg, Germany



Tel. 0049 – 761-203 3647

Prof. Dr. Katrin Heer
+49 761 203 3647