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PD Dr. Thilo Heinken

Foto zeigt PD Dr. Thilo Heinken


Campus Maulbeerallee
Haus 3, Raum 1.01
Maulbeerallee 3
14469 Potsdam

Research interests

My research focus is the ecology of plant species and plant communities and their interaction with the abiotic and biotic environment. Particularly, I am interested in applied aspects, especially in nature conservation. The focus is on:

  • Long-term changes in forest vegetation as a result of immissions, land use and climate change in northern Germany and in the European context (FLEUR, forestREplot)
  • Restoration ecology of forests, especially lichen-pine forests
  • Effects of forest fires in north-east German pine forests and strategies to deal with them (PYROPHOB)
  • Assessing the phytodiversity of European forest ecosystems
  • Effects of habitat fragmentation on plant populations
  • Dispersal in space and time, with special emphasis on vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens in forest ecosystems
Foto zeigt PD Dr. Thilo Heinken


Campus Maulbeerallee
Haus 3, Raum 1.01
Maulbeerallee 3
14469 Potsdam


  • 2004 Habilitation, Venia legendi in Botany; Free University Berlin
  • 1990–1994 PhD, Systematic-Geobotanical Institute, University of Göttingen
  • 1983-1989 Study and Diploma in biology, Georg-August University of Göttingen

Academic positions & professional experience

  • since 2003 Research associate (since 2004: associate professor) at the Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam
  • 2002–2003 Visiting lecturer at the Institute for Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam (in place of the Chair of Botany and Community Ecology)
  • 1996–2001 Research associate (PostDoc) at the Institute for Biology, Free University Berlin
  • 1994–1996 Project manager, Landscape Planning Office G. von Luckwald (Hameln)
  • 1993 Emloyee, Landscape Planning Office Büro für Umweltbiologische Studien (Bodensee/Göttingen)
  • 1990–1992 Scientific assistant, Systematic-Geobotanical Institute, University of Göttingen



Memberships & functions

  • since 2012 Editor-in-Chief of the journal Tuexenia
  • IAVS – International Association for Vegetation Science
  • GfÖ – Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • Floristisch-soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft (FlorSoz)
  • Botanischer Verein von Berlin und Brandenburg e.V. (chair 2008 - 2012)
  • Freundeskreis des Botanischen Gartens Potsdam e.V. (chair 2008 - 2022)

Reviews for scientific journals

American Journal of Botany; Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment; Applied Vegetation Science; Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research; Austral Ecology; Basic and Applied Ecology; Biodiversity and Conservation; Biological Reviews; Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment; BMC Ecology; Botanica Helvetica; Bryologist; Community Ecology; Cryptogamie, Bryologie; Ecology; Ecology and Evolution; Ecosphere; Ecological Engineering; Environmental Pollution; European Journal of Forest Research; Evolutionary Ecology; Ferrantia; Folia Geobotanica; Forestry; Forests; Flora – Plant Morphology, Distribution and Functional Ecology; Global Ecology and Conservation, Herzogia; ISRN Forestry; Journal of Ecology; Journal of Tropical Ecology; Journal of Vegetation Science; Nordic Journal of Botany; Nova Hedwigia; Oikos; Oecologia; Peckiana; Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics; Phyton; Plant Biology; Plant Ecology; Plant Species Biology; PLOS ONE; Polar Biology; Scientific Reports; Seed Science Research; Silva Fennica; Tuexenia; Verhandlungen des Botanischen Vereins von Berlin und Brandenburg; Wildlife Biology