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J. Mason Heberling

Research Interest

plant ecology, invasion biology, biogeography

Faculty Advisor(s)



2015 - Ph.D., Syracuse University


I am a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow affilated with UT Knoxville Department of EEB, based at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, co-advised by Susan Kalisz (UTK) and Stephen J. Tonsor (Carnegie Museum)


My research focuses on resource-use strategies to understand plant success in the forest understory.  Main research areas include the ecophysiological and demographic consequences of plant invasions and overabundant herbivores, forest invasions in the Eastern US, and the biogeography of plant functional traits.  I also have strong interests in using herbarium collections as a valuable, yet underutilized, resource to answer ecological and evolutionary questions.  I am currently using herbarium specimens to quantify phenotypic changes in native and invasive species through time and space.


Visit Google Scholar for More Publications

  • Heberling, J.M. & Isaac, B.L. (2017) Herbarium specimens as exaptations: new uses for old collections. American Journal of Botany. 
  • Heberling, J.M., Brouwer, N.L. & Kalisz, S. Increased light levels and photosynthetic performance of an invasive forest herb mediated by deer overabundance. AoB PLANTS Special Issue: Interactions between white-tailed deer and invasive plants in North American forests. 9: plx011.
  • Heberling, J.M., Jo, I., Kozhevnikov, A., Lee, H. & Fridley, J.D. (2017) Biotic interchange in the Anthropocene: strong asymmetry in East Asian and eastern North American plant invasions. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26: 447-458.
  • Heberling, J.M. & Fridley, J.D. (2016) Invaders do not require high resource levels to maintain physiological advantages in a temperate deciduous forest. Ecology 97: 874-884.
  • Heberling, J.M., Kichey, T., Decocq, G. & Fridley, J.D. (2016) Plant functional shifts in the invaded range: a test with reciprocal forest invaders of Europe and North America. Functional Ecology 30: 875-884.
  • Heberling, J.M & Fridley, J.D. (2013) Resource-use strategies of native and invasive plants in Eastern North American forests.  New Phytologist 200: 523-533
  • Heberling, J.M. & Fridley, J.D. (2012) Biogeographic constraints on the worldwide leaf economics spectrum. Global Ecology and Biogeography 21: 1137-1146.
  • Siefert, A., Ravenscroft, C., Althoff, D., Alvarez-Yapiz, J., Carter, E., Glennon, K., Heberling, J.M., Jo, I., Pontes, A., Sauer, A., Willis, A. & Fridley, J.D. (2012) Scale dependence of vegetation-environment relationships: a meta-analysis of multivariate data.  Journal of Vegetation Science 23: 942-951.
  • Russo, L., Stehouwer, R., Heberling, J.M. & Shea, K. (2011) The composite insect trap: an innovative combination trap for biologically diverse sampling.  PLoS ONE 6(6): e21079.
  • Zhang R., Heberling, J.M., Haner, E. & Shea, K. (2011) Tolerance of two invasive thistles to repeated disturbance.  Ecological Research 26: 575-581.

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