Ecological Novelty

Research group of Jonathan Jeschke
Novel organisms (neuartige Organismen). | Foto: Jonathan Jeschke u.a. / IGB

Novel organisms. | Photo: Jonathan Jeschke a.o. / IGB

Ecological research has traditionally focused on pristine environments. In the Anthropocene, however, it has become increasingly important to understand ecological and evolutionary effects of human action.

Ecological novelty is an umbrella term for unprecedented, human-mediated changes at different ecological levels, from organisms and populations to communities, ecosystems and landscapes. These direct and indirect effects of human action lead, for instance, to novel organisms and novel communities which we investigate in our group. Examples for novel organisms include: invasive species (our main research focus), range-expanding species, genetically modified organisms, synthetic organisms, and emerging pathogens. Novel communities are species communities with no historical analogue, resulting from (i) the arrival of novel organisms (our focus) and/or (ii) abiotic human-driven changes.

The research methods we apply are largely theoretical (but also partly empirical) and focused on major hypotheses and research questions of the field. For example, we collect, structure and analyse data that are available for leading hypotheses, and we create conceptual maps of research fields by connecting related hypotheses. This is achieved with novel tools for research synthesis which we continue to develop with collaborators across the globe - tools that transform information into knowledge.


Tina Heger

Scientific Staff
Research group
Ecological Novelty

Steph Tyszka

Scientific Staff
Research group
Ecological Novelty
Selected publications
May 2020

A conceptual map of invasion biology: integrating hypotheses into a consensus network

Martin Enders; Frank Havemann; Florian Ruland; Maud Bernard-Verdier; Jane A. Catford; Lorena Gómez-Aparicio; Sylvia Haider; Tina Heger; Christoph Kueffer; Ingolf Kühn; Laura A. Meyerson; Camille Musseau; Ana Novoa; Anthony Ricciardi; Alban Sagouis; Conrad Schittko; David L. Strayer; Montserrat Vilà; Franz Essl; Philip E. Hulme; Mark van Kleunen; Sabrina Kumschick; Julie L. Lockwood; Abigail L. Mabey; Melodie A. McGeoch; Estíbaliz Palma; Petr Pyšek; Wolf-Christian Saul; Florencia A. Yannelli; Jonathan M. Jeschke
Global Ecology and Biogeography. - 29(2020)6, S. 978-991
November 2019

Towards an integrative, eco-evolutionary understanding of ecological novelty: studying and communicating interlinked effects of global change

Tina Heger; Maud Bernard-Verdier; Arthur Gessler; Alex D. Greenwood; Hans-Peter Grossart; Monika Hilker; Silvia Keinath; Ingo Kowarik; Christoph Kuefer; Elisabeth Marquard; Johannes Müller; Stephanie Niemeier; Gabriela Onandia; Jana S. Petermann; Matthias C. Rillig; Mark-Oliver Rödel; Wolf-Christian Saul; Conrad Schittko; Klement Tockner; Jasmin Joshi; Jonathan M. Jeschke
BioScience. - 69(2019)11, S. 888-899
May 2018

Invasion biology: hypotheses and evidence

edited by Jonathan M. Jeschke and Tina Heger
Wallingford ; Boston, MA : CABI, 2018. - X, 177 S. - (CAB International ; 9)

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