Dr. Katja Heubel

Head of group

Hafentörn 1, 25761 Büsum
Phone: +49 4834 604 203
Telefax: +49 4834 604 299

Research Interests

Animal evolutionary ecologist with a strong background in aquatic ecology, behavioural ecology and biodiversity. Expertise in experimental approaches and knowledge in theoretical evolutionary ecology. Research focus on eco-evolutionary links in population ecology, sexual selection, life-history evolution, context-dependent reproductive decisions, behavioural adaptations to changing ecological contexts, and dynamics of sexual-asexual coexistence.

Google Scholar

Research gate



About me

I studied biology in Kiel and Odense and worked for my PhD on sexual-asexual coexistence at the Universities of Hamburg and Austin, Texas. After defending my thesis [LINK: http://www.sub.uni-hamburg.de/opus/volltexte/2004/2242/ ] in Hamburg, I went for a postdoc to Helsinki. I quite liked Finland and I stayed for another postdoc (working with Kai Lindström and Hanna Kokko, trying to combine theoretical and experimental work on sexual selection and fish behaviour) and continued for two years as a lecturer. I returned to Germany as a Junior Research Group leader (funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung) at the universities of Tübingen and Cologne working on context-dependent plasticity of sexual selection in gobies. In May 2019, i finally moved back to the coast heading the research group "Coastal ecology".

Curriculum Vitae

Academic education and degrees

 Academic positions

Since 5/2019

Research Associate at the FTZ, Head of working group Coastal Ecology.


Research Associate at the Ecological Research Station Rees, University of Cologne.


Research Associate, Independent Research Group Leader, Animal Evolutionary Ecology, University of Tübingen.


University lecturer for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Helsinki.


Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki.


DAAD Research fellowship University of Texas in Austin, USA.


Research Associate at the Zoological Institute, University of Hamburg, Germany.


Teaching and Supervision

Teaching philosophy

I enjoy and value teaching as an essential part of a researcher’s role in the scientific community. Teaching is most rewarding when I can link it to current research and when I succeed in inspiring and motivating students in a way that the learning content becomes the student’s own interest. I try to facilitate deeper learning and my aim is to offer a stimulating and motivating environment. Hence, I encourage students to make progress through independent activities rather than memorizing. It is the teacher’s responsibility to maintain interest, motivate to deeper learning and to provide an atmosphere and environment for learning, as well as keeping the time, pace and focus on aims, goals and agreed objectives. The allegory of a midwife illustrates my teaching philosophy and personal perception of the teacher’s role. She has the routine, calmness, experience, knowledge and can help, assist, and demand – but the student has eventually to do the work. However, it is also the midwife’s responsibility to ensure a safe and suitable environment and atmosphere.


Teaching experience:

  • 2016-2019
    BSc and MSc level in Ecology, University of Cologne.

  • 2011-2019
    BSc, MSc, and PhD level in Zoology, Biostatistics, Ecology, Evolution, and Skills, University of Tübingen.

  • 2005-2016
    MSc and PhD level in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Helsinki.

  • 2000-2004
    Teaching in Behavioural Ecology, University of Hamburg

Supervision experience:

1 Postdoc, 2 PhD students, 13 MSc students, 14 BSc students, 3 teacher thesis projects. As member of PhD Advisory Committee: 8 PhD students.