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Dr. Katja Heubel

Curriculum vitae

Research Associate, Independent Research Group Leader at Grietherbusch Ecological Research Station, University of Cologne.
2011-2016Research Associate, Independent Research Group Leader, Animal Evolutionary Ecology, University of Tübingen.
2009-2011University lecturer for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Helsinki.
2009Title of Docent (Adjunct Professor), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Helsinki.
2005–2009 Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki.
2004 Doctorate degree (Dr. rer. nat.), University of Hamburg, Germany. Thesis: “Population ecology and sexual preferences in the mating complex of the unisexual Amazon molly Poecilia formosa (GIRARD, 1859)”.
2000-2001Research fellowship for PhD studies at the University of Texas in Austin, USA.
1999-2003Research associate and doctoral student at the Zoological Institute, University of Hamburg, Germany.
1999Diplom (equivalent to MSc Biology), University of Kiel, Germany. Thesis title: “The mating system of the fruit fly Myoleja lucida (Diptera: Tephritidae)”.


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.


personal webpage:

Recent publications

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de Jong K, Amorim MCP, Fonseca PJ, Heubel KU (2018) Noise affects multimodal communication during courtship in a marine fish. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6(113). DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00113

de Jong K, Amorim MCP, Fonseca PJ, Klein A, Fox CJ, Heubel KU (2018): Noise can affect acoustic communication and subsequent spawning success in fish. Environmental Pollution 237:814-823. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.11.003

Heubel K (2018): Female mating competition alters female mating preferences in common gobies (Pomatoschistus microps). Current Zoology 64(3):351-361. DOI: 10.1093/cz/zoy024

Mück IM, Heubel, K (2018): Ecological variation along the salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea and its consequences for mating success in the common goby. Current Zoology 64(2):259-270. DOI: 10.1093/cz/zoy006


de Jong K, Schulte G, Heubel KU (2017): The noise egg: A cheap and simple device to produce low-frequency underwater noise for laboratory and field experiments. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8:268–274. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12653.

Vallon M & Heubel KU (2017): Egg density and salinity influence filial cannibalism in common gobies. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 71:159. DOI 10.1007/s00265-017-2390-5.


Blom EL, Mück I, Heubel K, and Svensson O (2016): Acoustic and visual courtship traits in two sympatric marine Gobiidae species - Pomatoschistus microps and Pomatoschistus minutus", Environmental Biology of Fishes 99(12): 999-1007. DOI: 10.1007/s10641-016-0550-5.

de Jong K, Amorim MCP, Fonseca PJ, Klein A, Heubel KU (2016): Noise affects acoustic courtship behavior similarly in two species of gobies. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics 27: 010018; 1-10. DOI: 10.1121/2.0000272.

Kalb N, Lindström K, Sprenger D, Anthes N, Heubel KU (2016): Male personality and female spawning consistency in a goby with exclusive male care. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70(5): 683-693. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-016-2089-z

Vallon M, Anthes N, Heubel KU (2016): Water mold infection but not paternity induces selective filial cannibalism in a goby. Ecology and Evolution 6(20):7221-7229. DOI:10.1002/ece3.2403.

Vallon M, Heubel KU (2016): Old but gold - Males preferentially cannibalize young eggs. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70(4): 569-573. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-016-2074-6.

Vallon M, Grom C, Kalb N, Sprenger N, Anthes N, Lindström K, Heubel KU (2016): You eat what you are: Personality-dependent filial cannibalism in a fish with paternal care. Ecology and Evolution 6(5): 1340-1352.


Earlier Publications

Lehtonen J, Schmidt DJ, Heubel K, Kokko, H. (2013): Evolutionary and ecological implications of sexual parasitism. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28:297-306.

Kokko, H. and Heubel, KU (2013): On depending on fish for a living, and other difficulties of living sustainably, in: K. Sterelny, R. Joyce, B. Calcott, and B. Fraser (Eds.), Cooperation and its Evolution Book Series, pages 75-88. MIT press.

Kokko H., Heubel KU. (2011): Prudent males, group adaptation, and the tragedy of the commons. Oikos 120(5):641-656.

Heubel KU, Rankin DJ, Kokko H (2009): How to go extinct by mating too much: Population consequences of male mate choice and efficiency in a sexual-asexual species complex. Oikos 118(4):513-520.

Heubel KU, Schlupp I (2008): Seasonal plasticity in male mating preferences in sailfin mollies. Behavioral Ecology 19(6):1080-1086

Heubel KU, Plath M (2008): Influence of male harassment and female competition on female feeding behaviour in a sexual-asexual mating complex of mollies (Poecilia mexicana, P. formosa). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62(11):1689-1699

Kokko H, Heubel K (2008): Condition-dependence, genotype-by-environment interactions and the lek paradox. Genetica 132(2):209-216

Heubel KU, Hornhardt K, Ollmann T, Parzefall J, Ryan MJ, Schlupp I (2008): Geographic variation in female mate-copying in the species complex of a unisexual fish, Poecilia formosa. Behaviour 145:1041-1064

Heubel KU, Lindström K, Kokko H (2008): Females increase current reproductive effort when future access to males is uncertain. Biology Letters 4(2):224-227

Kokko H, Heubel KU, Rankin DJ (2008): How populations persist when asexuality requires sex: the spatial dynamics of coping with sperm parasites. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 275(1636):817-825

Tobler M, Schlupp I, Heubel KU, Riesch R, de Leon FJG, Giere O, Plath M (2006): Life on the edge: hydrogen sulfide and the fish communities of a Mexican cave and surrounding waters. Extremophiles 10(6):577-585

Plath M, Seggel U, Burmeister H, Heubel KU, Schlupp I (2006) Choosy males from the underground: male mating preferences in surface- and cave-dwelling Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana). Naturwissenschaften 93(3):103-109

Heubel KU, Schlupp I (2006): Turbidity affects association behaviour in male Poecilia latipinna. Journal of Fish Biology 68(2):555-568

Plath M., Heubel K.U., de Leon F.G. & Schlupp I. (2005): Cave molly females (Poecilia mexicana, Poeciliidae, Teleostei) like well-fed males. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 58(2):144-151.

Plath M., Heubel K.U. & Schlupp I. (2005): Field observations on male mating behavior in surface- and cave-dwelling Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana, Poeciliidae). Zeitschrift für Fischkunde, 7:113-119.  Book chapter

Heubel K, Hoffmeister T-S (1999): Emancipated female flies? Mate choice in a lekking fruit fly. Proceedings of the German Society for General and Applied Entomology 12:455-458.