Assistant Curator, Botany
Mason Heberling is the assistant curator in the Section of Botany and co-chair of collections at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Heberling received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in Biology in 2015, and a B.S. from Penn State in Biology (Ecology) in 2010. He conducted postdoctoral research through the University of Tennessee Knoxville in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and in the Section of Botany at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Heberling is a plant ecologist and botanist whose research explores plant functional strategies in deciduous forest understories, especially in the context of environmental change. Much of his current research focuses on the ecology and evolution of non-native, invasive plants in the eastern United States.
Heberling is particularly interested in innovative uses for natural history collections. More specifically, he has strong and diverse interests in the longstanding and emerging roles of herbaria in the Anthropocene to document and understand global environmental change. In addition to field and museum-based research on plant invasions, he is part of a long-term collaborative project in the Section of Botany to revisit sites throughout Western Pennsylvania that were historically visited by previous museum curators and botanists to study changes in our local flora and species’ responses to climate change.
Recent Blog Posts
- This specimen of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) was collected on January 21, 1906 in Fern Hollow, Frick Park, Pittsburgh by Otto Jennings. The specimen was collected 13 years before Frick Park became a …Read More »
- Collected on this Day in 1937: Princess tree This specimen of princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa) was collected on January 13, 1937 in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh by R.J. Templeton and J.R. Steck. Though subtle, …Read More »
- Now this is a festive specimen! This specimen of Polystichum acrostichoides, commonly known as Christmas fern, was collected on December 25, 2008 in the woods in Savage, Maryland by Wayne Longbottom. I assume …Read More »
Heberling, J.M., Prather L.A. & Tonsor, S.J. (2019). The changing uses of herbarium data in an era of global change: An overview using automated content analysis. BioScience 69:812-822. [online – free access link]
Heberling, J.M., McDonough MacKenzie, C., Fridley, J.D., Kalisz, S. & Primack, R.B. (2019) Phenological mismatch with trees reduces wildflower carbon budgets. Ecology Letters22: 616-623. doi: 10.111/ele.13224
Heberling, J.M. & Burke, D.J. (2019) Utilizing herbarium specimen roots to quantify historical mycorrhizal communities. Applications in Plant Sciences, 7(4): e2213. Special issue: Methods in Belowground Botany [online – open access]
Heberling, J.M., Cassidy, S.T., Fridley, J.D. & Kalisz, S. (2019) Carbon gain phenologies of spring-flowering perennials in a deciduous forest indicate a novel niche for a widespread invader. New Phytologist 221: 778-788.
Heberling, J.M. & Isaac, B.L. (2018) iNaturalist as a tool to expand the research value of museum specimens. Applications in Plant Sciences 6(11): e1193. [online - open access].
Heberling, J.M. & Mason, N.W.H. (2018) Are endemics functionally distinct?: Leaf traits of native and invasive woody species in a New Zealand forest. PLOS ONE 13(5): e0196746 [online - open access]
Shouman, S., Mason, N.W.H., Kichey, T., Heberling, J.M, Closset-Kopp, D. & Decocq, G. (2017) Functional shift of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) towards greater plasticity and shade tolerance in its invasive range. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics, 29: 30-40. [online]
Heberling, J.M. & Isaac, B.L. (2017) Herbarium specimens as exaptations: new uses for old collections. American Journal of Botany 104(7): 963-965. [online - open access] [Appendix S1 - Unanticipated uses of herbarium specimens with bibliography]
Wavrek, M., Heberling, J.M., Fei, S. & Kalisz, S. (2017) Herbaceous invaders in temperate forests: a systematic review of their ecology and proposed mechanisms of invasion. Biological Invasions, 19(11): 3079-3097 [online - open access]
Heberling, J.M., Brouwer, N.L. & Kalisz, S. (2017) Effects of deer on the photosynthetic performance of invasive and native forest herbs. AoB PLANTS 9(2): plx011. [online - open access]
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. [online]
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. [online]
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. [online] [lay summary]
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. [online]
Heberling, J.M. & Fridley, J.D. (2012) Biogeographic constraints on the worldwide leaf economics spectrum. Global Ecology and Biogeography 21: 1137-1146. [online]
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. [online]
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. [online - open access]
Zhang R., Heberling, J.M., Haner, E. & Shea, K. (2011) Tolerance of two invasive thistles to repeated disturbance. Ecological Research 26: 575-581. [online]