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
- These red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves were collected by Dorothy Pearth on November 6, 1959 at Coles Summit in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. Dorothy Pearth (1914-1996) was a curator at the Carnegie Museum. She …Read More »
- From wild to cultivated to invasive This specimen of Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) was collected on October 11, 1979 by W.Z. Fang in Jiangsu, China. Callery pear is native to East Asia (China, …Read More »
- Loved and hated: An urban plant with history ”There’s a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree …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]