Prof. Dr. Tiffany Knight


Prof. Dr. Tiffany Knight
Alexander von Humboldt Professorship of Spatial Interaction Ecology

Department of Community Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ/

Institute of Biology/ Geobotany and Botanical Garden
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg/

German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Deutscher Platz 5e
D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
(postal address)

Tel:  0341-97 33198
Fax: 0341-97 39350

Research Group: Spatial Interaction Ecology

Prof. Dr. Tiffany Knight


  • Causes and consequences of exotic plant invasions
  • Pollination Ecology
  • Restoration of degraded habitats
  • Climate Change
  • Forest community dynamics

For more information on our research, please visit the Spatial Interaction Ecology website

Curriculum Vitae


2016 - present

Alexander von Humboldt Professor and Head of Research Group Spatial Interaction Ecology

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Centre (UFZ)/ Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)/ German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig


2005 - 2016

Assistant and Associate Professor (with tenure)
Department of Biology/ Washington University in St. Louis/ USA

2004 - 2005

Postdoctoral Research Associate
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in Santa Barbara/ USA

2003 - 2004

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Zoology/ University of Florida/ USA



Recipient of Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, A.v. Humboldt Foundation and of Helmholtz Recruitment Initiative (W3 Professorship), Helmholtz Association/ Germany


Recipient of Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, A.v. Humboldt Foundation and of Helmholtz Recruitment Initiative (W3 Professorship), Helmholtz Association/ Germany


Recipient of Helmholtz Recruitment Initiative, Helmholtz Association/ Germany


Yerger Distinguished A    lumni Award, Florida State University/ USA


Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, Washington University/ USA


2016 - present

8 Postdocs/ 12 PhD students/ 9 MSc students at UFZ/ MLU/ iDiv/ Germany

2005 - 2016

8 Postdocs/ 8 PhD students at Department of Biology/ Washington University/ USA


2018 - present

Teaching at Graduate Schools of UFZ (HIGRADE) and iDiv (yDiv) on topics including ecological networks and coexistence

2017 - present

Lead teacher at Pollination Ecology summer schools across Europe/ Romania, Poland, Finland, Czech Republic, and Estonia

2016 - present

Teaching at UFZ, MLU and iDiv on topics including ecological networks, coexistence, population ecology, and modelling/ Germany

2005 - 2016

Undergraduate, graduate and applied teaching on topics including environmental biology, population ecology, experimental design, population viability analysis, ecology/ USA



    Scientific Planning Committee of the 5th ANdinA Workshop: 'Doing Ecology Differently' / Romania (postponed until 2021 due to COVID 19)


Scientific Planning Committee of the 9th Bonn Humboldt Award Winners' Forum:
'Humboldt and the 'Cosmos' revisited in the 21st Century' / Germany


Thematic Topic Session Organizer of 'Pollen limitation in a changing world' at Ecological Society of America Conference/ USA


Thematic Topic Session Organizer of 'Plant-pollinator interactions in the changing Arctic and Montane' at the Joint Annual Meeting of the BES, GfÖ, NecoV and EEF/ Belgium

2015 - present

PI or Co-PI of four working groups on demography and climate change, pollen limitation, plant-pollinator networks, and automated identification of bumblebees/ Germany


Special Session Organizer of 'Dynamics of invasive plants: Individuals to ecosystems' at the The International Association for Ecology Conference/ Canada

2003 - 2005

Working group Co-PI of 'Pollen limitation of plant reproduction'


2019 - 2021

Co-Speaker of iDiv responsible for budget and reporting to the board of trustees and funder (DFG) and operationalizing the scientific program/ Germany


Leading representative during Scientific Evaluation of UFZ and iDiv/ Germany

2018 - 2019

Chair of Science Strategy Board (governance body) at iDiv/ Germany

2010 - 2014

Director of Environmental Studies Program, Washington University in St. Louis/ USA


2017 - present

Associate Editor, NeoBiota Journal (impact factor 2,643)


Scientific Expert at National Science Foundation Panel on Population Biology/ USA

2007 - 2011

Associate Editor, Oikos Journal (impact factor 3,370)

2006 - 2014

Scientific Advisory Board member at Missouri Prairie Foundation, at The Center for Plant Conservation, and at Oahu Army Natural Resource Program/ USA


2015 - present

Expert member of IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Global Tree Specialist Group

2006 - present

Core Committee Member of Population Demographics Database COMPADRE and COMADRE

2006 - 2007

Chair of Plant Population Section of the Ecological Society of America/ USA


2020 - present

B. Spiesman, C. Grozinger, H. Taubenböck, Automated classification of insects

2019 - present

S. Dunker and P. Mäder, Automated classification of Pollen

2016 - 2019

J. Chase, D. McGlinn, N. Gotelli, B. McGill, Methods of Biodiversity

2015 - 2018

T.L. Ashman, Global patterns of pollen limitation

2015 - 2018

Dr. K. Barton, Demography, phyologeny and functional trait of island plant species

2012 - 2015

Dr. E. Crone, Forecasting ability of plant population models

2009 - 2011

Dr. Y. Buckley, Phylogenetic synthesis of matrix population models

2005 - 2009

Drs. W. Morris, C. Pfister, and S. Tuljapurkar, Life history and buffering in variable climates



Maternity leave


Maternity leave

Society Memberships

Botanical Society of America

Ecological Society of America

Peer-reviewed Publications

Ashman, T.-L., Arceo‐Gómez, G., Bennett, J.M., Knight, T.M., (2020):
Is heterospecific pollen receipt the missing link in understanding pollen limitation of plant reproduction?
Am. J. Bot.

full text (doi).

Barton, K.E., Jones, C., Edwards, K.F., Shiels, A.B., Knight, T.M., (2020):
Local adaptation constrains drought tolerance in a tropical foundation tree
J. Ecol.
full text (doi).

Blowes, S.A., Chase, J.M., Di Franco, A., Frid, O., Gotelli, N.J., Guidetti, P., Knight, T.M., May, F., McGlinn, D.J., Micheli, F., Sala, E., Belmaker, J., (2020):
Mediterranean marine protected areas have higher biodiversity via increased evenness, not abundance
J. Appl. Ecol. 57 (3), 578 - 589
full text (doi).

Che-Castaldo, J., Jones, O.R., Kendall, B.E., Burns, J.H., Childs, D.Z., Ezard, T.H.G., Hernandez-Yanez, H., Hodgson, D.J., Jongejans, E., Knight, T.M., Merow, C., Ramula, S., Stott, I., Vindenes, Y., Yokomizo, H., Salguero-Gómez, R., (2020):
Comments to “Persistent problems in the construction of matrix population models”
Ecol. Model. 416 , art. 108913
full text (doi).

Korell, L., Auge, H., Chase, J.M., Harpole, S., Knight, T.M., (2020):
We need more realistic climate change experiments for understanding ecosystems of the future
Glob. Change Biol. 26 (2), 325 - 327
full text (doi).

Korell, L., Auge, H., Chase, J.M., Harpole, W.S., Knight, T.M., (2020):
Understanding plant communities of the future requires filling knowledge gaps
Glob. Change Biol. 26 (2), 328 - 329
full text (doi).

Sandel, B., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H., Keppel, G., van der Sande, M.T., Levin, S., Smith, S., Craven, D., Knight, T.M., (2020):
Current climate, isolation and history drive global patterns of tree phylogenetic endemism
Glob. Ecol. Biogeogr. 29 (1), 4 - 15
full text (doi).

Schmidt, R., Auge, H., Deising, H.B., Hensen, I., Mangan, S.A., Schädler, M., Stein, C., Knight, T.M., (2020):
Abundance, origin and phylogeny of plants do not predict community-level patterns of pathogen diversity and infection
Ecol. Evol.
full text (doi).

Schwarz, B., Vázquez, D.P., CaraDonna, P.J., Knight, T.M., Benadi, G., Dormann, C.F., Gauzens, B., Motivans, E., Resasco, J., Blüthgen, N., Burkle, L.A., Fang, Q., Kaiser–Bunbury, C.N., Alarcón, R., Bain, J.A., Chacoff, N.P., Huang, S.-Q., LeBuhn, G., MacLeod, M., Petanidou, T., Rasmussen, C., Simanonok, M.P., Thompson, A.H., Fründ, J., (2020):
Temporal scale‐dependence of plant–pollinator networks
full text (doi).

van der Sande, M.T., Bruelheide, H., Dawson, W., Dengler, J., Essl, F., Field, R., Haider, S., van Kleunen, M., Kreft, H., Pagel, J., Pergl, J., Purschke, O., Pyšek, P., Weigelt, P., Winter, M., Attorre, F., Aubin, I., Bergmeier, E., Chytrý, M., Dainese, M., De Sanctis, M., Fagundez, J., Golub, V., Guerin, G.R., Gutiérrez, A.G., Jandt, U., Jansen, F., Jiménez‐Alfaro, B., Kattge, J., Kearsley, E., Klotz, S., Kramer, K., Moretti, M., Niinemets, Ü., Peet, R.K., Penuelas, J., Petřík, P., Reich, P.B., Sandel, B., Schmidt, M., Sibikova, M., Violle, C., Whitfeld, T.J.S., Wohlgemuth, T., Knight, T.M., (2020):
Similar factors underlie tree abundance in forests in native and alien ranges

Glob. Ecol. Biogeogr. 29 (2), 281 - 294
full text (doi).

Vitt, P., Havens, K., Jolls, C.L., Knight, T.M., (2020):
Temporal variation in the roles of exotic and native plant species in plant–pollinator networks
Ecosphere 11 (2), e02981
full text (doi).


Arceo-Gómez, G., Schroeder, A., Albor, C., Ashman, T.-L., Knight, T.M., (2019):
Global geographic patterns of heterospecific pollen receipt help uncover potential ecological and evolutionary impacts across plant communities worldwide
Sci. Rep. 9 , art. 8086
full text (doi).

Bennett, J.M., Steets, J.A., Burns, J.H., Durka, W., Vamosi, J.C., Arceo-Gómez, G., Burd, M., Burkle, L.A., Ellis, A.G., Freitas, L., Li, J., Rodger, J.G., Wolowski, M., Xia, J., Ashman, T.-L., Knight, T.M., (2019):
Publisher Correction: GloPL, a global data base on pollen limitation of plant reproduction
Sci. Data 6 , art. 2
full text (doi).

Bernardo, H.L., Vitt, P., Goad, R., Masi, S., Knight, T.M., (2019):
Using long-term population monitoring data to prioritize conservation action among rare plant species
Nat. Areas J. 39 (2), 169 - 181
full text (doi).

Burns, J.H., Bennett, J.M., Li, J., Xia, J., Arceo-Gómez, G., Burd, M., Burkle, L.A., Durka, W., Ellis, A.G., Freitas, L., Rodger, J.G., Vamosi, J.C., Wolowski, M., Ashman, T.-L., Knight, T.M., Steets, J.A., (2019):
Plant traits moderate pollen limitation of introduced and native plants: a phylogenetic meta‐analysis of global scale
New Phytol. 223 (4), 2063 - 2075
full text (doi).

Chase, J.M., Gooriah, L., May, F., Ryberg, W.A., Schuler, M.S., Craven, D., Knight, T.M., (2019):
A framework for disentangling ecological mechanisms underlying the island species–area relationship
Front. Biogeogr. 11 (1), e40844
full text (doi).

Craven, D., Knight, T.M., Barton, K.E., Bialic-Murphy, L., Chase, J.M., (2019):
Dissecting macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns of forest biodiversity across the Hawaiian archipelago
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116 (33), 16436 - 16441
full text (doi).

Fill, J.M., Pearson, E., Knight, T.M., Crandall, R.M., (2019):
An invasive legume increases perennial grass biomass: An indirect pathway for plant community change
PLOS One 14 (1), e0211295
full text (doi).

Havens, K., Jolls, C.L., Knight, T.M., Vitt, P., (2019):
We should know whether a tool works (and how dangerous it is) before we use it: Response to Hinz and colleagues
Bioscience 69 (11), 854 - 855
full text (doi).

Havens, K., Jolls, C.L., Knight, T.M., Vitt, P., (2019):
Risks and rewards: Assessing the effectiveness and safety of classical invasive plant biocontrol by arthropods
Bioscience 69 (4), 247 - 258
full text (doi).

Jelbert, K., Buss, D., McDonald, J., Townley, S., Franco, M., Stott, I., Jones, O., Salguero-Gómez, R., Buckley, Y., Knight, T.M., Silk, M., Sargent, F., Rolph, S., Wilson, P., Hodgson, D., (2019):
Demographic amplification is a predictor of invasiveness among plants
Nat. Commun. 10 , 5602
full text (doi).

Levin, S.C., Crandall, R.M., Knight, T.M., (2019):
Population projection models for 14 alien plant species in the presence and absence of above‐ground competition
Ecology 100 (6), e02681
full text (doi).

McGlinn, D.J., Xiao, X., May, F., Gotelli, N.J., Engel, T., Blowes, S.A., Knight, T.M., Purschke, O., Chase, J.M., McGill, B.J., (2019):
Measurement of Biodiversity (MoB): A method to separate the scale‐dependent effects of species abundance distribution, density, and aggregation on diversity change
Methods Ecol. Evol. 10 (2), 258 - 269
full text (doi).

Westerband, A.C., Kagawa-Viviani, A.K., Bogner, K.K., Beilman, D.W., Knight, T.M., Barton, K.E., (2019):
Seedling drought tolerance and functional traits vary in response to the timing of water availability in a keystone Hawaiian tree species
Plant Ecol. 220 (3), 321 - 344
full text (doi).

Wohlwend, M.R., Schutzenhofer, M.R., Knight, T.M., (2019):
Long-term experiment manipulating community assembly results in favorable restoration outcomes for invaded prairies
Restor. Ecol. 27 (6), 1307 - 1316
full text (doi).


Bennett, J.M., Steets, J.A., Burns, J.H., Durka, W., Vamosi, J.C., Arceo-Gómez, G., Burd, M., Burkle, L.A., Ellis, A.G., Freitas, L., Li, J., Rodger, J.G., Wolowski, M., Xia, J., Ashman, T.-L., Knight, T.M., (2018):
GloPL, a global data base on pollen limitation of plant reproduction
Sci. Data 5 , art. 180249
full text (doi).

Bennett, J.M., Thompson, A., Goia, I., Feldmann, R., Ştefan, V., Bogdan, A., Rakosy, D., Beloiu, M., Biro, I.-B., Bluemel, S., Filip, M., Madaj, A.-M., Martin, A., Passonneau, S., Kalisch, D.P., Scherer, G., Knight, T.M., (2018):
A review of European studies on pollination networks and pollen limitation, and a case study designed to fill in a gap
AoB Plants 10 (6), ply068
full text (doi).

Bernardo, H.L., Vitt, P., Goad, R., Masi, S., Knight, T.M., (2018):
Count population viability analysis finds that interacting local and regional threats affect the viability of a rare plant
Ecol. Indic. 93 , 822 – 829
full text (doi).

Bialic-Murphy, L., Gaoue, O.G., Knight, T.M., (2018):
Using Transfer Function Analysis to develop biologically and economically efficient restoration strategies
Sci. Rep. 8 , art. 2094
full text (doi).

Chase, J.M., McGill, B.J., McGlinn, D.J., May, F., Blowes, S.A., Xiao, X., Knight, T.M., Purschke, O., Gotelli, N.J., Adler, F., (2018):
Embracing scale‐dependence to achieve a deeper understanding of biodiversity and its change across communities
Ecol. Lett. 21 (11), 1737 – 1751
full text (doi).

Crandall, R.M., Knight, T.M., (2018):
Role of multiple invasion mechanisms and their interaction in regulating the population dynamics of an exotic tree
J. Appl. Ecol. 52 (2), 885 - 894
full text (doi).

Craven, D., Knight, T.M., Barton, K.E., Bialic-Murphy, L., Cordell, S., Giardina, C.P., Gillespie, T.W., Ostertag, R., Sack, L., Chase, J.M., (2018):
OpenNahele: the open Hawaiian forest plot database
Biodiver. Data J. 6 , art. e28406
full text (doi).

Knight, T.M., Ashman, T.-L., Bennett, J.M., Burns, J.H., Passonneau, S., Steets, J.A., (2018):
Reflections on, and visions for, the changing field of pollination ecology

Ecol. Lett. 21 (8), 1282 - 1295
full text (doi).

Pardini, E.A., Parsons, L.S., Ştefan, V., Knight, T.M., (2018):
GLMM BACI environmental impact analysis shows coastal dune restoration reduces seed predation on an endangered plant
Restor. Ecol. 26 (6), 1190 - 1194
full text (doi).

Thompson, A.H., Knight, T.M., (2018):
Exotic plant species receive adequate pollinator service despite variable integration into plant–pollinator networks
Oecologia 187 (1), 135 - 142
full text (doi).

Crawford, K.M., Knight, T.M., (2017):
Competition overwhelms the positive plant–soil feedback generated by an invasive plant
Oecologia 183 (1), 211 - 220
full text (doi).

Pardini, E.A., Patten, M.V., Knight, T.M., (2017):
Effects of seed density and proximity to refuge habitat on seed predation rates for a rare and a common Lupinus species
Am. J. Bot. 104 (3), 389 - 398
full text (doi).

Schuler, M.S., Chase, J.M., Knight, T.M., (2017):
Habitat size modulates the influence of heterogeneity on species richness patterns in a model zooplankton community
Ecology 98 (6), 1651 - 1659
full text (doi).

Schuler, M.S., Chase, J.M., Knight, T.M., (2017):
Habitat patch size alters the importance of dispersal for species diversity in an experimental freshwater community
Ecol. Evol. 7 (15), 5774 - 5783
full text (doi).

Vitt, P., Knight, T.M., Schutzenhofer, M., Kleiman, W., Havens, K., Bittner, T., (2017):
Experimental grazing and grass-specific herbicide application benefit rare forb recruitment
Nat. Areas J. 37 (2), 161 - 169
full text (doi).

Bernardo, H.L., Albrecht, M.A., Knight, T.M., (2016):
Increased drought frequency alters the optimal management strategy of an endangered plant
Biol. Conserv. 203 , 243 - 251
full text (doi).

Guthrie, S.G., Crandall, R.M., Knight, T.M., (2016):
Fire indirectly benefits fitness in two invasive species
Biol. Invasions 18 (5), 1265 - 1273
full text (doi).

2015 and older

Research Gate Profile Tiffany Knight

2016 - present

Alexander von Humboldt Professor and Head of Research Group Spatial Interaction Ecology

Joint Appointment

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Centre (UFZ)/ German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig