Dr. Katja Wehner

Since 2014

Postdoc researcher


Maternal leave


PhD student at the TU Darmstadt: “Parthenogenesis and Sexuality in Oribatid Mites”


Study of Biology at the TU Darmstadt: Zoology, Animal Physiology, Microbiology

Diploma thesis: “ Variability at the hsp82-locus of the parthenogenetic oribatid mite Platynothrus peltifer”



 Research interests     


I am interested in the ecology of oribatid mite communities in different forest microhabitats (litter, soil, dead wood, lichen, moss, tree bark) and their role as prey species in forest food-webs.


Research domains: 

Biotic Interactions









kdwehner (at) gmx.de

B1|01, Room 260 

Dr. Katja Wehner

Fachbereich Biologie

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Schnittspahnstr. 3

64287 Darmstadt



Phone +49 6151 16-75415

 Research projects  







(20) Wehner K, Renker C, Brückner A, Simons NK, Weisser W, Blüthgen N (2019) Land-use in Europe affects land snail assemblages directly and indirectly by modulating abiotic and biotic drivers. Ecosphere 10(5), Article e02726



(19) Brückner A, Schuster R, Wehner K, Heethoff M (2018) Nutritional quality modulates intraspecific trait variability. Frontiers in Zoology 15:50, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12983-018-0297-2

(18) Brückner A, Heethoff M, Norton RA, Wehner K (2018) Body size structure and patch size predict abundance and richness of oribatid mite communities in fragmented habitats. International Journal of Acarology, https://doi.org/10.1080/01647954.2018.1508248.

(17)  Wehner K, Heethoff M, Norton RA, Brückner A (2018) Seasonal fluctuation of oribatid mite communities in forest microhabitats. PeerJ 6:e4863 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4863.

(16) Wehner K, Heethoff M, Brückner A (2018) Sex ratios of oribatid mite assemblages differ among microhabitats. Soil Organisms 90(1), 13-21.

(15) Brückner A, Schuster R, Wehner K, Heethoff M (2018) Effects of nutritional quality on the reproductive biology of Archegozetes longisetosus (Actinotrichida, Oribatida, Trhypochthoniidae). Soil Organisms 90(1), 1-12.



(14) Brückner A, Raspotnig G, Wehner K, Meusinger R, Norton RA, Heethoff M (2017) Storage and release of hydrogen cyanide by a chelicerate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1618327114.


(13)  Brückner A, Wehner K, Neis M, Heethoff M (2016) Attack and defense in a gamasid-oribatid mite predator-prey experiment – sclerotization outperforms chemical repellency. Acarologia 3-13, doi:10.1051/acarologia/20164135. 

(12) Wehner K, Norton RA, Blüthgen N, Heethoff M (2016) Specialization of oribatid mites to forest microhabitats - the enigmatic role of litter. Ecosphere 7(3), Article e01336.



(11) Wehner K, Scheu S, Maraun M (2014) Resource availability as driving factor of the reproductive mode in soil microarthropods (Acari, Oribatida). PLoSONE 9(8): e104243. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104243.



(10) Pachl P, Domes K, Garvin S, Norton RA, Scheu S, Schaefer I, Maraun M (2012) Convergent evolution of defense mechanisms in oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida) shows no “ghosts of predation past”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65(2), 412-420.



(9) Maraun M, Erdmann G, Schulz G, Norton RA, Scheu S, Domes K (2009) Multiple convergent evolution of aboreal life in oribatid mites indicates the primacy of ecology. Proceedings of Biological Sciences 276 (1671), 3219–3227.

(8) Chahartaghi M, Maraun M, Scheu S, Domes K (2009) Resource depletion and colonization: A comparison between parthenogenetic and sexual Collembola species. Pedobiolgia 52, 181-189.



(7) Maraun M, Domes K, Schaefer I, Scheu S (2008) Molekulare Phylogenie von Oribatiden (Hornmilben). In: Theorie in der Ökologie Band 12. Bodenzoologie und Ökologie: 30 Jahre Umweltforschung an der Freien Universität Berlin. Jopp F, Pieper S (Hrsg.). Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, Frankfurt/Main.

(6) Domes K, Maraun M, Scheu S, Cameron SL (2008) The complete mitochondrial genome of the sexual oribatid mite Steganacarus magnus: genome rearrangement and loss of tRNAs. BMC Genomics 9, 532.



(5) Heethoff H, Domes K, Laumann M, Maraun M, Norton RA, Scheu S (2007) High genetic divergences indicate ancient separation of parthenogenetic lineages of the oribatid mite Platynothrus peltifer (Acari, Oribatida). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20, 392-402.

(4) Domes K, Althammer M, Norton RA, Scheu S, Maraun M (2007) The phylogenetic relationship between Astigmata and Oribatida (Acari) as indicated by molecular markers. Experimental and Applied Acarology 42, 159-171.

(3) Domes K, Norton RA, Maraun M, Scheu S (2007) Re-evolution of sexuality breaks Dollo’s law. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 104, 7139-7144.

(2) Domes K, Scheu S, Maraun M (2007) Resources and sex: soil re-colonization by sexual and parthenogenetic oribatid mite species. Pedobiologia 51, 1-11.


(1) Schaefer I, Domes K, Heethoff M, Schneider K, Schoen I, Noroton RA, Scheu S, Maraun M (2006) No evidence for the ‘Meselson effect’ in parthenogenetic oribatid mites (Oribatida, Acari). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 19, 184-193.