Photograph of Dr. Heidi Asbjornsen

Dr. Heidi Asbjornsen

  • Affiliate Associate Professor


Contact Info

268 James Hall

Area of Expertise

  • Forest Ecology
  • Restoration Ecology


  • B.A. Biology, Carleton College
  • M.S. Forest Science, Yale University
  • Ph.D. Forestry, Yale University


Dr. Asbjornsen's research interests include forest ecosystem ecology, restoration ecology, ecosystem management, and focusing on the role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance (especially fire) in both temperate and tropical ecosystems. They also include working to develop and apply participatory approaches to integrating ecological research with community-based initiatives for promoting sustainable natural resource management and enhancing quality of life.


Brudvig, L., H. Asbjornsen. Stand structure, composition, and regeneration dynamics following removal of encroaching woody vegetation from Midwestern oak savannas. Forest Ecology and Management. (in review)

Asbjornsen, H., M. Tomer, M. Gomez-Cárdenas, L.A. Brudvig, K. Schilling. 2006. Sap flux patterns and transpiration of a bur oak savanna undergoing woody encroachment and restoration in Central Iowa. Forest Ecology and Management. (in review)

Asbjornsen, H., G. Mora, M. Helmers. 2006. Variation in depth of water uptake among contrasting perennial and annual ecosystems: Application of a multiple source mass-balance isotopic approach.Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment. (in press)

Asbjornsen, H., L.A. Brudvig, M.D. Tomer. 2006. Ecohydrological implications of restoring Midwestern bur oak savannas after woody encroachment. Ecological Restoration. (invited contribution; in press)

Schulte, L.A., M. Liebman, H. Asbjornsen, T. Crow. 2006. Unplowing the land: Restoring agroecosystem health and function through perennialization. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 61(6):165-169.

Karnitz, H.M., H. Asbjornsen. 2006. Composition and age structure of a degraded tallgrass oak savanna in central Iowa, USA. Natural Areas Journal. 26(2):179-186.

Asbjornsen, H., C. Gallardo-Hernández, N. Velázquez-Rosas, R. García-Soriano. 2005. Deep ground fires cause massive above- and below-ground biomass losses in tropical montane cloud forests in Oaxaca, Mexico. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 21(4):427-434.

Asbjornsen, H., L.A. Brudvig, C. McMullen-Mabry, C.W. Evans, H.M. Karnitz. 2005. Defining appropriate reference conditions for restoring ecologically rare oak savanna ecosystems in the Midwest, USA.Journal of Forestry. 103(7):345-350.

Belcher, B., G. Michon, A. Angelsen, M. Ruiz-Perez, H. Asbjornsen. 2005. Cultivating (in) tropical forests? Driving forces in the rise and fall of forest garden systems. Economic Botany. 59(3):245-253.

Brudvig, L.A., H. Asbjornsen. 2005. Oak regeneration before and after restoration efforts in a tallgrass oak savanna. American Midland Naturalist. 153:180-186.

Valdés, M., H. Asbjornsen, M. Gómez-Cárdenas, M. Juárez, K.A. Vogt. 2005. Effects of drought and tree harvesting on fine root and ectomycorrhizal biomass in Pinus oaxacana Mirov ecosystems in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mycorrhiza. DOI: 10.1007/s00572-005-0022-9.

Asbjornsen, H., K. Vogt, P.M.S. Ashton. 2004. Synergistic responses of oak, pine and shrub seedlings to edge environments and drought in a fragmented tropical highland oak forest; Oaxaca, Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management. 192:313-334.

Asbjornsen, H., P.M.S. Ashton, D. Vogt, S. Palacios-Mayorga. 2004. Effects of habitat fragmentation on the buffering capacity of edge environments in a seasonally-dry tropical oak forest ecosystem in Oaxaca, Mexico. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 103:481-495.

Book chapters

Gallardo-Hernández, C., N. Velázquez-Rosas, Asbjornsen, H. 2006. Floristic and structural changes following severe fires in tropical montane cloud forests in the Chimalapas mountains. In: Sanchez-Velasquez, L.R. (ed.) Ecology, Management and Conservation of Mountain Ecosystems in Mexico. University of Veracruz, Xalapa, Mexico. (invited contribution, in press)

Asbjornsen, H., J. Castañeda, Z. Garnica-Sánchez, I. Gutiérrez-Montes. 2006. Fire and community management of fire in tropical montane cloud forests in southeastern Mexico. In: Bruijnzeel, L.A., Scatena, F.N., Juvik, J.O. (eds.) Mountains in the Mist: Science for Conserving and Managing Tropical Montane Cloud Forests. University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu. (invited contribution, in review)

Wård, Y., A. Malmer, H. Asbjornsen. 2005. Historical 14C evidence of fire in tropical montane cloud forests in the Chimalapas region of Oaxaca, Southern Mexico. In: Bruijnzeel, L.A., Scatena, F.N., Juvik, J.O. (eds.) Mountains in the Mist: Science for Conserving and Managing Tropical Montane Cloud Forests.University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu. (invited contribution, in press)

Asbjornsen, H., K.A. Vogt, P.M.S. Ashton. 2005. Growth and physiological response of seedlings of two oak species along a forest edge gradient in a Mexican tropical montane oak forest. In: Kappelle, M. (ed.)Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical Montane Oak Forests. Ecological Studies Series 185. Springer-Verlag: Heidelberg. (invited contribution).

Asbjornsen, H., C. Gallardo-Hernández. 2004. Effects of the 1998 fires on tropical montane cloud forests; Chimalapas, Oaxaca. In: Villers-Ruíz, L., G. Lopez-Blanco. (eds.) Forest Fires in Mexico: Methods and Evaluation. National Autonomous University of Mexico: Mexico City. Pp. 125-146. (invited contribution, in Spanish)