Genious Web

Unit of Population Genetics and Provenance Research

Heino Konrad


CV - Heino Konrad

Born: September 27, 1976, Hartberg, Austria.


1995-2002       Study of forestry at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna; Diploma Thesis with emphasis on genetics and forest pathology “Genetic investigations of Austrian isolates of the Dutch elm disease pathogen Ophiostoma novo-ulmi”

2002-2006       PhD Study at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna; Thesis “Molecular ecology of forest pathogens causing Dutch elm disease, blue-stain and Sirococcus shoot blight”


1999-2006       Research scientist at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna

Since 2005      Research scientist at the Unit of Gene Conservation and Nurseries, Department of Genetics, Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW)



2009-2011     Gene flow in the tropical timber tree Lecythis ampla (Project partner; project administrated by Bioversity International as part of a “Forest Genetic Resources Fellowship Scheme”)

                   Lecythis ampla (Lecythidaceae) is a Meso-American timber tree and has been endangered due to heavy logging and habitat fragmentation. The effectiveness of pollen and seed dispersal determines the survival of a species, and its investigation is basic to conservation efforts. The aim of this project is to investigate mating system and dispersal ability of this species in Costa Rica and to develop management practices for the species to conserve its genetic diversity and evolutionary potential. This is done by gene flow analysis using nuclear microsatellite markers.


2009-2010     Diversity of self-incompatibility alleles in the Afromontane Prunus africana (Project partner; project administrated by Bioversity International as part of a “Forest Genetic Resources Fellowship Scheme”)

                   Prunus africana is a very important medicinal tree species growing in Afromontane forests. Its population size has dramatically declined recently due to overharvesting of its bark, and the species has become endangered. Mate availability in Prunus is governed by the self-incompatibility locus (gametophytic SI); knowledge on the distribution of the respective alleles is vital for breeding efforts which are starting in the species to reduce pressure on wild populations. Within the project for the first time SI alleles are characterized for the species in an intensive study plot in Uganda; and their frequency and spatial distribution is investigated.


2008-2010     Population structure of Juniperus seravschanica in Kyrgyzstan (Project partner; project administrated by Bioversity International as part of a “Forest Genetic Resources Fellowship Scheme”)

                   Forests in Kyrgyzstan (Central Asian) are endangered by growing human demand for wood and by increasing frequency of dry periods. Juniperus seravschanica is one of the main tree species, occurring in mountainous forests in the western part of the country. The population structure of the species is investigated within the project to detect areas of high genetic diversity for conservation priorization. Novel chloroplast markers have been utilized for this purpose.


2007-2010     Development of conservation strategies for the sustainable use of Prunus africana to improve the livelihood of small-scale farmers (Project partner; project administrated by Bioversity International).

                   The Afromontane medicinal tree species Prunus africana has fragmented occurrence on mountainous regions within Africa. Populations are under high pressure due to destructive harvesting of bark. Using chloroplast and nuclear microsatellite markers, as well as chemical bark compounds, the population structure of the species over its whole range is being investigated. The aim of the project is to develop a management strategy for the species, which includes the identification of in situ reserves, as well as measures on how to incorporate both conservation and utilization for future sustainable use of the species.


2007-2011     Green Heritage - Trees for the future (Project partner; project led by the Austrian Institute of Technology, Seibersdorf)

                   Norway spruce is the ecologically and economically most important tree species in Austria. Recently the species has suffered from bark beetle outbreaks, storm damage and other biotic and abiotic factors, causing concern in the forest sector. This project was initiated as a first step toward an Austrian marker assisted breeding effort. Its goal is to develop genetic markers for traits important for adaptation to climate change (bud burst, drought resistance) and biotic factors (resistance to Heterobasidion root rot). These traits are measured in several populations and collectives of plus and minus trees, respectively, are then used for further analysis to detect candidate SNPs.


2007-2010     AUPICMAP – Geographic-genetic map of the Austrian population of Norway spruce (Picea abies) (Project leader together with Dr. Thomas Geburek, BFW)

                   In co-operation with the project “Green Heritage” genetic diversity and population structure of Norway spruce is investigated within a regular sampling of the whole Austrian population. Mitochondrial markers and nuclear microsatellites are used to evaluate genetic diversity and to detect major patterns in allelic frequencies. This investigation will provide high-resolution insights into both post-glacial colonisation history as well as human impact on the Austrian Norway spruce population. For the first time, the genetic diversity of a forest tree species is scrutinized in so much detail on such a large scale.



Kadu, C.A.C., Schüler, S., Konrad, H., Muluvi, G.M.M ., Eyog-Matig, O., Muchugi, A., Williams, V.L., Ramamonjisoa, L., Kapinga, C., Foahom, B., Katsvanga, C., Hafashimana, D., Obama, C., Geburek, T. Phylogeography of the Afromontane Prunus africana reveals a former migration corridor between East and West African highlands. Molecular Ecology (in press).

Geburek, T., Milasowszky, N., Frank, G., Konrad, H., Schadauer, K. (2010) The Austrian Forest Biodiversity Index: All in one. Ecological Indicators 10: 753-761.

Cavers, S., Munro, R.C., Kadu, C.A.C., Konrad, H. (2009) Transfer of microsatellite loci for the tropical tree Prunus africana (Hook. f.) Kalkman. Silvae Genetica 58: 276-279.

Schlick-Steiner, B.C., Steiner, F.M., Konrad, H., Marko, B., Csosz, S., Heller, G., Ferencz, B., Sipos, B., Christian, E., Stauffer, C. (2008) More than one species of Messor harvester ants (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) in Central Europe. Europ. J. Entomology 103, 469-476.

Steiner, F.M., Schlick-Steiner, B.C., Konrad, H., Linksvayer, T.A., Quek, S.P., Christian, E., Stauffer, C., Buschinger, A. (2008) Phylogeny and evolutionary history of queen polymorphic Myrmecina ants (Hymenoptera : Formicidae). Europ. J. Entomology 103, 619-626.

Schlick-Steiner, B.C., Steiner, F.M., Konrad, H., Seifert, B., Christian, E., Moder, K., Stauffer, C., Crozier, R.H. (2008): Specificity and transmission mosaic of ant nest wall fungi PNAS, 105, 941-944.

Geburek, Th., Konrad, H. (2008): Why the Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources has not worked. Cons. Biol. 22, 267-274.

Cremer S, Ugelvig L. V., Drijfhout, F. P., Schlick-Steiner, B. C., Steiner, F. M., Seifert, B., Hughes, D. P., Schulz, A., Petersen, K.S., Konrad, H., Stauffer, C., Kiran, K., Espadaler, X., d'Ettorre, P., Aktaç, N., Eilenberg, J., Jones, G. R., Nash, D.R., Pedersen, J.S., Boomsma, J.J. (2008) The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants. PlosOne 3(12): e3838. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003838

Steiner F.M., Schlick-Steiner B.C., Konrad H., Moder K., Christian E., Seifert B., Crozier R., Stauffer C. & Buschinger A. (2006): No sympatric speciation here: Multiple data sources show that the ant Myrmica microrubra is not a separate species but an alternate reproductive morph of Myrmica rubra. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 19, 777-787.

Konrad, H.; Stauffer, C.; Kirisits, T., Halmschlager, E. (2007): Phylogeographic variation among isolates of the Sirococcus conigenus P group. Forest Pathology 37, 22-39;

Kirisits, T., Konrad, H., Halmschlager, E., Stauffer, C., Wingfield, M. J., Chhetri, D. B. (2007): Sirococcus shoot blight on Picea spinulosa in Bhutan. Forest Pathology, 37, 40-50.

Arthofer, W., Schlick-Steiner, B.C., Steiner, F.M., Konrad, H., Espadaler, X., Stauffer, C. (2005): Isolation of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the study of habitat fragmentation in the harvester ant Messor structor. Conservation Genetics 6, 859-861.

Ritzerow, S., Konrad, H. & Stauffer, C. (2004): Phylogeography of the Eurasian pine shoot beetle Tomicus piniperda. European Journal of Entomology 101, 13-19.

Konrad, H., Kirisits, T., Riegler, M., Halmschlager, E., Stauffer, C.(2002): Genetic evidence for natural hybridization between the Dutch Elm Disease pathogens Ophiostoma novo-ulmi ssp. novo-ulmi and Ophiostoma novo-ulmi ssp. americana. Plant Pathology 51, 78-84.