Professional summary

Research Interests

My research focuses primarily on plant communities of semi-natural grassland and arable habitats, and in particular on the factors structuring such communties, such as management practices, biotic interactions, and abiotic environmental factors. My research interests also include restoration ecology, seed and seedling ecology, designed naturalistic urban vegetation, and the application of multivariate methods in community ecology.


Recent publications:

Wagner, M., Bullock, J.M., Hulmes, L., Hulmes, S., Pywell, R.F. (in press) Cereal density and N-fertiliser effects on the flora and biodiversity value of arable headlands. Biodiversity and Conservation.

Albrecht, H.; Cambecèdes, J., Lang, M., Wagner M. (in press) Management options for the conservation of rare arable plants in Europe. Botany Letters.

Wagner, M., Bullock, J.M., Hulmes, L., Hulmes, S., Peyton, J., Amy, S.R., Savage, J., Tallowin, J.B., Heard, S.B., Pywell, R.F. (2016) Creation of micro-topographic features: a new tool for introducing specialist species of calcareous grassland to restored sites? Applied Vegetation Science 19: 89-100.

Mitschunas, N. & Wagner, M. (2015) Diet of the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) in Central Germany and its seasonal and site-specific variation. Acta Chiropterologica 17: 379-392.

Older publications (selection):

Wagner, M., Redhead, J.W., Nowakowski, M., Shellswell, C.H., Bullock, J.M. & Pywell, R.F. (2013) Effects of cultivation and herbicide application regimes on the plant species composition of uncropped arable margins. Aspects of Applied Biology 118: 127-136.

Sayer, E.J., Wagner, M., Oliver, A.E., Pywell, R.F., James, P., Whiteley, A.S. & Heard, M.S. (2013) Grassland management influences spatial patterns of soil microbial communities. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 61: 61-68.

Hitchmough, J. & Wagner, M. (2013) The dynamics of sown, designed herbaceous vegetation for use in supra-urban drainage swales. Landscape and Urban Planning 117: 122-134.

Wagner, M., Pywell, R.F., Knopp, T., Bullock, J.M. & Heard, M.S. (2011) The germination niches of grassland species targeted for restoration: effects of seed pre-treatments. Seed Science Research 21: 117-131.

Hitchmough, J. & Wagner, M. (2011) Slug grazing effects on seedling and adult life stages of North American Prairie plants used in designed urban landscapes. Urban Ecosystems 14: 279-302.

Blanke, V., Wagner, M., Renker, C., Lippert, H., Michulitz, M., Kuhn, A.J. & Buscot, F. (2011) Arbuscular mycorrhizas in phosphate-polluted soil: interrelations between root colonization and nitrogen. Plant and Soil 343: 379-392.

Stein, C., Unsicker, S.B., Kahmen, A., Wagner, M., Audorff, V., Auge, H., Prati, D. & Weisser, W.W. (2010) Impact of invertebrate herbivory in grasslands depends on plant species richness. Ecology 91: 1639-1650.

Wagner, M. & Mitschunas, N. (2008) Fungal effects on seed bank persistence and potential applications in weed biocontrol: a review. Basic and Applied Ecology 9: 191-203.

Wagner, M., Kahmen, A., Schlumprecht, H., Audorff, V., Perner, J., Buchmann, N. & Weisser, W.W. (2007) Prediction of herbage yield in grassland: How well do Ellenberg N-values perform? Applied Vegetation Science 10: 15-24.

Mitschunas, N., Wagner, M. & Filser, J. (2006) Evidence for a positive influence of fungivorous soil invertebrates on the seed bank persistence of grassland species. Journal of Ecology 94: 791-800.

Full list of publications:

Brief CV

2008 – present: Plant Ecologist, CEH Wallingford

2007 – 2008: EU Marie Curie ToK Fellow, University of Sheffield

2005 – 2007: NERC Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Leeds


PhD, Ecology - University of Jena, Germany, 2004

Diploma (=German MSc equivalent), Biology - University of Marburg, Germany, 1999

Panels, committees and memberships

Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI), Member

British Ecological Society (BES), Member

International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) , Member

International Society for Seed Science (ISSS), Member

Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), Member