since 2023Research associate in the Department of Organic Agriculture and Plant Production, University of Kassel
2021 - 2022Research associate at the Leibniz Institute for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) e.V., Großbeeren
2018 - 2021Postdoc on plant-based fertilization, crop rotation, and reduced tillage in vegetable production at the Department of Food Science, Aarhus University  (Denmark)
2015 - 2018PhD on "Plant-soil interactions in reduced tillage organic vegetable systems with agro-ecological service crops - focus on nitrogen dynamics and root growth" at the Department of Food Science, Aarhus University (Denmark)
2014 - 2015Trainee program in organic agriculture, FiBL Projekte GmbH in cooperation with Hofgut Oberfeld Landwirtschaft AG in Darmstadt, Germany
2012 - 2014Master studies in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of Hohenheim (Germany) and the University of Aarhus (Denmark)
2011 - 2012Internship in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) A Rocha, Surrey (Canada)
2009 - 2011Bachelor studies in Biology at the University of Bielefeld (Germany)


- Field vegetable production - fertilization - nitrogen dynamics - tillage - root-soil interaction - soil fertility

Hefner, M., Gebremikael, M.T., Kristensen, H.L., 2024. Soil microbial activity improved while intensifying vegetable production by use of plant-based fertilisers, cover crops and reduced tillage. Pedobiologia 102, 150926.

Ruch, Benjamin; Hefner, Margita; Bruns, Christian (2023): Vorsicht mit Kompost als Mulch. Ökologie & Landbau (4).

Pokhrel, Bhaniswor; Sorensen, Jorn Nygaard; Dresboll, Dorte Bodin; Hefner, Margita; Kristensen, Hanne Lakkenborg; Petersen, Karen Koefoed (2023): Organic acids to adjust pH of chicken manure extract for fertilization of potted coriander. In: Journal of Plant Nutrition

Hefner, M.; Sorensen, J. N.; Kristensen, H. L.; Xie, Y.; Petersen, K. K. (2021): Replacing animal manure with plant-based fertilizer in organic blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) production. In: Scientia Horticulturae 285. DOI: ARTN.

Hefner, M.; Sorensen, J. N.; Visser, R. de; Kristensen, H. L. (2022): Sustainable intensification through double-cropping and plant-based fertilization: production and plant-soil nitrogen interactions in a 5-year crop rotation of organic vegetables. In Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 46 (8), pp. 1118-1144. doi: 10.1080/21683565.2022.2104419.

Hefner, Margita; Canali, Stefano; Willekens, Koen; Lootens, Peter; Deltour, Pauline; Beeckman, Annelies et al. (2020a): Termination method and time of agro-ecological service crops influence soil mineral nitrogen, cabbage yield and root growth across five locations in Northern and Western Europe. In: European Journal of Agronomy 120, pp. 126144. DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2020.126144.

Hefner, Margita; Gebremikael, Mesfin Tsegaye; Canali, Stefano; Sans Serra, F. Xavier; Petersen, Karen Koefoed; Sorensen, Jorn Nygaard et al. (2020b): Cover crop composition mediates the constraints and benefits of roller-crimping and incorporation in organic white cabbage production. In Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 296, p. 106908. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2020.106908.

Hefner, Margita; Labouriau, Rodrigo; Nørremark, Michael; Kristensen, Hanne Lakkenborg (2019): Controlled traffic farming increased crop yield, root growth, and nitrogen supply at two organic vegetable farms. In Soil and Tillage Research 191, pp. 117-130. doi: 10.1016/j.still.2019.03.011.

Navarro-Miró, D.; Iocola, I.; Persiani, A.; Blanco-Moreno, J. M.; Kristensen, H. Lakkenborg; Hefner, M. et al. (2019a): Energy flows in European organic vegetable systems: effects of the introduction and management of agroecological service crops. In Energy 188, p. 116096. doi: 10.1016/

Navarro-Miró, David; Blanco-Moreno, José M.; Ciaccia, Corrado; Chamorro, Lourdes; Testani, Elena; Kristensen, Hanne Lakkenborg et al. (2019b): Agroecological service crops managed with roller crimper reduce weed density and weed species richness in organic vegetable systems across Europe. In: Agronomy for Sustainable Development 39 (6). DOI: 10.1007/s13593-019-0597-8.

Shanmugam, S.; Hefner, M.; Pelck, J. S.; Labouriau, R.; Kristensen, H. L. (2022a): Complementary resource use in intercropped faba bean and cabbage by increased root growth and nitrogen use in organic production. In: Soil Use and Management 38 (1), pp. 729-740. doi: 10.1111/sum.12765.

Shanmugam, Sindhuja; Hefner, Margita; Labouriau, Rodrigo; Trinchera, Alessandra; Willekens, Koen; Kristensen, Hanne Lakkenborg (2022b): Intercropping and fertilization strategies to progress sustainability of organic cabbage and beetroot production. In: European Journal of Agronomy 140. DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2022.126590.