1/11

Most species are declining due to human-induced perturbations:

  • habitat destruction and fragmentation

  • climate change 

  • pollution

  • over-hunting and fishing

  • introduction of exotic species

Stopping this biological erosion has become a major challenge for humanity.

Proactive biodiversity conservation and management imply a deep understanding of processes determining species and population viability. 

My research in quantitative ecology is driven by this goal to protect biodiversity.

MAIN RESEARCH INTERESTS

Metapopulation dynamics

Metapopulations are groups of local populations inhabiting a fragmented landscape, persisting in a balance of local extinctions and recolonizations by dispersal movements.

Our research is focused on the interplay between local dynamics (demography) and regional dynamics (dispersal and population synchrony). 

Boloria eunomia, mating
Boloria eunomia, mating

Our main butterfly study model since 1992 in Belgium

Marked Boloria eunomia
Marked Boloria eunomia

Capture-Mark-Recapture informs on abundance and movements

Sockeye salmon spawning
Sockeye salmon spawning

Salmon form metapopulations, an understudied aspect of their biology

Boloria eunomia, mating
Boloria eunomia, mating

Our main butterfly study model since 1992 in Belgium

1/8
Dispersal and movement ecology

Dispersal is a fundamental process for metapopulation dynamics, and more broadly for ecological and evolutionary dynamics.

We are interested in the causes and consequences of dispersal, and how movement behaviour of individuals interacts with landscape configuration in determining effective dispersal and connectivity.  

Tetrahymena thermophila cell
Tetrahymena thermophila cell

A 50µm long protist we use in laboratory microcosms

Tetrahymena movement trajectories
Tetrahymena movement trajectories

This protist actively moves using its ciliae

B. eunomia movement paths
B. eunomia movement paths

Butterflies move straighter outside than in their habitat (pink zones)

Tetrahymena thermophila cell
Tetrahymena thermophila cell

A 50µm long protist we use in laboratory microcosms

1/5
Forecasting species viability

The ability to forecast how a species or (meta)population will perform in the future is of prime importance to design and assess conservation and management guidelines. 

We use modelling approaches (such as Population Viability Analysis) to predict their future according to environmental scenarios and conservation plans.

PVA, a "crystal ball"
PVA, a "crystal ball"

PVA predicts the future of the species according to various scenarios

River overflowing due to beaver dam
River overflowing due to beaver dam

Will B. eunomia survive the reintroduction of beaver?

A long-tailed macaque
A long-tailed macaque

How many females must be sterilized to prevent population explosion in Padangtegal Monkey Forest (Bali, Indonesia)?

PVA, a "crystal ball"
PVA, a "crystal ball"

PVA predicts the future of the species according to various scenarios

1/4
Developing methods for ecology

Research in ecology and evolution has much to gain from the generalization and dissemination of methods developed for specific case studies.

Whether they are related to data collection and statistical analysis, modelling approaches or building research devices, we are committed to make our developments as general as possible, document them and provide them to the scientific  community.

Artificial landscape
Artificial landscape

A 3D printer turns a landscape configuration into a real microcosm for Tetrahymena

Tetrahymena picture analysis
Tetrahymena picture analysis

Automatic image analysis is a powerful data collection method

CPLE
CPLE

Capture-Mark-Recapture is a standard, reliable but costly procedure to estimate population sizes. Consequently, simpler and less costly alternatives are highly desirable for conservation and population ecologists.

Artificial landscape
Artificial landscape

A 3D printer turns a landscape configuration into a real microcosm for Tetrahymena

1/4