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Student projects

Bachelor and Master thesises supervised (since 2013) 


Aranya Pathak Broome – Global variation in biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships in rock pool metacommunities

Lara Van Goethem – in progress


Anaïs Van Malderen – Simulating potential effects of cacao-related deforestation on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and climatic resilience in tropical landscapes.

Eliza Vandesande – Do symbiotic relationships have an influence on the feeding strategy of Nepenthes rafflesiana in Jambu Bongkok, Malaysia?

Soline Cuinat-Guerraz –  Mammalio-limnology: exploring the structuring role of large mammals in pond landscapes


Nele Moreels – Inselbergs and rocky outcrops as target features for landscape-wide biodiversity conservation

Nicholas Clarke – Contrasting the effects of a natural biocide for mosquito control in simple and more complex ecological communities

Alexandria Collings – Mosquito habitat selection in response to different aquatic predators

Vincent Dolmans – Climatic control of global biomass patterns in rock pool metacommunities

Dorien Oude Luttikhuis –  The effect of organic and conventional agriculture on the biodiversity of freshwater Ostracoda (Crustacea) in West Flanders (Belgium)  (topic supervised by Koen Martens from KBIN)


Amanor Kisseih – Redescription of Strandesia sanoamuangae (Savatenalinton & Martens, 2010) and description of one new species of Strandesia (Crustacea, Ostracoda) from Grande Terre, New Caledonia. (Taxonomic topic supervised by Koen Martens from KBIN)

Blazenka Sopina – Exploring a global latitudinal gradient in aquatic biodiversity and food web structure

Sarah Coppens – Exploring links between cluster size and biodiversity in aquatic metacommunities


James Hagan – Increased late season rainfall has limited effects on winter annual communities during drought (Beneficiary of the Tropimundo Best student award)

James Hagan thesis

Noémie Belanger – Evaluating the relative importance of different larval habitats for cacao pollinators in a cacao agroforestry system in Nicaragua


Laure Van Lauwe – Habitat selection in bromeliad dwelling insects and amphibians


Mario Driesen – How unique is the aquatic biodiversity of tropical inselbergs?


Adwine Vanslembrouck – Responses of ephemeral pond invertebrate communities to 25 years of climate change


Leendert Plaetinck – The effect of herbivore dung addition on freshwater communities in a subtropical savannah habitat – a mesocosm study



Justine Vansynghel – Do bromeliads promote insect and pollinator diversity in cacao plantations? A case study in Nicaragua


Catherine Turner You can’t ignore your neighbors, context dependent habitat selection in bromeliad infaunal communities. (Beneficiary of the Tropimundo Best student award)


Mirna Fernandez Pradel Drivers of diversity patterns in bromeliad aquatic communities along an elevational gradient in the Tropical Andes



Barbara Hendus Exploring effects of nutrient addition by bat colonies on aquatic biodiversity in tropical cave systems, a case study with cenotes in Yucatan. (Beneficiary of the Tropimundo Best student award)


Yannick Coeckelberghs – Dissecting the drivers of diversity patterns  across spatial scales: a case study with rock pool metacommunities in Western Australia


Celina Ben Saadi – Prey selectivity and aquatic community structure in Nepenthes pitcher plants in Peninsular Malaysia.


photo credit: C Ben Saadi

Sofie Vermaercke Insular ecology of terrestrial invertebrates in the Eastern Mediterranean.


Gisela Duran Rodriguez Climatic control of biodiversity in bromeliad infauna.




Nathalie Massa – Exploring links between management strategies and fitness in captive killer whales (Orcinus orca).


Daniel Montecinos – Links between forest degradation and metacommunity structure of bromeliad infauna in a Bolivian humid mountain forest. (Beneficiary of the Tropimundo Best thesis award)

Mathil Vandromme – Disentangling drivers of alpha and beta diversity in bromeliad metacommunities along a tropical elevational gradient. (Beneficiary of the Tropimundo Best student award)

VUB BSc students


Camelia El Bakkali – Evaluating possible conservation strategies and reintroduction procedures for the only remaining Belgian fairy shrimp B. schaefferi

Clement Lenaerts –Quantifying nutrient limitation in temporary ponds to facilitate ex situ breeding of a threatened crustacean

Imke Tys – Large branchiopods, an important food source for waterbirds?

Ramses Moortgat – Is urban biodiversity negligible?: a case study from an urban university campus


Nick Verdoodt – Een vergelijkende studie van verschillende connectiviteitsindices en hun toepasbaarheid om diversiteit te verklaren in een metagemeenschap


Eliza Vandesande – Exploring the use of  DNA-barcoding to assess the genetic diversity of cacao pollinators

Jente Deckers – Hidden biodiversity in rock pools: testing the advantages of complementary biodiversity inventory methods

Rémi Dupont –  Functional convergence between two semi-arid habitats on two different continents


Iliana Janssens – Spatial genetic structure of the stone marten (Martes foina) in northern Belgium

Arne Van Uytsel – The effects of temperature and salinity on Ruppia cirrhosa seed germination

Bram Van Heule – Ant biodiversity patterns in neotropical cacao agroforestry systems – a case study in Nicaragua

Thalia Chaves – The effect of large African mammal herbivores’ dung with different N:P ratios on zooplankton communities


Mario Driesen – How do patch quality and spatial context affect invertebrate communities in a natural moss microlandscape?

Adwine Vanslembrouck – Oviposition patterns in aquatic insects: species-specific effects of fish cues and predation


Jill Eeckhout – Associaties tussen verstedelijking en dispersie-morfologie in waterwantsen (Dutch)

Loïc Gillerot – Disentangling the drivers of alpha, beta and gamma diversity in pond metacommunities

Llewelyn Buidin – Assessing the drivers of habitat selection in Sigara lateralis water boatmen (Corixidae) via a reductionist experimental approach.


Yannick Coeckelberghs – Local and regional drivers of diversity patterns in Swedish rock pools

Jonathan Favaits – Assessing potential impacts of nutrient addition by vertebrates on diversity patterns in rock pool communities in the Australian outback

Nene Lefaible – Investigating the potential adaptive origin of buoyancy in zooplankton resting eggs

KULeuven MSc students (co supervisor with Luc Brendonck as main promoter):


Elien Bauweleers – The effects of drought-stress and habitat type on the morphology and fitness of the European common frog.

 Wouter Hawinkel – Het belang van reproductieve energie allocatie en ontuikingsstrategieën voor overleving in onvoorspelbare tijdelijke poelen (Dutch).


Enya Wynants – Bet hedging in branchiopod crustaceans and the impact of resting egg morphology on dormancy

Eli Thoré – The genetic and epigenetic contribution to phenotypic variation in a vertebrate an an invertebrate model

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