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Past members of the research group

Post doctoral researchers

Dr. Hendrik Trekels (2014-2018)

Hendrik studied the role of habitat selection affecting species distribution patterns in metacommunities using aquatic insect communities as models. He combined field and mesocosm experiments with survey data. He was beneficiary of a three year postdoctoral fellowship with the Scientific Research Fund Flanders (FWO).

Dr. Jayme Santangelo (2016-2017)

Jayme is a professor at  the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and joined us for a one year post doc. He collaborated with Hendrik Trekels on habitat selection in pond communities.

Dr. Mathil Vandromme (2015 – 2020)

After completing her BSc at VUB, Mathil Vandromme enrolled in the Erasmus Mundus MSc programme in tropical ecology (TROPIMUNDO). During her MSc degree she worked on an elevational gradient in the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica in our research group. Later Mathil joined the research group after having succefully obtained a VLADOC PhD grant awarded by the Flemish Interuniversity Council for Developmental Aid. Mathil worked on the potential ecosystem services provided by bromeliad plants that grow in cocoa plantations in Nicaragua and stayed for another year as a post-doc to valorize her work on cacao pollination.

PhD students

Dr. Karen Tuytens (2012 – 2017)

Karen developed hydrological models to reconstruct and predict inundation patterns in temporary pond systems.Her main study system consisted of temporary clay pans in the subtropics in the Malilangwe Conservancy in Zimbabwe. For this we collaborated with Tamuka Nhiwatiwa (University of Zimbabwe) and Bruce Clegg (Malilangwe).

Dr. Arnout Grégoir (2013 – 2018)

Arnout had a past in fish-parasite phylogeny but  abandoned the parasites in favor for the fish. He studied the relative role of phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic modification and local adaptation in life history differentiation in African killifishes from the genus Nothobranchius.


Dr. Falko Buschke (2011 – 2014)

During his PhD Falko was interested in the spatial and environmental drivers of diversity patterns and species distributions and the relative role of stochastic and deterministic processes. For this he made use of biodiversity databases of African vertebrates and a combination of statistical tools including variation partitioning and null models. Falko has a sharp pen and shares interesting articles on general science, conservation and macro ecology on his blog: The Solitary Ecologist!


Dr. Jane Reniers (2010 – 2014)

Jane worked on life history adaptations of frogs with special emphasis on developmental plasticity, variable offspring investment and habitat selection as risk spreading strategies. For this she used two model systems: an Australian rock pool breeding frog (the bleating froglet Crinia pseudinsignifera) – in collaboration with Dale Roberts (University of Western Australia) – and the brown frog (Rana temporaria) – in collaboration with Ivan Gomez Mestre (Estacion Biologica de Donana)

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