Professional experience

  • 2021-present: Scientific director, head of Herbarium & Library of Meise Botanic Garden
  • 2016-2020: Scientific director, head of Research at the Meise Botanic Garden
  • 2016-2021: Visiting professor at Ghent University
  • 2014-2016: Assistant professor at Ghent University.
  • 2013-2014: Postdoctoral researcher, National Science Foundation (NSF) / The University of Alabama, USA
  • 2005-2013: Postdoctoral researcher, Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) / Ghent University.
  • 1997-2004: Teaching assistant, Biology Department, Ghent University.

Education and degrees

  • 2004 PhD: “Taxonomic and phylogenetic studies in the Cladophorophyceae (Chlorophyta)”. Promoter: Prof. Dr. E. Coppejans, Ghent University.
  • 1996: MSc Biology (Botany), Ghent University.

Teaching Experience

  • Applied Biodiversity Science: Policy, Management and Conservation (Ghent University: MSc Biology)
  • Taxonomy and Systematics (species delimitation): Ghent University: MSc Biology
  • Biostatistics, practical courses (Ghent University, 2014-2016)
  • Field courses in Marine biology and Phycology (Ghent University, 1997-2004, 2014-2016)
  • Evolution of Cryptogams and Fungi (part green plants): MSc course “The Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants”, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2013).
  • Marine Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics (part phylogenetics), summer course, Station Biologique de Roscoff (2013).
  • Practical courses and field courses in marine biology: Ghent University (1997-2004, 2014-present).
  • Supervision of MSc students
  • Supervision/mentoring PhD students:
    • Andreas Del Cortona (Ghent University, 2014- ) Molecular evolution in the green seaweeds Ulvophyceae (co-promotor)
    • Xiaojie Liu (Ghent University, 2014- ) Genome analysis of the green seaweed Ulva mutabilis
    • Thomas Kerckhove (Ghent University, 2014- ) Ecological and genetic basis for sustainable fishery for the seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri in Suriname, South America (co-promotor)
    • Lara Macheriotou (Ghent University) Connectivity and biodiversity of deep-sea nematodes (2014-2016).
    • Joke Hollants (Ghent University, 2008-2012) Endophytic bacteria within the green siphonous seaweed Bryopsis.
    • Dioli Ann Payo (Ghent University, 2007-2011): Diversity of the marine red alga Portieria in the Philippines (co-promotor).
    • Christian Boedeker (Leiden University, 2006-2010): Phylogenetic, taxonomic and biogeographical studies in the Pithophoraceae (Cladophorales, Chlorophyta) (co-promotor).
    • Ellen Cocquyt (Ghent University, 2005-2009): Phylogeny and molecular evolution of green algae.
  • Jury member of ca. 13 PhD’s (Ghent University; Leiden University; University of Liège; University of La Laguna; Università di Bologna; Charles University in Prague, ).

Research stays abroad

  • Scientific expeditions
    • 2012: Papua New Guinea, Madang:
    • 2000, 2001, 2003: South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal.
    • 1997, 2001: Tanzania, Zanzibar, Institute of Marine Sciences.
    • 1999: Socotra Archipelago, Indian Ocean. UN Project: “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity of Socotra Archipelago”.
    • 1998, 2007: Philippines. Collaborations with Lawrence Liao (University San Carlos, Cebu) and Hilconica Calumpong (Silliman University Marine Laboratory, Dumaguete).
  • Research stays
    • 2001 (3 months): Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Collaboration with B. de Reviers and F. Rousseau.
    • 1996-1997 (6 months) South Africa, University of Cape Town. Collaboration with Rob Anderson and John Bolton.

Selected presentations at international conferences

  • 2015: 6th European Phycological Congress (London, UK)
  • 2014: Joint Aquatic Science Meeting (Portland, USA) (invited).
  • 2013: 10th International Phycological Congress (Orlando, USA) (invited).
  • 2012: Phycological Society of America Annual Meeting (Charleston, USA).
  • 2011: 5th European Phycological Congress (Rhodes, Greece) (invited).
  • 2009: 9th International Phycological Congress (Tokyo, Japan).
  • 2007: 4th European Phycological Congress (Oviedo, Spain) (invited).
  • 2006: Unravelling the Algae Symposium. Natural History Museum, London (invited).
  • 2006: Britisch Phycological Society, 54th Annual Meeting, Plymouth.
  • 2003: 3rd European Phycological Congress (Belfast, N Ireland).
  • 2001: 17th International Seaweed Symposium (Cape Town, South Africa).

Symposium organisation

  • Organization of the symposium “Algal diversity and species delimitation”: 6th European Phycological Congress, London (23-28 August 2015)



  • Luigi Provasoli Award 2011 (Phycological Society of America)

Editorial duties

  • Plant editor of European Journal of Taxonomy (2017- )
  • Member of the editorial board of Journal of Phycology (2014-2018)
  • Associate Editor of Phycologia (2011-2014)
  • Associate Editor of Algological Studies (2012-2019)
  • Associate Editor of Cryptogamie Algologie (2005-2012)

Member of:

  • Phycological Society of America
  • International Phycological Society
  • Royal Botanical Society of Belgium.

Diversity and Evolution of Algae

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