Microclimate conditions are key to understanding how organisms respond to warming, yet they are frequently neglected in ecological research. We aim to unravel the drivers and impact of microclimate conditions on species range dynamics
We aim to improve our understanding of the effects of global change on biodiversity and the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. We focus on climate change and invasive species, as these are identified as two of the most important anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity loss
Nature conservation is stuck in the detrimental paradigm of preventing community changes under changing conditions. We aim at developing global change-robust solutions for the biodiversity crisis, one of the biggest challenges in the Anthropocene
We combine big data with state-of-the-art modelling techniques (machine learning, SDM, SEM, …) to extract patterns and answer ecological questions on large spatial scales
We collect new primary ecological data in natural and anthropogenic systems; species composition, vegetation structure, ecosystem functions, plant functional traits, …
We fly drones to characterise how ecosystems are responding to rapid environmental change. Drones provide a unique opportunity for acquiring low-cost, high-resolution imagery at a regional scale
Remote sensing based comparison of managed and unmanaged forests in Europe
Contribution of large solitary trees to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
The role of microclimate, dispersal and adaptability in species (re)distributions
Identifying and validating climate change refugia for forest plants in Europe
Studying impact and land-use vulnerability of invasive tree species in South-Africa
Study of microclimate heterogeneity across small scales using soil temperature data
Stability of the Amazonian rainforest in the face of extreme droughts
Investigating the drought alleviation potential of thinning in temperate forests
Studying ecosystem structure, health and functioning using remote sensing
Using remote sensing to estimate tipping points in water content thresholds
Importance of above- and belowground linkages in forest ecosystem functioning
Nature-based solutions for the design of functional and climate-robust urban green
Modelling the effects of extreme droughts on forest ecosystem functioning
There are no vacancies at the moment, but I am always interested in hearing from motivated students or researchers to collaborate on topics of mutual interest. Have a look at Research and our Research projects to see what we are doing. So if you are interested in applying for a PhD or postdoc fellowship, you are always welcome to contact me. The different opportunities are listed below.
Global Minds fellowship (4 years). This is a sandwich fellowship for students from a broad range of developing countries
Marie-Curie individual fellowships (1-2 years). KU Leuven organises a master class to support future applicants in the writing process
You’ll be part of a unique and stimulating environment to do research. In 2022, KU Leuven is on the 42nd place in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. THE assesses universities on the basis of Teaching, Research, Citations, Industry Income and International Outlook. This year for the first time, KU Leuven is also featured in the THE top 50 of international universities, due in part to the recent influx of foreign students at the university. Since 2016, KU Leuven is heading the Reuters list of Europe’s most innovative universities. The Reuters ranking is based on various parameters that map the research output of the institutions. This includes articles in scientific journals, but also patent applications, with which a university protects and commercialises its research results.
The main campus of the university is situated in Leuven, a place characterized by its beautiful architecture and one of Belgium’s most attractive cities. With almost 50.000 students in a city of 100.000 inhabitants, Leuven has a specific atmosphere that is quite unique in the world. The student dorms, study rooms and lecture halls are spread over and integrated in the city and can be next to a cosy little restaurant or a vibrant student bar. The presence of about 10.000 international students from about 150 different countries and an international meeting centre called Pangaea make it easy to meet people from all over the world!
As a student or researcher at KU Leuven you are in the heart of Europe. Major international cities like London, Paris, Köln and Amsterdam are all less than 2 hours away by train. The nearby international airport (just 15 minutes by train from both our Brussels and Leuven Campus) connects you to the rest of the world. This means international students at KU Leuven have the luxury of not only being able to discover Belgium, but also a whole list of either neighbouring countries in the same amount of time. This is truly Europe at your doorstep.