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About us

Welcome to the webpages of the Phycology lab at Ghent University.

The Phycology Lab is headed by Olivier De Clerck. Our research focuses on genetics, diversity and distributions of marine macroalgae. We address questions ranging from descriptive taxonomy over ecological studies forecasting the distribution of species in relation to environmental change to genomics of selected green and brown seaweed species. A substantial part of our research involves a combination of fieldwork, culturing and manipulating seaweed strains to study their development (Dictyota), gamete development (Ectocarpus, Ulva) or morphogenesis and genomics (green seaweeds).

People

Staff

Olivier De Clerck

Frederik Leliaert (visiting professor)

Eric Coppejans (emeritus)

Postdoc

Christophe Vieira

Eylem Aydogdu

Kenny Bogaert (associate)

Admin and technical

Sofie D'hondt

Anja Hondekyn

Olivier De Clerck

Prof. Dr. Olivier De Clerck

Head of the research group with a broad interest in seaweed diversity and patterns of genetic diversity. I address questions using a combination of fieldwork, molecular data and culture experiments. Many of these projects make use of the brown alga Dictyota, a genus to which I've become pretty well acquainted over the years.

Contact: olivier.declerck@ugent.be

Publications: google scholar

Frederik Leliaert

Prof. Dr. Frederik Leliaert

A longterm associate to the Phycology lab (visiting professor), but now employed by the Botanic Garden Meise. I’m interested in a range of topics that fall within the realms of biodiversity and evolution. I use molecular, morphological, ecological and geographic data to resolve phylogenetic relationships, test species boundaries, and explore the biogeographical history in marine and freshwater algae.

Contact: frederik.leliaert@gmail.com

Webpages: home page, twitter - @fleliaer

Publications: google scholar

Christophe Vieira

Dr. Christophe Vieira

Postdoctoral fellow at the Phycology Research Lab, I am interested in the diversity and evolution of brown seaweeds, and more specifically in understanding the role of biotic interactions in their evolution. My research works span a broad range of topics including taxonomy, systematics, ecology, chemical ecology, biogeography, and evolution, and takes for the brown macroalga Lobophora

Contact: cvcarp@gmail.com

Publications: google scholar

Eylem Aydogdu

Dr. Eylem Aydogdu

I am interested in the effects of polyploidy on evolutionary success, particularly in environmental conditions that could underlie occurrence or establishment of whole genome duplications, and in genome evolution post-polyploidization. I am working in a collaborative project between Prof. Olivier De Clerk and the Bioinformatics group of Prof. Yves Van de Peer. I apply experimental evolution in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to extend the group’s computational efforts in evolutionary genomics.

Contact: Eylem.AydogduLohaus@ugent.be

Publications: coming soon

Kenny Bogaert

Dr. Kenny Bogaert

Currently at the University of Liege, but still associated to the Phycology lab, I study fertilisation and early development in the brown alga Dictyota dichotoma applying a combination of culture and fertilisation experiments with transcriptomics and genomics.

Contact: bogaert.kenny@gmail.com

Publications: google scholar

Samuel Bosch

Samuel Bosch

I'm a PhD candidate interested in applying species distribution modelling towards marine species in general and invasive seaweeds in particular. I'm trying to push the boundaries of and improve the R ecosystem for marine species distribution modelling.

Contact: mail@samuelbosch.com

Publications: google scholar

Andrea Del Cortona

Andrea Del Cortona

Co-supervised by Olivier De Clerck and Klaas Vandepoele, my PhD research focuses on understanding the evolution of complex and unique green seaweeds morphologies. I routinely use molecular and comparative genomics approaches.

Contact: andrea.delcortona@ugent.be

Publications: coming up soon

Xiaojie Liu

Xiaojie Liu

With a masters degree from the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiaojie Liu started his PhD in October 2015. His research foucses on the genetics governing gametogenesis in Ulva mutabilis. In addition he constructs a genetic map of Ulva. A combination of bioinformatics and molecular biology are his main research tools.

Contact: Xiaojie.Liu@ugent.be

Publications: coming up soon

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Kathryn Morrissey

Kathryn Morrissey

PhD researcher investigating bacterial communities associated with Caulerpa species and how these communities change under different abiotic stresses. The main aim of my work is to understand the functional diversity of microorganisms and the role they play within algal host systems. My research focuses on both laboratory and in situ experiments.

Contact: Kathryn.Morrissey@ugent.be

Publications: coming soon

Quinten Bafort

Quinten Bafort

PhD student with a certain fondness for cryptogams, fascinated by evolution and the history of life. I am using a combination of experimental evolution of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and bioinformatics to study the link between environmental stress and whole genome duplications and the stabilisation of these duplicated genomes.

Contact: Quinten.Bafort@ugent.be

Publications: coming soon

An Liu

An Liu

I'm a MARES Phd student, studying both at Ghent University and the University of Bologna. I combine ecology, metagenomics and bioinformatics to study the communities of Mediterranean canopy-forming algae (Cystoseira) and their associated microbial diversity.

Contact: an.liu@ugent.be

Publications: coming soon

Frederique publications

Frederique Steen

I'm a teaching assistant in the Biology Department. Researchwise, I focus on diversity and speciation of Dictyotales at different spatial and temporal scales. My research involves a combination of fieldwork, molecular (microsatellites, gene sequencing and GBS) and culture techniques.

Contact: frederique.Steen@ugent.be

Publications: coming soon

Our projects

PHYCOMORPH

A European COST Action dedicated to the identification of the biological events governing the early development, growth and life cycle progression of macroalgae. A main goal of the network is to identify the bottlenecks impeding development of a sustainable algal aquaculture in Europe.

link

INVASIVES

A SEAS ERA project (FP7) aiming to assess present and future impacts of invasive alien seaweeds on the North-Atlantic coastal biodiversity. The project aims specifically to predict the effects of alien seaweeds under climate variability and rising sea surface temperatures.

link

ALFF

"The Algal Microbiome: Friends of Foe" is a prestigious ITN-Marie Curie Training Network (Horizon2020) designed to improve our understanding of algal-microbial relationships. Our focus in the project is on endo- and epiphytic bacteria associated with native and invasive Caulerpa species.

link

Ulva genome

"The lab is actively involved in the sequencing the Ulva mutabilis genome. The project represents the first whole genome sequence of a green seaweed. Apart from being ubiquitous in benthic communities around the world and notorious for its bloom formations in eutrophic coastal environments, Ulva is also an exciting novel model organism for studies of algal growth, development and morphogenesis.

link

HYPERMAC

A BELSPO Stereo project aimed to extract information on benthic algal communities composition using spaceborne hyperspectral inststruments. Our focus in the multidiscplinary project is on optical characteristic and bloom detection of the green alga Ulva.

CHLAMY-2N

An FWO project in collaboration with Yves Van de Peer investigating whether stress can enhance polyploid establishment in Chlamydomonas. Thereto, we artificially create polyploid strains and subject them to stressors to quantify their survival. In addition, we select the most successful polyploid populations and sequence their complete genomes every few generations to identify the genomic features that allow their success.

link to Yves Van de Peer's website

Publications (A1)

List of publications by the Research Group Phycology, restricted to A1 publications of the last 3 years. For a comprehensive list, we refer to Lib UGent or Google Scholar.

Contact

Contact information

Phycology Research Group

Krijgslaan 281, building S8

9000 Gent

Belgium

Phone: +32 9 264 85 00