Freshwater Biology (FWB)

Our scientists investigate the biodiversity of lakes, rivers, ponds and pools, but also of more exceptional habitats such as springs and groundwater. Our research primarily focuses on three animal groups: mussel shrimps (ostracods, bivalved crustaceans that look like small mussels measuring about 1 mm long), macro-invertebrates (such as aquatic beetles, bugs, larvae of other insect groups, molluscs, etc.) and amphibians (frogs, salamanders, etc.). Using two basic methods, morphological and molecular, we investigate the evolution, ecology and taxonomy of these animals and their communities in their different habitats in different parts of the world. We focus first and foremost on Belgium, of course, but also on the whole of Europe, Brazil and Argentina, several parts of Africa, and West Australia. We have three main evolutionary and ecological research programmes: speciation in ancient lakes, (ancient) asexual reproduction, and biodiversity in ponds, the latter primarily in support of science policy.