Organised by

Institute for agricultural and fisheries research



Marine Biology - Ghent University

Invited speakers (confirmed)

Johan Vande Lanotte (Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Consumers and North Sea, Belgium)

Arjan Gittenberger (GiMaRIS, Leiden University and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, the Netherlands)

Arjan GittenbergerArjan Gittenberger is the director of GiMaRIS, a small company specializing in issues where identifications of marine species, from viruses and bacteria to invasive sea-squirts and snails, are of the uttermost importance. He is an assistant professor at the Institute of Biology at Leiden University, a research associate of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, and a coordinator for the ANEMOON Foundation promoting monitoring by volunteer scuba-divers. As a taxonomist and molecular biologist he has described various species new to science. Next to providing consultancy he organises and takes part in assessments of invasive species in NW Europe and along the American coast for mainly governments, NGOs and the shellfish industry. Under his supervision about 14 students per year study marine species distributions and communities.

Myriam Dumortier (European Commission Environment Directorate-General, Belgium)

Myriam DumortierMyriam Dumortier is working for the European Commission on the development of a dedicated legislative instrument on invasive alien species. She is also a visiting professor lecturing Nature and Forest Policy at the University of Ghent (Belgium).

Earlier, she was responsible for the reporting on the state of biodiversity in Flanders at the Flemish Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). During the nineties, she was working in Nepal and Sri Lanka (and shortly in Tunisia), dealing with community forestry and rural development. She holds a PhD in grassland management and a Master degree in forestry, both from the University of Ghent (Belgium).

Francis Kerckhof (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium)

Francis KerckhofFrancis Kerckhof is specialist in introduced species with a long lasting interest in species introductions. He is involved in various actions and activities (scientific and policy related) regarding biodiversity in general and in particular non-indigenous and introduced species in Belgium. He is the Belgian representative of the ICES Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO) and the ICES/IOC/IMO Working Group on Ballast and Other Ship Vectors (WGBOSV). He is actively involved in OSPAR work concerning Declining and Threatened Species and Marine Protected Areas. He is a taxonomic expert in invertebrates with emphasis on Cirripedia (barnacles) and he has also expertise in other taxa.

Filip Volckaert (University of Leuven, Belgium)

Filip VolckaertFilip Volckaert is a marine biologist interested in the evolution of fish and their parasites. He is a professor at the University of Leuven and leads a team of researchers involved in genomic and evolutionary research on topics such as phylogeny, phylogeography, population genomics, traceability, MHC evolution, adaptation and ecological functional genomics. The research is applied in conservation, fisheries and aquaculture.


Patrick ten Brink (Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Belgium)

Marleen De Troch (Marine Biology Ghent University, Belgium)

Marleen De TrochMarleen De Troch is a postdoctoral researcher at the Marine Biology research group of the Ghent University (UGent, Belgium). She obtained a PhD in Biology (2001) on the topic of the ecology of harpacticoid copepods in tropical seagrass beds. Her current research focusses on trophic interactions in the marine environment with special emphasis on the link between primary producers and primary consumers. The trophic position and food preferences of marine invertebrates are studied by means of trophic markers (stable isotopes, fatty acids). Field data are combined with lab experiments in order to test the functional responses of marine organisms to (changing) environmental conditions.

Jeroen Wijsman (Institute for Marine Resources & Ecosystem Studies, IMARES Wageningen UR, the Netherlands)

Jeroen WijsmanJeroen Wijsman is a senior researcher marine ecology at IMARES in Yerseke (the Netherlands). He obtained a PhD in Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the Groningen University in 2001 with his thesis entitled “Early diagenetic processes in northwestern Black Sea sediments”. He is involved in various studies focusing on non-indigenous species related to shellfish aquaculture, such as the effect of the Pacific oysters in the Oosterschelde and risk studies related to shellfish transfers by aquaculture. Jeroen is also part-time professor Aquaculture in Delta Regions at the HZ University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen (the Netherlands).

Sonia Vanderhoeven (Belgian Biodiversity Platform, Belgium)

Sonia VanderhoevenSonia Vanderhoeven is a plant biologist specialized in evolutionary ecology. Senior scientist at the Belgian Biodiversity Platform, a science-policy interface, where she coordinates activities on invasive alien species and biodiversity conservation, she is the facilitator of the Belgian Forum on Invasive Species (IAS) that integrates scientific information on presence, distribution, auto-ecology, adverse impacts and management of invasive alien species.


Svein Ruud (Norway King Crab)

Svein RuudSvein Ruud is an entrepreneur and investor with more than 20 years background from Norwegian seafood industry. His experience within the seafood industry runs from commodity salted herring in barrels to exclusive live king crabs. Mr. Ruud has worked closely on and in several merging markets like Russia, China and Middle East. Following the development in these markets from commodity low price protein buyers till today leading markets for high end exclusive seafood.
Since 2008 Mr. Ruud has worked active in Norway King Crab AS developing live king crab as a new niche in Norwegian seafood industry. In 2013 Norway King Crab AS will export more than 100 MT of live king crabs, more than 15% of the total Norwegian quotas.

Bart Naeyaert (Deputy Province of West Flanders responsible for agriculture and fisheries; integrated water management; infrastructure and legal matters, Belgium)


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