Luc De Meester
My research focuses on how ecological and evolutionary processes interact with the environment and with each other, using mainly the water flea Daphnia and zooplankton inhabiting ponds and shallow lakes as model systems. My research involves metacommunity ecology, evolutionary ecology, stress ecology and ecological genomics. Covering a broad range of approaches (field work, mesocosm and laboratory experiments, resurrection ecology, genomics, modelling), the overall aim of my research converges into understanding how both ecological and evolutionary responses integrate in explaining how genotypes, populations and communities deal with environmental challenges, including both natural (presence of predators, parasites, competitors) as well as human-induced stressors such as climate change and pollution. My overarching aim is to understand emerging responses at different levels of biological organisation, ranging from genotypes to ecosystem functioning. I am particularly excited by eco-evolutionary feedbacks as I consider them to be crucial to adequately predict biological responses to environmental change.
- Decaestecker E., Gaba S., Raeymaekers J., Stoks R., Van Kerckhoven L., Ebert D., De Meester L. 2007. Host-parasite 'Red Queen' dynamics archived in pond sediment. Nature. vol.450 (7171) , pp. 870-874
- Van der Gucht K., Cottenie K., Muylaert K., Vloemans N., Cousin S., Declerck S., Jeppesen E., Conde-Porcuna J., Schwenk K., Zwart G., Degans H., Vyverman W., De Meester L. 2007. The power of species sorting: Local factors drive bacterial community composition over a wide range of spatial scales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. vol.104 (51) , pp. 20404-20409
- De Bie T., De Meester L., Brendonck L., Martens K., Goddeeris B., Ercken D., Hampel H., Denys L., Vanhecke L., Van der Gucht K., Van Wichelen J., Vyverman W., Declerck S. 2012. Body size and dispersal mode as key traits determining metacommunity structure of aquatic organisms. Ecology Letters. vol.15 (7) , pp. 740-747
- Verreydt D., De Meester L., Decaestecker E., Villena M., Van Der Gucht K., Vannormelingen P., Vyverman W., Declerck S. 2012. Dispersal-mediated trophic interactions can generate apparent patterns of dispersal limitation in aquatic metacommunities. Ecology letters. vol.15 (3) , pp. 218-226
- Orsini L., Schwenk K., De Meester L., Colbourne J., Pfrender M., Weider L. 2013. The evolutionary time machine: using dormant propagules to forecast how populations can adapt to changing environments. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. vol.28 (5) , pp. 274-282