I am a conservation biologist with a master’s degree in agronomy and rural planning, and my research group mainly studies the effects of anthropogenic disturbances such as soil eutrophication, forest management and habitat fragmentation on plant species diversity, plant demography and plant population genetic diversity. The objective is to understand the mechanisms behind the worldwide decline of plant (genetic) diversity, and to provide practical, science-based guidelines regarding its conservation and sustainable use. As to the target species, we are increasingly focusing on plant species that may provide important ecosystem services to agriculture (for example Arabica coffee from Ethiopian rainforests). Finally, a growing part of our research is aiming at identifying mycorrhizal fungi from the soils of natural and agricultural ecosystems, such as semi-natural grasslands and orchards, through Next Generation Sequencing techniques. Here, the aim is to exploit mycorrhiza to increase the success of ecological restoration efforts, and to enhance crop productivity and tree growth.
- Ceulemans T., Bode S., Bollyn J., Harpole W., Coorevits C., Peeters G., Smolders E., Boeckx P., Honnay O. 2017. Phosphorus resource partitioning shapes phosphorus acquisition and plant species abundance in grasslands. Nature Plants. vol.
- Aerts R., Geeraert L., Berecha G., Hundera K., Muys B., De Kort H., Honnay O. 2017. Conserving wild Arabica coffee: emerging threats and opportunities. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. vol. , pp. 75-79
- De Beenhouwer M., Geeraert L., Mertens J., Van Geel M., Vanderhaegen K., Aerts R., Honnay O. 2016. Biodiversity and carbon storage co-benefits of coffee agroforestry across a gradient of increasing management intensity in the SW Ethiopian highlands. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. vol. , pp. 193-199
- Van Geel M., De Beenhouwer M., Lievens B., Honnay O. 2016. Crop specific and single species mycorrhizal inoculation is the best approach to improve crop growth in controlled environments. Agronomy for Sustainable Development.
- Vandepitte K., De Meyer T., Helsen K., Van Acker K., Roldan-Ruiz I., Mergeay J., Honnay O. 2014. Rapid genetic adaptation precedes the spread of an exotic plant species. Molecular Ecology. vol. , pp. 2157-2164
- Ceulemans T., Stevens C., Duchateau L., Jacquemyn H., Gowing D., Merckx R., Wallace H., Van Rooijen N., Goethem T., Bobbink R., Dorland E., Gaudnik C., Alard D., Corcket E., Muller S., Dise N., Dupré C., Diekmann M., Honnay O. 2014. Soil phosphorus constrains biodiversity across European grasslands. Global Change Biology. vol.20 (12) , pp. 3814-3822