Jonathan obtains his PhD in Applied Biological Sciences

We are happy to announce that our colleague, Jonathan De Raedt, defended his dissertation to earn his doctoral degree on March 7, 2019! During his PhD, his research focused on the combined effects of dispersal and chemical stressors on algae communities.

Congratulations, Jonathan! We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors, wherever these may take you!


Title of the doctoral dissertation: 

The combined effect of dispersal and chemical stress on the composition, diversity and productivity of marine micro-algae communities

Abstract of the doctoral research:

Human activities, such as the release of chemicals, induce stress to the earth’s ecosystems. Moreover, changing land use and habitat destruction decrease the habitat of species and increase fragmentation. An increasing fragmentation limits the movement, also named dispersal, of organisms between communities. Many studies have investigated how chemical stress or dispersal influence the diversity and productivity of communities. However, the way stress and dispersal may act together has only been addressed to a limited extent. In my dissertation, I therefore investigated the combined effect of chemical stress (the herbicide atrazine) and dispersal on the composition, diversity and productivity of marine microalgae communities. I also used model simulations to theoretically explore possible dispersal-diversity relationships. The presented results show that dispersal can generate changes in composition, diversity and productivity of stressed communities but that these effects depend on, among others, stress level and species identity.

Brief Curriculum vitae:

Jonathan De Raedt (° December 12th 1991, Ghent) started his academic career in 2009, and graduated as a Master of Science in Bioscience Engineering, Environmental Technology in 2014. The same year, he received a PhD research fellow grant from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), and started his PhD at the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology (UGent) and the Laboratory of Environmental Ecosystem Ecology (UNamur). The objective of his PhD was to understand how dispersal and chemical stress act together in affecting the composition, diversity and productivity of communities. Jonathan is author and co-author of several articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and has presented his work at a number of national and international conferences.