Completed research projects

 

FWO

 

 


FWO-Vlaanderen, 2009-2013

Climate and ecological history of the central Sahara: study of a continuous 12,000-year archive


This project aimed a paleoecological reconstruction of the environmental history of the central Sahara desert since the last deglaciation, using fossil remains of aquatic biota preserved in the continuous sediment record of Lake Yoa in northern Chad. This includes studies of the taxonomy and biogeography of the midge (Chironomidae) fauna of the Sahara, and of the modern limnology, biodiversity and ecology of aquatic systems in the Ounianga lake district.


Publications


Beneberu G, Mengistou S, Eggermont H, Verschuren D, 2014. Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) distribution along a pollution gradient in Ethiopian rivers, and their potential for biological water-quality monitoring. African Journal of Aquatic Sciences, in press.


Francus, F., von Suchodoletz, H., Dietze, M., Donner, R., Bouchard, F., Roy, A.J., Fagot, M., Verschuren, D.*, Kröpelin, S.*, 2013. Varved sediments of Lake Yoa (Ounianga Kebir, Chad) reveal progressive drying of the Sahara during the last 6100 years. Sedimentology 60, 911-934 (*: equal contribution). Read more


Van Bocxlaer, B., Verschuren, D., Schettler, G., Kröpelin, S., 2011. Modern and early Holocene mollusc fauna of the Ounianga lakes (northern Chad): implications for the palaeohydrology of the central Sahara. J. Quat. Sci. 26, 433–447. Read more

 

 

NatGeo + FWO

 

 


National Geographic Society, 2006
FWO-Vlaanderen, 2007-2012

Aquatic biota in African mountain lakes as indicators for climate change: past, present, future


This project completed a comprehensive biological, limnological and paleolimnological survey of East Africa’s high-mountain lakes (Rwenzori, Bale, Mount Kenya), to (1) develop African Chironomidae (non-biting midges) as a rainfall-independent paleothermometer; (2) identify suitable sites for high-resolution climate reconstruction; and (3) inventory the as yet poorly known biodiversity of aquatic algae, insects and microcrustacea in the unique setting of tropical high-mountain lakes.


Publications


Loomis SE, Russell JM, Eggermont H, Verschuren D, Sinninghe Damsté JS, 2014. Effects of temperature, pH, and nutrient concentrations on branched GDGT distributions in East African lakes: implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Organic Geochemistry 66, 25-37.


Nicholson SE, Nash DJ, Chase BM, Grab SW, Shanahan TM, Verschuren D, Asrat A, Lézine A-M, Umer, M, 2013. Temperature variability over Africa during the last 2000 years. The Holocene 23, 1085-1093. Read more


Van Damme, K., Eggermont, H., 2011. The Afromontane Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda) of the Rwenzori (Uganda–D. R. Congo): taxonomy, ecology and biogeography. Hydrobiologia 676, 57-100. Read more


Eggermont, H., Verschuren, D., Audenaert, L., Lens, L., Russell, J. M., Klaassen, G., Heiri, O., 2010. Limnological and ecological sensitivity of Rwenzori mountain lakes to climate warming. Hydrobiologia 648, 123-142. Read more


Eggermont, H., Heiri, O., Russell, J.M., Vuille, M., Audenaert, L., Verschuren, D., 2010. Paleotemperature reconstruction in tropical Africa using fossil Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera). J. Paleolimnol. 43, 413-435. Read more


Tierney, J.E., Russell, J.M., Eggermont, H., Hopmans, E.C., Verschuren, D., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., 2010. Environmental controls on branched tetraether lipid distributions in tropical East African lake sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 4902-4918. Read more


Russell, J., Eggermont, H., Taylor, R., Verschuren, D., 2009. Paleolimnological records of recent glacier recession in the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda-D. R. Congo. J. Paleolimnol. 41, 253-271. Read more


Eggermont, H., Verschuren, D., 2007. Taxonomy and diversity of Afroalpine Chironomidae (Insecta : Diptera) on Mount Kenya and the Rwenzori mountains, East Africa. J. Biogeogr. 34, 69-89. Read more


Eggermont, H., Russell, J. M., Schettler, G., Van Damme, K., Verschuren, D., 2007. Physical and chemical limnology of alpine lakes and pools in the Rwenzori Mountains (Uganda-Congo). Hydrobiologia 592, 151-173. Read more

 

 

BelSPO Science

 

 


BelSPO Science & Sustainable Development Programme, 2007-2011

Climatic and anthropogenic impacts on East African ecosystems (CLANIMAE)


Publications


Gelorini, V., Verbeken, A., Lens, L., Eggermont, H., Odgaard, B., Verschuren, D., 2012. Effects of land use on the fungal spore richness in small crater-lake basins of western Uganda. Fungal Diversity 55, 125-142. Read more


Gelorini, V., Verschuren, D., 2012. Historical climate-human-ecosystem interaction in East Africa: a review. Afr. J. Ecol. 51, 409-421. Read more


Gelorini, V., Ssemmanda, I., Verschuren, D., 2012. Validation of non-pollen palynomorphs as palaeo-environmental indicators in tropical Africa: contrasting ~200-yr palaeolimnological records of climate change and human impact. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 186, 90–101. Read more


Rumes, B., Eggermont, H., Verschuren, D., 2011. Distribution and faunal richness of Cladocera in western Uganda crater lakes. Hydrobiologia 676, 39-56. Read more


Mergeay, J., De Meester, L., Eggermont, H., Verschuren, D., 2011. Priority effects and species sorting in a long paleo-ecological record of repeated community assembly through time. Ecology 92, 2267–2275. Read more


Gelorini, V., Verbeken, A., van Geel, B., Cocquyt, C., Verschuren, D., 2011. Modern non-pollen palynomorph (NPP) diversity in East African lake sediments. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 164, 143–173. 52. Read more


Cocquyt, C., Plisnier, P.-D., Gelorini, V., Rumes, B., Verschuren, D., 2010. Observations on the limnology and phytoplankton community of crater Lake Kyaninga (Uganda), with special attention to its diatom flora. Plant Ecology and Evolution 143, 365-377. Read more


Russell, J.M., McCoy, S.J., Verschuren, D., Bessems, I., Huang, Y., 2009. Human Impacts, climate change, and aquatic ecosystem response during the past 2,000 years at Lake Wandakara, Uganda. Quat. Res. 72, 315-324. Read more


Bessems, I., Verschuren, D., Russell, J. M., Hus, J., Mees, F., Cumming, B. F., 2008. Palaeolimnological evidence for widespread late-18th century drought across equatorial East Africa. Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol. 259, 107-120. Read more

 

 

IWT

 

 


IWT-Vlaanderen, 2007-2010

Ostracoda (Crustacea) as paleoenvironmental proxies for Late Holocene climate variability in western Mongolia


Publications


Van der Meeren, T., Mischke, S., Sunjidmaa, N., Herzschuh, U., Ito, E., Martens, K., Verschuren, D., 2012. Subfossil ostracode assemblages from Mongolia - Quantifying response for paleolimnological applications. Ecological Indicators 14, 138-151. Read more


Van der Meeren, T., Ito, E., Verschuren, D., Almendinger, J.E. & Martens, K., 2011. Valve chemistry of Limnocythere inopinata (Ostracoda) in a cold arid environment - Implications for paleolimnological interpretation. Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol. 306, 116-126. Read more


Van der Meeren, T., Verschuren, D., Ito, E., Martens, K., 2010. Morphometric techniques allow environmental reconstructions from low-diversity continental ostracode assemblages. J. Paleolimnol. 44, 903-911. Read more


Van der Meeren, T., Ito E., Martens K., Almendinger, J. E., 2010. The ecology of ostracodes (Ostracoda, Crustacea) in western Mongolia. Hydrobiologia 641, 253–273. Read more


Van Der Meeren, T., Khand, Y., Martens, K., 2009. On recent species of Tonnacypris Diebel & Pietrzeniuk, 1975 (Crustacea, Ostracoda), with new species descriptions from Mongolia. Zootaxa 2015, 1-41.

 

 

ESF + EuroCLIMATE + FWO

 

 


European Science Foundation EUROCORES programme EuroCLIMATE
FWO-Vlaanderen, 2005-2008

High-resolution reconstruction of late-Glacial and Holocene climate variability in equatorial East Africa, based on laminated lake sediments from Mt.Kilimanjaro (CHALLACEA)


Publications


Villanueva L, Besseling M, Rodrigo-Gámiz M, Rampen S, Verschuren D, Sinninghe Damsté JS, 2014. Potential biological sources of long chain alkyl diols in a lacustrine system. Organic Geochemistry, in press.


Buckles, L.K., L. Villanueva, J. W. H. Weijers, D. Verschuren, J.S. Sinninghe Damsté, 2013. Linking isoprenoidal GDGT membrane lipid distributions with gene abundances of ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota and uncultured crenarchaeotal groups in the water column of a tropical lake (Lake Challa, East Africa). Environmental Microbiology, doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12118.


Barker, P. A., Hurrell, E. R., Leng, M. J., Plessen, B., Wolff, C., Conley, D. J., Keppens, E., Milne, I., Cumming, B. F., Laird, K. R., Kendrick, C. P., Wynn, P. M., Verschuren, D., 2013. Carbon cycling within an East African lake revealed by the carbon isotope composition of diatom silica: a 25-ka record from Lake Challa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Quat. Sci. Rev. 66, 55-63. Read more


Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Ossebaar, J., Schouten, S., Verschuren, D., 2012. Distribution of tetraether lipids in the 25-kyr sedimentary record of Lake Challa: extracting reliable TEX86 and MBT/CBT palaeotemperatures from an equatorial African lake. Quat. Sci. Rev. 50, 43-53. Read more


Nelson, D. M.*, Verschuren, D.*, Urban, M. A., Hu, F.S., 2012. Long-term variability and rainfall control of savanna fire regimes in equatorial East Africa. Global Change Biology 18, 3160–3170 (*: equal contribution). Read more


Wolff, C., Haug, G.H., Timmermann, A., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Brauer, A., Sigman, D.M., Cane, M.A., Verschuren, D., 2011. Reduced interannual rainfall variability in East Africa during the last ice age. Science 333, 743-747. Read more


Blaauw, M., van Geel, B., Kristen, I., Plessen, B., Lyaruu, A., Engstrom, D.R., van der Plicht, J., Verschuren, D., 2011. High-resolution 14C dating of a 25,000 year lake-sediment record from equatorial East Africa. Quat. Sci. Rev. 30, 3043-3059. Read more


van Geel, B., Gelorini, V., Lyaruu, A., Aptroot, A., Rucina, S.M., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Verschuren, D., 2011. Diversity and ecology of tropical African fungal spores from a 25,000-year paleoenvironmental record in southeastern Kenya. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 164, 174-190. Read more


Hurrell, E. R., Barker, P. A., Leng, M. J., Vane, C. H., Wynn, P., Kendrick, C. P., Verschuren, D., Street-Perrott, F. A., 2011. Developing a methodology for carbon isotope analysis of lacustrine diatoms. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 25, 1567-1574. Read more


Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Verschuren, D. et al., 2011. A 25,000-year record of climate-induced changes in lowland vegetation of eastern equatorial Africa revealed by the stable carbon-isotopic composition of fossil plant leaf waxes. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 302, 236–246. Read more


Barker, P.A., Hurrell, E.R., Leng, M.J., Wolff, C, Cocquyt, C., Sloane, H.J., Verschuren, D., 2011. Seasonality in equatorial climate over the last 25,000 years revealed by oxygen isotope records from Mount Kilimanjaro. Geology 39, 1111-1114. Read more


Tierney, J.E., Russell, J.M., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Huang, Y. & Verschuren, D., 2011. Late Quaternary behavior of the East African monsoon and the importance of the Congo Air Boundary. Quat. Sci. Rev. 30, 798-807. Read more


Moernaut, J., Verschuren, D., Charlet, F., Kristen, I., Fagot, M., De Batist, M., 2010. The seismic-stratigraphic record of lake-level fluctuations in Lake Challa: hydrological stability and change in equatorial East-Africa over the last 140 kyr. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 290, 214-223. Read more


Verschuren, D., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Moernaut, J., Kristen, I., Blaauw, M., Fagot, M., Haug, G.H. & CHALLACEA project members, 2009. Half-precessional dynamics of monsoon rainfall near the East African equator. Nature 462, 637-641. Read more


Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Ossebaar, J., Abbas, B., Schouten, S., Verschuren, D., 2009. Fluxes and distribution of tetraether lipids in an equatorial African lake: Constraints on the application of the TEX86 palaeothermometer and BIT index in lacustrine settings. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 73, 4232–4249. Read more


Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Ossebaar, J., Schouten, S., Verschuren, D., 2008. Altitudinal shifts in the distribution of branched tetraether lipids in soils from Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa): Implications for the MBT/CBT continental palaeothermometer. Organ. Geochem. 39, 1072-1076. Read more

 

 

FWO

 

 


FWO-Vlaanderen, 2000-2004

Exploration of African crater lakes for paleoclimate reconstruction


Publications


Loomis SE, Russell JM, Eggermont H, Verschuren D, Sinninghe Damsté JS, 2014. Effects of temperature, pH, and nutrient concentrations on branched GDGT distributions in East African lakes: implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Organic Geochemistry 66, 25–37.


Tierney, J.E., Russell, J.M., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Huang, Y. & Verschuren, D., 2011. Late Quaternary behavior of the East African monsoon and the importance of the Congo Air Boundary. Quat. Sci. Rev. 30, 798-807. Read more


Russell J.M., Eggermont, H. & Verschuren, D., 2007. Spatial complexity during the Little Ice Age in tropical East Africa: sedimentary records from contrasting crater lake basins in western Uganda. The Holocene 17, 183-193. Read more


Eggermont, H., Verschuren, D. and Dumont, H. J., 2005. Taxonomic diversity and biogeography of Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) in lakes of tropical West Africa, using sub-fossil remains extracted from surface sediments. J. Biogeogr. 32, 1-21. Read more


Eggermont, H., Heiri, O. M., Verschuren, D., 2006. Subfossil Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) as quantitative indicators of past salinity variation in African lakes. Quat. Sci. Rev. 25, 1966-1994. Read more


Mergeay, J., Declerck, S., Verschuren, D. and De Meester, L., 2006. Daphnia community analysis in shallow Kenyan lakes and ponds using dormant eggs in surface sediments. Freshw. Biol. 51, 399-411. Read more


Rumes B., Eggermont, H., Verschuren, D., 2005. Subfossil representation of aquatic invertebrate communities in a salinity gradient of western Uganda crater lakes. Hydrobiologia 542, 297-314. Read more


Mergeay, J., De Meester, L., Verschuren, D., 2005. Cryptic invasion and dispersal of an American Daphnia in East Africa. Limnol. Oceanogr. 50, 1278-1283. Read more


Mergeay, J., Verschuren, D., De Meester, L., 2005. Daphnia species diversity in Kenya, and a key to the identification of their ephippia. Hydrobiologia 542, 261-274. Read more


Verschuren, D., Cumming, B. F., Laird, K. R., 2004. Quantitative reconstruction of past salinity variations in African lakes using fossil midges (Diptera: Chironomidae): assessment of inference models in space and time. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sc. 61, 986-998. Read more


Mergeay, J., Verschuren, D., Van Kerckhoven, L. and De Meester, L., 2004. Two hundred years of a diverse Daphnia community in Lake Naivasha (Kenya): effects of natural and human-induced environmental changes. Freshw. Biol. 49, 998-1013. Read more


Eggermont, H., Verschuren, D., 2004. Subfossil Chironomidae from East Africa. 1. Tanypodinae and Orthocladiinae. J. Paleolim. 32, 383-412. Read more


Eggermont H., Verschuren, D., 2004. Subfossil Chironomidae from East Africa. 2. Chironomini and Tanytarsini.
J. Paleolim. 32, 413-455. Read more

 

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