Protistology & Aquatic Ecology (PAE)

Our research group studies marine and freshwater ecosystems, with an emphasis on coastal systems and polar-alpine and temperate lakes. We have a strong focus on the biodiversity, ecological roles and evolutionary history of unicellular eukaryotes in these systems as well as from other natural or man-made environments.

The lab has a long-standing history of research on diatoms, which are the focus of a long-term integrative research line, including cell biology of new model diatom species, population genomics and macroecological and biogeographical studies.

In an appliied context, we focus among others on harmful algal bloom monitoring and control, transmission of pathogens via bacteria-protozoa interactions in animal farming, and algal biotechnology.

The lab hosts an ISO9001 certified Diatom Culture Collection.

Research group  staff list and phonebook

Research Topics

  • Species diversity, speciation and micro-evolution of protists
  • Aquatic and soil microbiome biogeography and function
  • Chemical ecology of microbial interactions
  • Life cycle regulation and genotype-phenotype relationships in microalgae
  • (Paleo-)Environmental change in lake, estuarine and coastal ecosystems

Find out more


Publications in the spotlight
PAE publications in the UGent bibliography


Ghent University, Department of Biology, Research Group Protistology and Aquatic Ecology
Krijgslaan 281/S8
9000 Gent
phone: +32 (0)9 264 85 88
fax: +32 (0)9 264 85 99


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