DESCY, Jean-Pierre

Docteur en sciences botaniques (Université de Liège), professeur à l'Université de Namur.
Biodiversité, limnologie; Afrique de l’Est, Rwanda, RD Congo, Bolivie

My research interest is in ecology of microorganisms in freshwaters. I graduated in Botany at University of Liège, Belgium, I began my research career with a PhD on the ecology of benthic diatoms in lowland rivers and their use for monitoring water quality. In the beginning of the 1980s, I became involved in research on potamoplankton, in the framework of impact assessment of nuclear plants on the R. Meuse. This is when I began collaborating with a team of modellers and discovered these techniques.
In 1986, I moved to University of Namur and began teaching biology and ecology of algae and plants, while pursuing my research in potamoplankton. Later on I got involved in research on African lakes, with the supervision of a PhD in lake Muhazi, Rwanda, and with a first "discovery" of Lake Kivu in 1990. In 1996, I did a sabbatical at University of Wisconsin, Madison, where I learned everything on HPLC analysis of pigments.
The 2000s began with a research program on Lake Tanganyika and the coordination of the CLIMLAKE project, involving collaboration of the Belgian teams with African teams. At the same time, I went back to Lake Kivu and we started studying this lake. That's where our interest for picoplankton and heterotrophic protists, and the microbial loop, developed, with several projects carried out with my graduate and PhD students.

I am still active at University of Liège, in the Chemical Oceanography Unit led by A.V. Borges, who is known internationally for his work on greenhouse gasses emissions, both from marine and freshwater environments. Ongoing research is on ecology of great tropical lakes (e.g. Lake Edward, Lake Victoria, Lake Mai-Ndombe, Lake Albert, Lake Kyoga), in collaboration with teams from Belgium and abroad.

My expertise in algal ecology and biological assessment of water quality is still useful for the determination of the ecological status of water bodies, notably in the context of river restoration and of applied studies such as ecological impact of power plants.

Since I was a young boy, I have been fishing, mainly in rivers, using different techniques, from the worm to the fly, but I have specialised in fly-fishing since the 1970s: I tie flies and cast nymphs and dry flies in running waters.

Complete list of publications


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