DECAESTECKER Ellen's profile
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DECAESTECKER Ellen

  • Aquatic Biology, KU Leuven, Kortrijk, Belgium
  • Aquatic, Biodiversity, Crustacea, Ecology, Ecosystems, Evolution, Genetics/Genomics, Life histories, Parasitology, Symbiosis
  • recommender, administrator, manager

Recommendations:  2

Reviews:  0

Educational and work
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND Website www.kuleuven-kulak.be/aquaticbiology/EllenDecaestecker ORCID 0000-0001-6328-5283 2020 Sabbatical IRD, CNRS Montpellier 2018 - Full Professor Biology KU Leuven 2012 - 2018 Associate Professor Biology KU Leuven 2008 FWO Postdoc Fellow, Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, UEdinburgh 2007 - 2012 Assistant Professor Biology KU Leuven 2003 - 2007 Postdoc FWO & KU Leuven Research Council 1998 - 2002 PhD KU Leuven in collaboration with UBasel FIVE MAIN PUBLICATIONS Callens M., Watanabe H., Kato Y., Miura J., Decaestecker E. 2018. Microbiota inoculum composition affects holobiont assembly and host growth in Daphnia. Microbiome 6, 56. (IF: 9.13). Macke E., Callens M., De Meester L., Decaestecker E. 2017. Host-genotype dependent gut microbiota drives zooplankton tolerance to toxic cyanobacteria. Nature Communications 8, 1608 (IF 12.35). Callens M., Macke E., Bossier P., Lievens B., Waud M., Decaestecker E. 2016. Food availability affects the strength of mutualistic host-microbiota interactions in Daphnia magna. ISME Journal 10, 911-920. (IF 9.52). Decaestecker E., De Gersem H., Michalakis Y., Raeymaekers JAM. 2013. Damped long-term host- parasite Red Queen coevolutionary dynamics: a reflection of dilution effects? Ecology Letters 16, 1455- 1462. (IF 9.14). Decaestecker E., Gaba S., Raeymaekers JAM., Stoks R., Van Kerckhoven L., Ebert D., De Meester L.. 2007. Host-parasite 'Red Queen' dynamics archived in pond sediment. Nature 450 (7171), 870- 873. (IF 41.58). For a full list of publications see https://lirias.kuleuven.be/cv?u=U0003403; 4 book chapters, > 55 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, including Nature, Nature Comm., PNAS, eLife, Ecol. Lett., ISME journal, Microbiome, Am. Nat., J. Anim. Ecol., Evolution, Ecology, FEMS Microbial. Ecology as first or last author. Web of Science: H-index = 21, 1645 citations. Average citations/year: 91.5. Average citations/item: 34; Google Scholar: H-index = 25, i10-index = 37, 2336 citations. LAB EXPERTISE The Decaestecker lab engages in science with societal relevance that we urgently need to solve problems associated with global change and sustainability. We investigate the ecology, evolution, biodiversity and species interactions in freshwater ecosystems, more in particular, host-microbiome interactions in an eco-evolutionary framework. Conceptual thinking is combined with the newest tools (metagenomics, metabolomics and theoretical modelling) to foster interdisciplinary research and link microbial ecology with physiological and biomedical research. TEACHING RESPONSIBILITIES I teach classes in Animal, Human and Comparative Biology; Diversity of Animals; Ecology and Evolution at bachelor and master level in Biology, Biochemistry, Bio-engineers, Psychological and Biomedical Sciences. COMMISSIONS OF TRUSTS/NETWORKS Secretary European Society Evolutionary Biology, President Royal Belgian Zoological Society, President KU Leuven Young PI Group; Member KU Leuven Research Council, KU Leuven Science Faculty PhD Commission, KU Leuven Biology Department Council, KU Leuven PI Evaluation Commission, FWO BIO3 Evaluation panel, KNAW-NIOO advisory committee (NL), DFG Priority Program Selection Committee (DE), HCERES Evaluation Commission (FR). Scientific Committee FOD Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (BE), ESEB board (John Maynard Smith prize and STNs, EU), NecoV board (NL-BE). Member FWO Research Networks “Eco-evolutionary dynamics” and “Biology and Ecology of Biofilms”. Member Evaluation Committee of 34 PhD defences at KU Leuven and 21 at other universities/institutes (UGent, CNRS-Montpellier, ETH-Zürich, UGroningen, UUtrecht). Founder PCI Zoology, Editor invited reviews Belgian Journal of Zoology.

Recommendations:  2

08 Feb 2022
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The initial response of females towards congeneric males matches the propensity to hybridise in Ophthalmotilapia

Experimental evidence for asymmetrical species recognition in East African Ophthalmotilapia cichlids

Recommended by based on reviews by George Turner and 2 anonymous reviewers

I recommend the Van Steenberge et al. study. With over 2000 endemic species, the East African cichlids are a well-established model system in speciation research (Salzburger 2018) and several models have been proposed and tested to explain how these radiations formed (Kocher 2004). Hybridization was shown to be a main driver of the rapid speciation and adaptive radiations of the East African Cichlid fishes (Seehausen 2004). However, it is obvious that unrestrained hybridization also has the potential to reduce taxonomic diversity by erasing species barriers. In the classical model of cichlid evolution, special emphasis was placed on mate preference (Kocher 2004). However, no attention was placed on species recognition, which was implicitly assumed. There is, however, more research needed on what species recognition means, especially in radiating lineages such as cichlids. In a previous study, Nevado et al. 2011 found traces of asymmetrical hybridization between members of the Lake Tanganyika radiation: the genus Ophthalmotilapia. This recommended study by Van Steenberge et al. is based on Nevado et al. (2011), which detected that in one genus of Ophthalmotilapia mitochondrial DNA ‘typical’ for one of the four species (O. nasuta) was also found in three other species (O. ventralis, O. heterodonta, and O. boops). The authors suggested that this could be explained by the fact that females of the three other species accepted O. nasuta males, but that O. nasuta females were more selective and accepted only conspecifc males. This could hence be due to asymmetric mate preferences, or by asymmetric abilities for species recognition. 

This is exactly what the current study by Van Steenberge et al. did. They tested the latter hypothesis by presenting females of two different Ophthalmotilapia species with con- and heterospecific males. This was tested through experiments, making use of wild specimens of two species: O. nasuta and O. ventralis. The authors assumed that if they performed classical “choice-experiments”, they would not notice the recognition effects, given that females would just select preferred, most likely conspecific, males. Instead, specimens were only briefly presented to other fishes since the authors wanted to compare differences in the ability for ‘species recognition’. In this, the authors followed Mendelson and Shaw (2012) who used “a measurable difference in behavioural response towards conspecifics as compared to heterospecifics’’ as a definition for recognition. Instead of the focus on selection/preference, they investigated if females of different species behaved differently, and hence detected the difference between conspecific and heterospecific males. This was tested by a short (15 minutes) exposure to another fish in an isolated part of the aquarium. Recognition was defined as the ‘difference in a particular behaviour between the two conditions’. What was monitored was the swimming behaviour and trajectory (1 image per second) together with known social behaviours of this genus. The selection of these behaviours was further facilitated based on experimental set-ups of reproductive behaviour or the same species previously described by the same research team (Kéver et al. 2018).

The result was that O. nasuta females, for which it was expected that they would not hybridize, showed a different behaviour towards a con- or a heterospecific male. They interacted less with males of the other species. What was unexpected is that there was no difference in behaviour of the females whether they recognized a male or (control) female of their own species. This suggests that they did not detect differences in reproductive behaviour, but rather in the interactions between conspecifics. For females of O. ventralis, for which there are indications for hybridization in the wild, they did not find a difference in behaviour. Females of this species behaved identically with respect to the right and wrong males as well as towards the control females. Interestingly is thus that a complex pattern between species in the wild could be (partially) explained by the behaviour/interaction at first impression of the individuals of these species. 

References

Kéver L, Parmentier E, Derycke S, Verheyen E, Snoeks J, Van Steenberge M, Poncin P (2018) Limited possibilities for prezygotic barriers in the reproductive behaviour of sympatric Ophthalmotilapia species (Teleostei, Cichlidae). Zoology, 126, 71–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.zool.2017.12.001

Kocher TD (2004) Adaptive evolution and explosive speciation: the cichlid fish model. Nature Reviews Genetics, 5, 288–298. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrg1316

Mendelson TC, Shaw KL (2012) The (mis)concept of species recognition. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 27, 421–427. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2012.04.001

Nevado B, Fazalova V, Backeljau T, Hanssens M, Verheyen E (2011) Repeated Unidirectional Introgression of Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Between Four Congeneric Tanganyikan Cichlids. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 28, 2253–2267. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msr043

Salzburger W (2018) Understanding explosive diversification through cichlid fish genomics. Nature Reviews Genetics, 19, 705–717. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41576-018-0043-9

Seehausen O (2004) Hybridization and adaptive radiation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 19, 198–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2004.01.003

Steenberge MV, Jublier N, Kéver L, Gresham S, Derycke S, Snoeks J, Parmentier E, Poncin P, Verheyen E (2022) The initial response of females towards congeneric males matches the propensity to hybridise in Ophthalmotilapia. bioRxiv, 2021.08.07.455508, ver. 3 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Zoology. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.07.455508

05 Jan 2021
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Do substrate roughness and gap distance impact gap-bridging strategies in arboreal chameleons?

Gap-bridging strategies in arboreal chameleons

Recommended by based on reviews by Simon Baeckens and 2 anonymous reviewers

Until now, very little is known about the tail use and functional performance in tail prehensile animals. Luger et al. (2020) are the first to provide explorative observations on trait related modulation of tail use, despite the lack of a sufficiently standardized data set to allow statistical testing. They described whether gap distance, perch diameter, and perch roughness influence tail use and overall locomotor behavior of the species Chamaeleo calyptratus.
Peterson (1984) described already the pattern how and when the tail is moved when bridging the distance from one perch to another. The study by Luger et al. (2020) further explores how this bridging distance, as well as other perch parameters modulate this behavior and the importance of tail use in it. Zippel et al. (1999) study the underlying musculoskeletal anatomy of the tail in chameleons, showing that chameleons have a strikingly different tail anatomy than other prehensile squamates. The difference is (partially) to be seen in the capacity of tail autotomy, that has been lost in chameleons.
Luger et al. (2020) describe the role the tail has in bridging a gap, and show that challenging and acrobatic movements to bridge large gaps, or when grasping on not so rough surfaces, relies heavily on a strong tail. Full body suspension with the tail can explain why tail autotomy has been lost, thus explaining the diverging tail musculature. They speculate on the role of this behavior for sexual selection for males. Sexual selection for males with a higher gripping performance could explain why male chameleons perform better for their size. In addition, boldness could have played a role. The authors state that exploring personality and its links to morphology, performance, and behaviors like grap-bridging would be a worthwhile avenue for future research on sexual selection in reptiles.

References

Luger, A.M., Vermeylen, V., Herrel, A. and Adriaens, D. (2020) Do substrate roughness and gap distance impact gap-bridging strategies in arboreal chameleons? bioRxiv, 2020.08.21.260596, ver. 3 peer-reviewed and recommended by PCI Zoology. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.21.260596
Peterson, J. A. (1984). The locomotion of Chamaeleo (Reptilia: Sauria) with particular reference to the forelimb. Journal of Zoology, 202(1), 1-42. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1984.tb04286.x
Zippel, K. C., Glor, R. E., and Bertram, J. E. (1999). On caudal prehensility and phylogenetic constraint in lizards: the influence of ancestral anatomy on function in Corucia and Furcifer. Journal of Morphology, 239(2), 143-155. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-4687(199902)239:2%3C143::AID-JMOR3%3E3.0.CO;2-O

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DECAESTECKER Ellen

  • Aquatic Biology, KU Leuven, Kortrijk, Belgium
  • Aquatic, Biodiversity, Crustacea, Ecology, Ecosystems, Evolution, Genetics/Genomics, Life histories, Parasitology, Symbiosis
  • recommender, administrator, manager

Recommendations:  2

Reviews:  0

Educational and work
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND Website www.kuleuven-kulak.be/aquaticbiology/EllenDecaestecker ORCID 0000-0001-6328-5283 2020 Sabbatical IRD, CNRS Montpellier 2018 - Full Professor Biology KU Leuven 2012 - 2018 Associate Professor Biology KU Leuven 2008 FWO Postdoc Fellow, Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, UEdinburgh 2007 - 2012 Assistant Professor Biology KU Leuven 2003 - 2007 Postdoc FWO & KU Leuven Research Council 1998 - 2002 PhD KU Leuven in collaboration with UBasel FIVE MAIN PUBLICATIONS Callens M., Watanabe H., Kato Y., Miura J., Decaestecker E. 2018. Microbiota inoculum composition affects holobiont assembly and host growth in Daphnia. Microbiome 6, 56. (IF: 9.13). Macke E., Callens M., De Meester L., Decaestecker E. 2017. Host-genotype dependent gut microbiota drives zooplankton tolerance to toxic cyanobacteria. Nature Communications 8, 1608 (IF 12.35). Callens M., Macke E., Bossier P., Lievens B., Waud M., Decaestecker E. 2016. Food availability affects the strength of mutualistic host-microbiota interactions in Daphnia magna. ISME Journal 10, 911-920. (IF 9.52). Decaestecker E., De Gersem H., Michalakis Y., Raeymaekers JAM. 2013. Damped long-term host- parasite Red Queen coevolutionary dynamics: a reflection of dilution effects? Ecology Letters 16, 1455- 1462. (IF 9.14). Decaestecker E., Gaba S., Raeymaekers JAM., Stoks R., Van Kerckhoven L., Ebert D., De Meester L.. 2007. Host-parasite 'Red Queen' dynamics archived in pond sediment. Nature 450 (7171), 870- 873. (IF 41.58). For a full list of publications see https://lirias.kuleuven.be/cv?u=U0003403; 4 book chapters, > 55 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, including Nature, Nature Comm., PNAS, eLife, Ecol. Lett., ISME journal, Microbiome, Am. Nat., J. Anim. Ecol., Evolution, Ecology, FEMS Microbial. Ecology as first or last author. Web of Science: H-index = 21, 1645 citations. Average citations/year: 91.5. Average citations/item: 34; Google Scholar: H-index = 25, i10-index = 37, 2336 citations. LAB EXPERTISE The Decaestecker lab engages in science with societal relevance that we urgently need to solve problems associated with global change and sustainability. We investigate the ecology, evolution, biodiversity and species interactions in freshwater ecosystems, more in particular, host-microbiome interactions in an eco-evolutionary framework. Conceptual thinking is combined with the newest tools (metagenomics, metabolomics and theoretical modelling) to foster interdisciplinary research and link microbial ecology with physiological and biomedical research. TEACHING RESPONSIBILITIES I teach classes in Animal, Human and Comparative Biology; Diversity of Animals; Ecology and Evolution at bachelor and master level in Biology, Biochemistry, Bio-engineers, Psychological and Biomedical Sciences. COMMISSIONS OF TRUSTS/NETWORKS Secretary European Society Evolutionary Biology, President Royal Belgian Zoological Society, President KU Leuven Young PI Group; Member KU Leuven Research Council, KU Leuven Science Faculty PhD Commission, KU Leuven Biology Department Council, KU Leuven PI Evaluation Commission, FWO BIO3 Evaluation panel, KNAW-NIOO advisory committee (NL), DFG Priority Program Selection Committee (DE), HCERES Evaluation Commission (FR). Scientific Committee FOD Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (BE), ESEB board (John Maynard Smith prize and STNs, EU), NecoV board (NL-BE). Member FWO Research Networks “Eco-evolutionary dynamics” and “Biology and Ecology of Biofilms”. Member Evaluation Committee of 34 PhD defences at KU Leuven and 21 at other universities/institutes (UGent, CNRS-Montpellier, ETH-Zürich, UGroningen, UUtrecht). Founder PCI Zoology, Editor invited reviews Belgian Journal of Zoology.