Membre du personnel

Jean-Pierre DESCY



- Crépin Prize, 1976, awarded by the Royal Botanical Society, Belgium (Société Royale de Botanique de Belgique)

- Innovation Prize 2000, awarded by Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux for contributing to studies on the impact of nuclear power plants on the aquatic ecosystem

Domaines d'expertises

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 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.
Ongoing research is on ecology of great tropical lakes, as influenced by climate change and by species introductions, on cyanobacteria blooms in reservoirs, on microbial diversity and function, and on invasive clams in rivers, 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.
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.

- Etude des relations trophiques en milieu fluvial et lacustre (interaction phytoplancton-zooplancton ; boucle microbienne)
2. Qualité des eaux courantes
- Etat écologique des eaux de surface
- Utilisation des algues benthiques (en particulier diatomées) comme indicateurs de pollution des eaux courantes
- Contribution à la modélisation intégrée des bassins versants

Responsabilités externes

- Member of the Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Belgium
- President of the Monitoring working group at the International Meuse Commission
- Member of the evaluation committee of SPGE (Société Publique de Gestion de l'Eau)
- Member of the editorial board of Freshwater Biology
- Reviewer for 37 scientific journals


Docteur en Sciences Biologiques