Botanic Garden Meise - OUR SCIENTISTS
Jerôme DEGREEF, PhD
Agronomist Ir, Directeur scientifique Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
I have been working more than 10 years as Head of department at the former National Botanic Garden of Belgium (now Meise Botanic Garden), supervising research on cryptogams diversity (algae, mosses, lichens and fungi) and managing the cryptogams section of herbarium BR (around 700.000 specimens), an inexhaustible source of information about the past and current biodiversity and an indispensable tool for research and conservation.
I was appointed Scientific director in 2014 and I currently manage the 30 staff members from the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles collaborating in the achievement of the Meise Botanic Garden missions. In addition to my team leader activities and administrative tasks, my research focuses on the tropical fungi with a special interest in the edible African species and the valorization of these ecosystem services for development. I namely co-authored field guides for identifying the most commonly consumed fungi in central African dense forests and South-Eastern African miombo.
With the permanent aim to increase the local mycological expertise and the knowledge of fungal diversity in Africa, I regularly organize workshops and field trainings in the region and I supervise research of local students. I am also eager to share this important scientific data by editing and promoting the Fungus Flora of Tropical Africa, the only taxonomical series specifically dedicated to African mushrooms. With the support of the Network of the mycologists from the African Great Lakes region I co-funded in 2013, we launched the www.EFTA-online.org annotated database, the first website ever dedicated to the edible fungi of tropical Africa.