Botanic Garden Meise- OUR SCIENTISTS
Dries Van den Broeck
I started working in the Botanic Garden Meise in 2009. In the beginning, my research focussed on the ecology of lichens, in particular the use of lichens as bio indicators of environmental disturbances like air pollution, climate change and forest management.
After the Boyekoli Ebale Congo 2010 expedition, where I was one of the participants, my interest shifted to the taxonomy of some groups of African lichens (especially foliicolous species and Graphidaceae).
Recently my main focus changed to the taxonomy of the Arthoniales, an order that includes c. 55 genera and c. 1500 species of mainly lichenized, more rarely lichenicolous and saprophytic fungi, with a particular interest for Central Africa. I conducted field work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Boyekoli Ebale Congo 2010, COBIMFO project), Uganda and Tanzania, leading to the publication of several new species and one new genus. Other species were described as new to science thanks to the receiving and the study of collections made by other lichenologists.
At present my research focuses on a worldwide revision of the genus Arthothelium, with close to 160 species.
Besides this, several floristic studies are performed every year to improve the lichen checklist of Belgium and Luxembourg, the floristic database and the atlas of distribution maps (http://www.lichenology.info). In collaboration with members of the WBL and Colybia the mains focus at present is on the inventarisation of lichens and lichenicolous fungi in the province of Antwerp (atlasproject). Until now 349 lichens and 30 lichenicolous fungi have been discovered. Results are mainly published in Muscillanea and on the website of the WBL (www.mossenkorstmossen.be).
Upon request I identify lichens and lichenicolous fungi collected and/or photographed by people with an interest for lichens.