Frederik Leliaert

Scientific director
Research scientist phycology
Department: Research
Contact: frederik.leliaert@plantentuinmeise.be
Phone: +32 2 260 09 70

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Frederik Leliaert

I’m interested in a range of topics that fall within the realms of biodiversity and evolution. I use molecular, morphological, ecological and geographic data to resolve phylogenetic relationships, test species boundaries, and explore the biogeographical history in marine algae.

Taxonomy. I focus on the taxonomy of the Ulvophyceae, and in particular the Cladophorales, a morphologically and ecologically diverse group of green algae that abound in marine and freshwater environments. Species diversity is poorly documented, especially in tropical regions. I aim to further describe this diversity, test species boundaries and resolve relationships based on morphological and molecular data obtained from new and historic collections.

Evolution, diversification and historical biogeography. By combining molecular phylogenetic, macro-ecological and biogeographical data, I explore the historical processes by which seaweed species arise, diverge ecologically, and come to occupy different habitats and geographic regions. I use taxa that have been well sampled throughout their geographical range, including the red alga Portieria, and several green algal genera, including Cladophora, Boodlea and Bryopsis.

Deep phylogeny. I aim to resolve relationships among the main lineages of green plants (Viridiplantae) using genome-scale data. A solid phylogenetic framework of the green plant lineage forms the basis for a revised classification that reflects evolutionary history, and enables investigating evolutionary patterns. Analysis of complete chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes also yields important insights into the evolution of these genomes, including genome rearrangements, expansion/reduction and fragmentation, gene loss, and horizontal gene transfer.

Qualifications
Degrees
PhD, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 2004
MSc, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 1996

Employment history
Scientific director, Meise Botanic Garden, Belgium, 2016 - ongoing
Visiting professor, Ghent University, Belgium, 2016 - ongoing
Assistant professor, Ghent University, Belgium, 2014 - 2016
Postdoctoral researcher, The University of Alabama, USA, 2013 - 2014
Postdoctoral researcher, Ghent University, Belgium, 2005 - 2013
Teaching assistant, Ghent University, Belgium, 1997 - 2004

Professional activities
Associate Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science, 2018 - ongoing
Associate Editor, European Journal of Taxonomy, 2017- ongoing
Associate Editor, Algological Studies, 2012- ongoing
Member of the editorial board of Journal of Phycology, 2014 - ongoing
Teaching: course Biodiversity Conservation, Ghent University, 2014 - ongoing
Member of the scientific committee of the 7th European Phycological Congress, Zagreb, 2019
Symposium organizer, 6th European Phycological Congress, London, 2015

Publications
FRIS Research Portal
 

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