New at FRIS: patents, infrastructure and datasets
As you can see above, the FRIS Research portal has been expanded with additional information about patents, infrastructure and datasets. Beside information about almost 1800 patents, you can also find limited information about infrastructure and datasets. The amount of information will of course grow systematically in the future, so that this will offer a more complete view of the Flemish research landscape. We wish you a good surfing experience!
Researcher in the spotlight
André De Kesel works as a researcher at Meise Botanic Garden. As a mycologist, he carries out both applied and fundamental research on mushrooms and fungi in Belgium and tropical Africa.
Despite a growing awareness of the importance of ecosystem services provided by fungi, knowledge on the diversity of tropical fungi remains poor. André's taxonomic research mainly focuses on the study and description of species that are somehow useful or endangered. Morphological and phylogenetic characteristics are combined to obtain a stable taxonomy. Fungi are a mega-diverse group. As deforestation is a growing problem in Africa, his scientific interest focuses on fungi that live in symbiosis with trees (boletes, chanterelles, milk caps, amanita, russula, ...). In the field, his ethnomycological research has shown that most of these symbiotic fungi are also eaten by the local population. Partly thanks to external funding, he also supervises local PhD students in DR Congo and Bénin. Here, taxonomic knowledge is essential as it enables to better understand and compare ecosystem services provided by fungi and other organisms. This results in contributions in taxonomy, but also in ethnomycology and ecology.
From a more applied perspective, André also focuses on problematic fungi in buildings. Fungi are everywhere, and damp houses are a suitable environment for a whole range of wood fungi. Many of these species are difficult to identify. Because a number of these wood fungi (such as the True dry rot fungus) require specific and expensive treatment, correct identification is essential. Based on microscopic examination of samples, André determines the identity of the wood fungus and a correct control protocol can be implemented or a dispute can be solved.
André studied Biology at the University of Antwerp, taught secondary school for a while and obtained an aggregate at the Free University of Brussels. In January 1990, he started as an intern at Plantentuin Meise and worked in various projects on fungal diversity in Belgium. In 1992, he received a PhD scholarship for a study on the ecology and taxonomy of insect-parasitic fungi. In 1997 he obtained a PhD (University of Antwerp) and started working as a researcher in mycology at Plantentuin Meise. Get to know the projects and publication of André here. You can find more information about André and his research here.