Prof. Ellen Decaestecker



We investigate host-stress interactions in the invertebrate model Daphnia. In in vivo experimental set-ups, and via theoretical modeling, molecular and epigenetics research, we investigate:

-the role of environmental change in disease emergence

We study host-pathogen interactions in natural ecosystems to gain insight into the processes that control the dynamics of these antagonistic interactions, which is especially relevant under climate change. We focus on (eco-co)evolutionary dynamics, molecular responses and host stoichiometry.

-the role of the host microbiome in stress responses

We investigate through axenic Daphnia, microbial transplants and next generation sequencing the effect of food type, cyanobacterial toxins and antibiotics in the community composition and functionality of microbiota; and whether these interactions are associated with host genotypes and adaptive responses.

-the role of epigenetics in immunology and carcinogenesis

Phenotypes are beside the genome largely determined by the epigenome, which is subject to stress responses. We study the role of epigenetics in resistance/tolerance to pathogens and in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in carcinogenic responses under the influence of hypoxia.

My Publications

My Research Projects

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Laboratory of Aquatic Biology
Department of Biology, K.U.Leuven Kulak

E. Sabbelaan 53 - B-8500 Kortrijk - Belgium
phone: +32 56 24 60 59 - fax: +32 56 24 69 99
function: associate professor KULeuven (full-time) Faculty of Science