We study the biodiversity of tropical African invertebrates.

Our research focuses on:

  • flies
  • spiders
  • parasitic flatworms
  • millipedes
  • sea cucumbers.

We cover several disciplines:

  • taxonomy
  • population genetics
  • phylogenetics
  • biogeography
  • ecology (insect-host plant and parasite-host relationships)
  • insect pest control
  • conservation
  • parasitic diseases.

The museum’s molecular biology laboratory (Joint Experimental Molecular Unit, JEMU) is managed together with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, with which we also handle the BopCo (Barcoding of Organisms and tissues of Policy Concern) project. We are part of the Belgian Network for DNA Barcoding.


Scientific personnel

  • Marc De Meyer, Head of department
    Diptera, taxonomy, phylogeny, insect-plant relationships
  • Cyril Hammoud, Parasitologist/molecular biologist
  • Tine Huyse, Parasitologist/molecular biologist
    host-parasite relationships, phylogeography and population genetics, invasive species, zoonoses, One Health
  • Kurt Jordaens, Entomologist
    Diptera, hover flies, taxonomy, phylogeny, insect-plant relationships
  • Michiel Jorissen, Parasitologist/molecular biologist
    Invasive species, parasite transfers
  • Kenny Meganck, Molecular biologist
    DNA barcoding
  • Patricia Mergen , Liaison officer
    Project proposal & management support, institutional representation, fundraising
  • Nele Mullens
  • Nathalie Smitz, Molecular biologist
    DNA barcoding, phylogeography and population genetics, conservation biology
  • Massimiliano Virgilio, Taxonomist/molecular biologist
    Diptera, fruit flies, molecular and ecological taxonomy, population genetics

Technical and administrative staff


  • Mercy Ashepet
Scientific tools

Fruit flies (Tephritidae)



We organize training courses on African fruit flies (Tephritidae) and fly pollinators.

> Learn more about our training courses