Resources and expertise

Core of knowledge and expertise center for molecular biology

Since its creation in 2007, JEMU has acquired knowledge and expertise in molecular biology and systematics. Members of the team are experienced with molecular techniques such as Sanger DNA sequencing, DNA fragment analysis and especially their applications on museum specimens and archival DNA. Analyses of DNA sequences for specimen identification, taxonomic, phylogenetic, population genetic and phylogeographic purposes are routinely performed using specific softwares and the statistical R language. Read more about the molecular tools used by JEMU.

Next generation sequencing

In 2013, JEMU gained up-to-date know-how on next generation sequencing (NGS) and its unprecedented range of applications. All members of the JEMU team followed courses and practicals focusing on the protocols and sequencing platforms available for phylogenomics, epigenomics, metabarcoding, environmental DNA sampling etc.

Infrastructure and shared resources

JEMU has access to five laboratories (three in RBINS and two in RMCA). Three of them, (the archival DNA laboratory of RBINS and both "pre" and "post" PCR laboratories of RMCA) were partly equipped by JEMU. In this working environment, JEMU supports other researchers with an interest in applying molecular systematic techniques. As a unit particularly active in molecular identification of biological specimens, JEMU is offering scientific services to third parties, such as generating molecular data, advice with molecular data treatment and interpretation, providing specialized literature, maintaining an up-to-date database of primers available in RBINS and RMCA for PCR and DNA sequencing, giving advices with manuscripts and publications, supporting project applications, curating DNA and tissue collections, and organizing training activities.

Editorial services

  • Massimiliano Virgilio is subject editor of the Bulletin of Entomological Research
  • Kurt Jordaens is associate editor of the Journal of Molluscan Studies.
  • Kurt Jordaens is associate editor of Malacologica Bohemoslovaka.
  • Kurt Jordaens is branch editor of the Belgian Journal of Zoology.
  • Kurt Jordaens is section editor of the European Journal of Taxonomy.
  • Zoltán T. Nagy is managing editor of Herpetology Notes.
  • Zoltán T. Nagy is section editor of Zootaxa.

Referee services

  • Abc Taxa
  • African Journal of Biotechnology
  • Állattani Közlemények
  • American Naturalist
  • Aquatic Invasions
  • Belgian Journal of Zoology
  • Biologia
  • Biological Invasions
  • Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
  • BMC Ecology
  • BMC Evolutionary Biology
  • Canadian Journal of Zoology
  • Diversity and Distributions
  • Heredity
  • Herpetology Notes
  • Insectes Sociaux
  • Invertebrate Biology
  • Invertebrate Reproduction and Development
  • Journal of Afrotropical Zoology
  • Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Journal of Evolutionary Biology
  • Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
  • Journal of Molluscan Studies
  • Journal of Natural History
  • Journal of the World Aquaculture Society
  • Journal of Zoology
  • Malacologia
  • Malacologica Bohemoslovaka
  • Molecular Ecology
  • Molecular Ecology Resources
  • Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
  • Molluscan Research
  • Naturwissenschaften
  • North-Western Journal of Zoology
  • Organisms, Diversity & Evolution
  • Ostrich
  • PLoS ONE
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B
  • Salamandra
  • Zookeys
  • Zoological Science
  • Zoologica Scripta
  • Zoological Studies

Training PhD students

  • Dillen, Lubina: University of Antwerp – Evolutionary Ecology Group – Antwerp – Belgium. Keywords: land snail – sexual selection – Succinea putris.
  • Havermans, Charlotte: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences – Department of Invertebrates – Brussels – Belgium. Keywords: Amphipoda – deep-sea – phylogeny.
  • Henrard, Arnaud: Royal Museum for Central Africa – Invertebrates non-insects section – Tervuren – Belgium. Keywords: Aranea – phylogeny – spiders.
  • Heylen, Dieter: University of Antwerp – Evolutionary Ecology Group – Antwerp – Belgium. Keywords: Acari – host-parasite interactions – ticks.
  • Kennis, Jan: University of Antwerp – Evolutionary Ecology Group – Antwerp – Belgium. Keywords: Africa – rodents – taxonomy.
  • Maarten van Hove: Catholic University of Leuven – Leuven – Belgium. Keywords: Cichlidae – parasitology – taxonomy.
  • Moerkens, Rob: University of Antwerp – Evolutionary Ecology Group – Antwerp – Belgium. Keywords: Dermaptera – life-history variation – pest control.
  • Patrão, Claudia: University of the Algarve – Faro – Portugal. Keywords: Geomalacus – land slugs – taxonomy.
  • Prévot, Vanya: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences – Department of Invertebrates – Brussels – Belgium. Keywords: land snail – Rumina – taxonomy.
  • Tessens, Bart: University of Hasselt – Hasselt – Belgium. Keywords: phylogeny – Platyhelminthes – molecular systematics.
  • Versteirt, Veerle: Institute of Tropical Medicine – Antwerp – Belgium. Keywords: Anopheles – malaria – taxonomy.
  • Yserbyt, Arne: University of Antwerp – Evolutionary Ecology Group – Antwerp – Belgium. Keywords: female colour polymorphism – Odonata – phylogeography.

Training BSc students

  • Vermeulen, Joris (2008-2009): ‘Improving protocols for DNA barcoding of Anoplotermes’. Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven – Leuven – Belgium. Promotor: Zoltán T. Nagy. Keywords: Anoplotermes – DNA barcoding – PCR.
  • MSc students
  • Cauchie, Steven (2010-2011): ‘Moleculaire systematiek en populatiegenetica van Vertigo sp. (Gastropoda, Pulmonata)’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Thierry Backeljau; co-promotor: Kurt Jordaens. Keywords: DNA barcoding; Vertigo; land snail.
  • Dams, Sam (2012-2013): ‘Moleculaire verwantschappen in het genus Sarcophaga (‘vleesvliegen’) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae)’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Kurt Jordaens; co-promotor: Thierry Backeljau. Keywords: Phylogeny; Sarcophaga; forensic sciences.
  • De Gruyter, Johan (2011-2012): ‘Morfologische taxonomie en DNA barcoding van een geselecteerde groep nachtvlinders uit Africa’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Luc De Bruyn; co-promotor: Jurate De Prins / Kurt Jordaens. Keywords: Africa –DNA barcoding; Lymantriidae.
  • Devriendt, Kassiopeia (2010-2011): ‘Inleidende studie naar het gebruik van fluctuerende asymmetrie (FA) bij orchideeën als maat voor kwaliteit op individueel niveau’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Stefan Van Dongen; co-promotor: Kurt Jordaens. Keywords: developmental instability – fluctuating asymmetry – orchids.
  • Diercx, Marjan (2009-2010): ‘Moleculaire systematiek van het Napaeus pruninus complex (Gastropoda, Pulmonata) in de Azoren’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Thierry Backeljau; co-promotor: Kurt Jordaens. Keywords: land snail; Napaeus; phylogeny.
  • Goovaerts, Frankie (2011-2012): ‘Moleculaire en morfologische systematiek van het Phormia regina (Diptera, Calliphoridae) complex’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Kurt Jordaens; co-promotor: Thierry Backeljau. Keywords: phylogeny; Phormia; forensic sciences.
  • Helsen, Sanne (2009-2010): ‘Voortplantingsbiologie van Noordamerikaanse ‘banana-slugs’ (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Ariolimacidae)’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium). Promotor: Thierry Backeljau; co-promotor: Kurt Jordaens. Keywords: Ariolimax; breeding systems; land snail.
  • Hens, Hilde (2011-2012): ‘Moleculaire verwantschappen in het genus Sarcophaga (Diptera, Sarcophagidae)’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Kurt Jordaens; co-promotor: Thierry Backeljau. Keywords: Phylogeny; Sarcophaga; forensic sciences.
  • Loix, Sara (2009-2010): ‘DNA-bardocing van cichliden van het Tanganyikameer (Oost-Afrika) aan de hand van het COI gen van het mitochondriaal genoom’. Catholic University of Leuven – Leuven – Belgium. Promotor: Jos Snoeks; co-promotor: Jeroen Van Houdt. Keywords: Africa – DNA-barcoding – ichthyology.
  • Maex, Margo (2010-2011): ‘Een moleculair-fylogenetische studie van het genus Dactylorhiza op basis van ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 and psbA-trnH’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Kurt Jordaens; co-promotor: Thierry Backeljau. Keywords: Dactylorhiza; orchids; phylogeny.
  • Mortelmans, Jonas (2011-2012): ‘Digging deep: resolving the phylogenic relationship among dance flies subfamilies (Diptera Empidoidea)’. Ghent University – Ghent – Belgium. Promotor: Frederik Hendrickx; co-promotor: Patrick Grootaert; supervisors: Zoltán T. Nagy and Gontran Sonet.
  • Ottenburgs, Jente (2010-2011): ‘Moleculaire verwantschappen van endemische landslakken van het genus Plutonia (Pulmonata, Gastropoda) op de Azoren (Macaronisië – Portugal)’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Thierry Backeljau; co-promotor: Kurt Jordaens. Keywords: DNA barcoding; land snail; Plutonia
  • Robeyns, Rob (2009-2010): ‘Fylogenetische analyse en cryptische biodiversiteit van het Gyratrix hermaphroditus soortencomplex’. University of Hasselt – Hasselt – Belgium. Promotor: Tom Artois; co-promotor: Wim Willems. Keywords: molecular systematics – phylogeny – Platyhelminthes
  • Van Baevel, Hanne (2010-2011): ‘Fylogenie, DNA barcoding en moleculaire systematiek van Azoreaanse Zonitidae (Gastropoda, Pulmonata)’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Thierry Backeljau; co-promotor: Kurt Jordaens. Keywords: DNA barcoding, Drouetia, land snail
  • Van Steenberge, Maarten (2009-2010): ‘De ichthyofauna van Kasanka National Park (Zambia)’. Catholic University of Leuven – Leuven – Belgium. Promotor: Jos Snoeks; co-promotor: Emmanuel Vreven and Cyprian Katongo. Keywords: Africa – ichthylogy – taxonomy.
  • Verwimp, Christophe (2010-2011): ‘Hogere systematiek en fylogenie van Afrikaanse fruitvliegen (Diptera, Tephritidae) op basis van moleculaire kenmerken’. University of Antwerp – Antwerp – Belgium. Promotor: Massimiliano Virgilio; co-promotor: Kurt Jordaens. Keywords: fruit flies; Phylogeny; Tephritidae
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith