Projects: Characterization and Management of Natural Resources

Shaping communities of fish species in polyculture to improve the sustainability of aquaculture taking into account animal welfare - P. Kestemont

Thesis is carried out jointly between the University of Lorraine and the University of Namur. The thesis directors are Patrick Kestemont, Marielle Thomas and Thomas Lecocq, the latter two affiliated with the Animal and Agroecosystems Laboratory (L2A) located in Nancy.

FEAMP smolts: Rehabilitation of Atlantic salmon in the Mosan basin in the context of rising water temperatures in a context of climate change - P. Kestemont & A. Erraud

The Walloon Region and the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF / FEAMP) co-finance a three-year project to rehabilitate Atlantic salmon in the Belgian Meuse in a context of climate change. The influence of an increase in water temperature, based on the estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on the production of stocked salmon, the fitness of smolts released and the early maturation of male parr will be assessed using a dual laboratory/field approach in tight collaboration with Cosmos salmon farming stakeholders. (2024-2027)

CAVeRNA - J. Yans & M. Vlieghe (collaboration partner: Gipsi Lima Mendez)

Geological, biological and colorimetrical characterization of colored speleothems in European caves by an integrative multidisciplinary approach. PhD thesis

Saumon 2023 - P. Kestemont

Rehabilitation of Atlantic salmon and monitoring of other migratory species in the Meuse basin. The aim is to continue the research into the behaviour of migratory fish, which is necessary for the correct installation and improvement of fish ladders at the dams on the Meuse and certain dams on the Ourthe, started under the "Saumon Meuse" programme adopted in 1987. (2023-2024)

Plan national pour la reprise et la résilience: Plateforme de recherche pour la transition énergétique - J. Yans et al.


Adelante 2 - Triangular cooperation EU-LAC: Contribution to the development of herbal medicine - P. Kestemont

This Triangular Cooperation Initiative aims to harness the knowledge of the provider entities of the Partnership in the scientific research of natural products and crop production in controlled environments, in order to create a model for the development of herbal medicine. The University of Antwerp - UA (Belgium) and the University of Namur - UNamur (Belgium) have extensive experience in scientific research on natural products for pharmacological use, having developed innovative techniques for the analysis and characterisation of medicinal plants and other biological products for the development of medicines of natural origin. (2021-2024) More information

IRP (International Research Partnership) with University of Lorraine - P. Kestemont

The aim of the project is to understand the effects of domestication on the reproduction and welfare of new species in aquaculture. The chosen model is the Zebra Fish. The fish will arrive from Bangladesh and will be in the wild. But we don't eat Zebra Fish, do we?  So, why was this model chosen? First of all, because their genome is well known and a lot of bibliographic resources are available. Then, it is a species which reproduces quickly (a few months are enough to obtain a new generation). This enables to quickly analyze its resistance to stress and its reproduction in captivity. It should also be noted that the study plans to let the fish develop without making any selection, as is generally the case in farms. In this way, we can see whether domestication syndromes appear naturally, including phenotypic changes (appearance, morphology, levels of the stress hormone called cortisol, etc.). (2021-2025) More information

Textural and Geochemical characterization of parageneses related to low-temperature alterations - J. Yans, T. Bouvart

PhD thesis, assistant (2021-2027)

MP-ISSEP-pêche - P. Kestemont

Fish sampling by electrofishing within the framework of the monitoring network "BIOTES" (2021-2024)

MP-WALPHY-10ans - P. Kestemont

Assess the long-term effectiveness of restoration works in two rivers, the Bocq and the Eau Blanche, in the frame of the LIFE Walphy project, launched >10 years ago by the Walloon Region. In the Bocq basin, the free circulation of organisms and sediments was increased. While in the Eau Blanche basin, the river was “de-channelised" by recreating habitat diversity and even new meanders.

Win2Wal: PEBIOTRA - E. Perpète, C. Michaux

Design of biocontrolled pesticides through the inhibition of trehalases of insect pests. (2020-2024)

AQUA: Implementation of a walloon platform dedicated to freshwater fish - P. Kestemont & F. Silvestre

Objective of this project is to strengthen and expand the infrastructure for fundamental and applied research in aquaculture and foster the collaboration of UNamur, Uliège and UClouvain. (2019-2024)

Descriptive, isotopic and experimental study of Cu-Fe-Zn(-Pb-As) deposits of supergene origin - J. Yans, J. Poot

PhD thesis, assistant (2019-2025)

Source to Sink SP7 - J. Yans & A. Deckoninck

 The objective is to identify the age of the paleosurfaces around the Massif Central, based on the presence of ancient manganese deposits. Learn more (2019-2020)

FSO : First spin-off project. TRAQUA: Projet de recherche d’intérêt général. Développement de solutions d’équipements dans le domaine du monitoring hydrogéologique - V. Hallet

Spécialiste dans les techniques d’analyses et de monitoring d’écoulements d’eau. Solutions technologiques et une expertise sur mesure à toutes problématiques hydrogéologiques ou hydrologiques (analyse, diagnostic, monitoring). Website and Flyer! (2018-2021)

Patrimoine géologique et pédologique en Province de Namur: sentiers géopédologiques de Gedinne et de Nismes - V. Hallet

With the geological and pedologicals pathways of the Namur Province, one can experience nature with the regard of a geologist or pedologist. They explain the links between the below-soil (geology), landscape aspects (geomorphology) and soil (pedology) to help understand the processes that have formed current landscapes. (2018) See those already published

BIOTES 2018, 2019, 2020: Convention de collaboration dans le cadre du réseau d'analyses BIOTES et des projets de recherche "Microplast" et "STEP-PE": prélèvement de poissons par pêches électriques - P. Kestemont

Provision of monitoring networks for bodies of underground and surface water, bathing waters and discharge waters to contribute to the implementation of the Framework Directive on Water and its daughter directives (European directives). Assistance to the ISSeP, which manages sampling, physico-chemical and microbiological analysis, and the exotoxicological characterisation of various types of aqueous samples. (2018, 2019, 2020) Read more

LIFE4FISH: Downstream fish migration along the Low Meuse River - P. Kestemont

A restoration program targeting on Atlantic salmon and European eel, though other species could profit as well. Characterisation of fish populations and downstream migration routes / periods along the Lower Meuse River, information that will be included into control strategies of hydraulic power plants. Installation and monitoring of innovative technologies (repulsive barriers and fish passes) to facilitate the passage through hydropower facilities. (2017-2022) Read more

Caractérisation hydrochimique des aquifères calcaires frasniens - V. Hallet & A. Cotton

Hydrochemical characterisation of Frasnian limestone aquifers. (2017-2021)

DIADeM: Development of an Integrated Approach for the Diagnosis of Water quality in the Meuse - P. Kestemont & F. De Laender

Purification plants are usually unable to filter pharmaceuticals, which are partly segregated via urine and finally end up in natural watercourses. Possible impacts of such so-called emerging molecules on aquatic organisms will be identified and tools will be developed to improve ecosystem management. (2017-2019) Read more or watch a video

STREAM: Développement de solutions d'équipement dans le domaine du monitoring hydrogéologique - V. Hallet & A. Poulain

Find solutions for equipment for hydrogeological monitoring. Research output (2017-2019)

Saumon 2017: Réhabilitation du saumon atlantique dans le bassin de la Meuse - P. Kestemont & R. Mandiki

Continued efforts to re-establish and monitor Atlantic Salmon. (2017-2018)

Characterization of supergene ores of Morocco - J. Yans

Projet ERASMUS + avec Université d’Oujda – Prof. M. Bouabdellah (2016-2020)

FEAMP smolts: Optimisation des performances des smolts dans le bassin mosan - P. Kestemont & R. Mandiki

Fonds européen pour les Affaires Maritimes et la Pêche (FEAMP) - Increase the proportion of smolts travelling to the sea by augmenting the survival and fitness of young salmon during early developmental stages. (2016-2019) Read more

Coordination CIE: Coordination du groupe eaux souterraines au sein de la Commission Internationale de l'Escaut (CIE) - V. Hallet

International commission to protect and restore the Scheldt, a river of 355 km in length crossing France, Belgium and the Netherlands. (2016-2018)

Carte géologique: Programme de révision de la carte géologique de Wallonie - J. Yans

Continued effort to actualise geological maps of the Walloon region to guarantee an efficient landscape management and protection of the environment. (2016-2017; 2017-2018) Read more

Evaluation des performances d'un sel de phosphate d'ammonium dans le domaine de la nutrition aquacole - P. Kestemont & R. Mandiki

Evaluation of an ammonium phosphate salt in the context of aquaculture nutrition. (2017-2018)

Characterization of supergene ore deposits of the Moroccan High Atlas, and (U-Th)/He dating of iron (hydr-)oxides: implications to decipher the causes of weathering processes. - M. Verhaert & J. Yans

Increase knowledge on supergene ore deposits that are mined all over the world. Their ores have competitive advantages with regard to their hypogene homologues: enrichment in metals and rare elements, accessibility and ease of mining, no release of sulfuric acid or heavy metals. (2016-2017) Read more

L'évaluation de la qualité des rivières wallonnes (canaux et grandes rivières) par pêche électrique en bateau, sur base des "indices biologiques poissons" - P. Kestemont

Evaluation of the quality of Wallon rivers on the basis of fish as biological indicators. (2016-2017)

Prestation de services Waterschap Roer en Overmaas - P. Kestemont & A. Latli

The Geul River has an undeniable potential for restocking Atlantic salmon due to physico-chemical quality, habitat availability and abundance of suitable prey. The success of the reintroduction efforts is assessed by evaluating the growth rate, the fitness and the Catch Per Unit Effort of the fry restocked. The restocking of Atlantic salmon in the Geul River was an obvious success. The growth rate of the fry is one of the highest observed during the Meuse Salmon project. (2016) Read more

The melatonin hormone in fish, a crucial link between light environment, stress and immunity - P. Kestemont & S. Baekelandt

Fish species are adapted to their natural environment and show light preferences even when raised in aquaculture. The hormone melatonin regulates many biological pathways such as sleep-wake timing or seasonal reproduction. Investigating melatonin under stressful light conditions will help to understand the mechanisms involved in its potential immuno-modulatory role. (2016-2020) Read more

BIOTES 2016: développement et la validation du monitoring des substances prioritaires DCE sur la matrice "biotes" et l'évaluation des échantillonneurs passifs comme matrice alternative potentielle - P. Kestemont

Development and evaluation of monitoring of dangerous substances of priority according to the Water Directive on the base of biotic indicators. Evaluation of possible passive samplers as alternatives. (2016)

BRAIN-SAFRED: Saving Freshwater Biodiversity Research Data - P. Kestemont 

Concerted effort towards systematic recovery and publication of data generated in freshwater research. Project partners have been engaged in numerous research projects dealing with freshwater environments, but the underlying data have not yet been publicly released in a systematic manner. Data will be published via the Belgian Biodiversity Platform and the Freshwater Information Platform. (2015-2018) Read more

DIVERSIFY: Exploring the biological and socio-economic potential of new/emerging candidate fish species for the expansion of the European aquaculture industry - P. Kestemont

Identification of new/emerging finfish species having great potential for the EU aquaculture industry. These are fast growing and/or large finfish marketed at a large size that can also be processed into a range of products to provide a greater diversity of fish species as well as new value-added products. (2013-2018) Read more

BACTOFIGHT - P. Van Cutsem & Fytofend

Development of a biocontrol product against bacterial plant diseases. (2020-2022)

PATHOFLAX - Développement de stratégies vertes de contrôle des pathogènes du lin - P. Van Cutsem, G. Van Aubel

The project aims at developing an integrated control against pathogens of common flax, more particularly against Verticillium dahliae, the fungus causing verticillium wilt. Flax cultivation, especially that of fibre flax, recently experiences massive revival in our regions. Biocomposite materials with long cellulose fibres provide flexibility, lightness and strength to an amazing diversity of marketable objects – see here for examples provided by one of the project partners: Terre de lin.
However, verticillium wilt makes fibres brittle and fragile and no effective chemical control exists against this fungus. It produces micro-sclerotia, structures that can survive in the soil for many years. Together with the spin off FytoFend, URBV will investigate the effectiveness of the stimulation of plant defences (elicitors) to control the development of this disease.(2019-2022)


Continued development of an intelligent container to standardise and optimise abiotic conditions for plant production in pharmaceutical industry. (2016-2018)

ELISCREEN - P. Van Cutsem

Select the plants to improve efficiency of bio-pesticides. (2016-2017) Read more

SMARTBOX: Optimisation et standardization de conditions abiotiques de production de plantes à destination de l'industrie pharmaceutique par l'utilisation d'un conteneur intelligent - P. Van Cutsem

Use an intelligent container to standardise and optimise abiotic conditions for plant production in pharmaceutical industry. (2016-2017) SPW Service public de Wallonie