Kelly Thys

PhD student

BSc Biology (UHasselt)
MSc Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management (VUB, UGent, UAntwerpen)

Joined the group in November 2021

Research project: The more it changes, the more it stays the same: can phenotypic plasticity of the host counter parasite diversification?

Unlike most studies on speciation, focused on species rich and diverse lineages, I want to find out what mechanisms underly a ‘failure to diverge’, the unexpected lack of diversification in parasites.

More specifically, I am studying patterns of diversification in the monogenean gill parasites of Latidae (Lates perches) in African freshwaters at the morphological, physiological, genetic, and genomic level using museum specimens and Next-Generation Sequencing. These patterns will be contrasted with the estuarine and marine environments within the Indo-Pacific region.

Through this approach, I aim to investigate the influence of environmental variability and ensuing phenotypic plasticity on diversification within a host-parasite system.

My favourite quote:  “They travel long distances to stroll along the seashore, for reasons they can’t put into words.” – Edward O. Wilson

E-mail | UHasselt profile | ResearchGate