Partner 30 – University of Antwerp (UA)
UA, Antwerp, Belgium. The Evolutionary Ecology Group at the University of Antwerp studies population ecological and behavioural ecological questions in a number of mostly terrestrial vertebrate model systems (rodents, songbirds). Very often, the fundamental questions are set in an applied framework, focusing on animals that are a pest in agriculture, a reservoir for infections or key species in nature conservation. The group has teaching responsibilities at different levels, a strong research record and a drive to make its scientific knowledge available to society. It consists of 4 professors, currently 5 postdocs, about 20 PhD-students and 6 permanent technical and administrative staff.
The team has long-term experience in studying the epidemiology of rodent-borne infections including European hantaviruses, African arenaviruses, bubonic plague, leptospirosis and echinococcosis. The main question of interest is the link between the ecology of the host (spatial, temporal) and the epidemiology of infections in the host as well as the risk for humans to become infected. The team combines active field work in Europe, Africa and Central Asia, with experimental work in the lab and the use of mathematical modelling as a tool for hypothesis generating and for simulations.