top of page
Image by Stefan Heinemann




An Martel

An is a veterinarian (DVM, PhD, DipECZM wildlife population health) with a strong interest in nature and infectious diseases in wild animals. Together with Frank, she is responsible for the WHG research group and is a professor at Ghent University.


Research Coordinator

Elin Verbrugghe

Elin (PhD) has a biomedical background and is coordinator of the WHG research group. Host and pathogen are the two words that best describe her research interest. By conducting this type of research in wildlife, she wants to contribute to solutions for social issues.


Lab Technician

Sofie De Bruyckere

Sofie is a laboratory technician and supports the various WHG researchers with her 20 years of experience in molecular techniques (DNA and RNA extractions, PCR, QPCR,...), cell cultures and general bacteriology. For example, she helps with the processing of diagnostic samples in various research projects. 


PhD Student

Andrea Barbi

Andrea holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and a master's degree in environmental ecology from the University of Turin. As an ecologist he is interested in reptiles, amphibians and nature conservation. Since 2020 he is a PhD student at WHG and his research focuses on the origin of tadpoles' microbiome and the interaction with the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.


PhD Student & ECZM Resident

Naomi Terriere

Naomi graduated as a veterinarian from Ghent University in 2016 and has worked towards a career in wildlife conservation ever since. After working for WWF and completing a postgraduate degree in Conservation Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, it was time to return to Ghent University in 2021 to start a PhD and residency at WHG on wildlife disease surveillance.


Postdoctoral Researcher

Kevin Mulder

Kevin is a postdoctoral researcher broadly interested in studying the many different levels of reptile and amphibian biodiversity using evolutionary theory and genomic tools. At WHG his current focus is on identifying the genetic basis of chytrid immunity using both transcriptomic and genomic techniques in a system of hybridizing newts with distinct disease outcomes.


PhD Student

Valérie Miserez

Valérie graduated from Ghent University in 2023 as a veterinarian with a special interest in wild mammals and infectious diseases. Immediately after her studies, she started a doctoral research at WHG. Her research focuses on potential underlying stressors that can trigger hedgehog diphtheria, a high-mortality ulcerative skin disease in the hedgehog population (Erinaceus europaeus).


PhD Student

Eduardo Fernandez-Mendelez

Eduardo is a PhD student with a background in amphibian diseases and conservation. He is investigating the possible relationship between different components of the amphibian skin and the pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. 

foto  S. Bogaerts.jpg


Frank Pasmans

Frank is a veterinarian (DVM, PhD, DipECZM herpetology) with a lifelong passion for amphibians and reptiles. Together with An, he is responsible for the WHG research group and professor at Ghent University, more specifically in veterinary bacteriology and mycology, and reptile and amphibian diseases.

Lieze Rouffaer.jfif

Postdoctoral Researcher

Lieze Rouffaer

Lieze is a veterinarian (DVM, PhD, DipECZM wildlife population health) with a special interest in conservation research. Her PhD focused on the interaction between house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and enteropathogenic bacteria over an urbanization gradient. Currently, Lieze provides logistical and research support to PhD students, is involved in student education and advises governments on topics related to disease and public health.


PhD Student

Leni Lammens

Leni is a biologist with a specialization in herpetology. At WHG, she studies the health of salamander populations and how pathogens, amphibians and the environment interact with each other. The knowledge gained from this research can help direct conservation efforts and mitigate amphibian declines in ecosystems under pressure.


Postdoctoral Researcher

Léa Fieschi-Méric

Léa is a postdoctoral researcher applying multi-omics (genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics) to amphibian conservation. After exploring the amphibian skin microbiota during her PhD, she now characterizes host genetic expression in the context of Bsal resistance in European newts.

foto Sarah.jpg

Lab Technician

Sarah Van Praet

Sarah has been working as a laboratory assistant at WHG since 2016 and supports the various researchers with their projects. She is also responsible for the diagnostic tests that WHG offers.


PhD Student

Cyrelle Houtsaeger

Cyrelle graduated as a veterinarian from Ghent University in 2019. She has done some research on ear health in dogs and gained practical experience in a veterinary practice in northern France. In March 2023, she started her PhD on disease surveillance in wild animals, focusing mainly on the region of the Brussels-Capital Region.


PhD Student

Ellen Blomme

Ellen is a biologist with a background in ecology and statistics. With an interest in conservation, she is currently researching the causes behind the current decline of common toads (Bufo bufo) in Flanders, employing a skill set that combines biological understanding and statistical analysis. With a commitment to biodiversity conservation, she strives to contribute valuable insights that will aid in the preservation of these amphibian populations. 

bottom of page