As a graduated master student in rural economics and management at the faculty of Bio-Science engineering at UGent, I expanded my background in biological sciences from Hasselt University to lay the foundation for research at the interface between ecology and economics.
In my PhD, I focus on developing an innovative methodology for the valuation of biodiversity, based on the ecological role of species in the ecosystem. As such, I believe that “valuing the invaluable” is indispensible in maintaining the life support system that ecosystems provide to humanity.
In this search, I collaborated with research institutes globally. Together with the United Stated Department of AGriculture (USDA) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) we investigated the economic importance of aquatic freshwater invertebrates for the salmon fishing industry. In a collaboration with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), I investigated the economic value of externalities in corn production in the US. Locally, I assessed the economic value of natural predators for their effect on the income of the pear production industry. Also, I calculated the economic value of the ecological restoration of the River Park Meuse Valley (Rivierpark Maasvallei).