After receiving a M.S. in Bioengineering from the Agro-Biotech University of Gembloux in Belgium, I moved to Lund University in Sweden to complete a Ph.D. in Ecology in Christer Löfstedt’s laboratory where I studied the evolution of mate signaling in moths. I combined chemical, molecular and functional tools to understand the role of two multigene families that encode key pheromone production enzymes in shaping female blends, and how changes in enzymatic activity impact on the diversification of pheromones. I also conducted research on insect soluble protein purification and on male butterfly wing courtship pheromones.
I joined the Hartl lab in 2012, funded by an EMBO and VR Postdoctoral Fellowship.
I am interested in the genetic basis and molecular evolution of reproductive isolation and their functional and ecological consequences. My current research uses the fruitfly in combination with genomics and transgenics to explore mechanisms responsible for post-zygotic incompatibilities in the form of male hybrid sterility manifesting between recently diverged fruitfly species. By exploiting well-established RNAi knock-down and heterologous expression tools, I also aim at identifying genes underlying male-specific reproductive biosynthetic functions.