The Blue Growth Research Lab is jointly headed by Prof. Jana Asselman and Prof. Colin Janssen. All PhD students are supervised in collaboration with other research groups to ensure that they can work in a highly multidisciplinary research environment and have access to a wide network of senior research expertise. 

Jana Asselman


Prof. Dr. eng. Jana Asselman is appointed as a research professor at the UGent campus at Ostend Science Park. There, she coordinates multidisciplinary Marine@UGent research facilities and is the vice-chair of the Marine@UGent consortium. Her research focusses on marine biotechnology and biodiscovery, molecular and in vitro toxicology and broad human and environmental health challenges associated with the blue economy. For a more comprehensive view of her research interest and expertise, please visit the research page or her publications.

Colin Janssen


Prof. Dr. Janssen is full professor of Ecotoxicology and Applied Marine Ecology. He is chair of the Marine@UGent consortium and is promotor of the UGent Industry Research Fund IOF consortium BLUeGhent. His research is focused on ecological risks of anthropogenic and natural stressors in freshwater and marine systems including aspects of evolutionary ecology, ecological risk assessment modelling/procedures. For a more comprehensive view of his research interest and expertise, please visit the research page or his publications.

Senior Researchers

João Barbossa


Sea dumped munition - Risk assessment

Sara Vandamme


Sustainability - Ecology

Eveline Diopere


Biotechnology - Molecular Biology

Maaike Vercauteren


Plastic pollution - Environmental & human health

Ilias Semmouri


Marine Ecology - Seaweed - Biomolecules

Junior Researchers

Friedel Dewulf

Phd student

Marine Toxines - Immunology

Julia Kinet

Phd student

Sea spray aerosols - physical activity

Wenxin Liu

Phd student

Marine Toxins & Human Health

Ting Zang

Phd student

Microplastics & Human Health

Iene Herman

Phd student

Marine Copepods - Epigenetics - Ecology

Silke Lambert

Phd student

Sea spray aerosols - Exposome

Dries Lorre

Phd student

Ecosystem services - Sustainable use

Marie Sioen

Phd student

Nanoplastics - ecological risk assessment

Lotte Janssens

Phd student

Marine Copepods - Epigenetics - Ecology

Zixia Liu

Phd student

Sea spray aerosols - Biogenics - phytoplankton

Guillaume Marec

Phd student

Biodiscovery - Marine Microalgae

Selamawit Gebremedhin Tekle

Phd student

Microplastics Pollution - Human Health

Supporting Staff

Vicky Pauwelyn

Core Facility Coordinator

Tineke Vanhalewyn

Lab Support & Admin Support

Joint PhD students at other institutions

Mathilde Falcou Préfol

Phd student

UAntwerp: Nanoplastics - Hazard Assessment

Yunmeng Li

Phd student

VLIZ - UAntwerp: Marine microorganisms & human health

Naina Goel

Phd student

KU Leuven: Epigenetics & gut microbiome in daphnia

Albano Pinto

Phd student

UAVR: neurotoxic effects of cyanotoxins

Jenevieve Hara

Phd student

UAntwerp: Nanoplastics - marine biota

Zhiyue Niu

Phd student

VLIZ - UGent: Microplastics & multiple stressors

Lab Alumni & PhD Graduates

  • Dr. Miao Peng (PhD, 2024, UGent): The influence of micro- and nanoplastics on human health: Exploring environmentally relevant scenarios with in vitro human cell lines.
  • Dr. Guilherme Jeremias (PhD , 2024, UAVR, co-supervision): Developing epigenetic biomarkers of metal exposure in Daphnia.
  • Dr. João Barbosa (PhD, 2023, UGent): Risk assessment of munition dumpsite contamination : understanding the threats to marine ecosystems and human health.
  • Dr. Ilias Semmouri (PhD, 2022, UGent): Temporal effects of chemical and physical stressors on marine zooplankton : a molecular approach.