September 2023

Bertanne signed the open letter to the Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group, written in response to retraction of a book chapter on sexual misconduct, after a professor felt he was referred to in the chapter. The authors of the chapter were informed that the publisher was reverting the rights for the chapter (without informing the editors or providing info on the fate of the rest of book). This is an infringement of the authors’ academic freedom and is unacceptable behavior for a private publisher.

Congrats to Thomas for acceptance of his paper on “The importance of fat accumulation and reserves for insect overwintering​” in Current Opinion in Insect Science! 
(Figure copyright: Thomas Enriquez)

“Top researcher resigns from TU Delft (the Netherlands) due to ‘macho culture’, and she is not the first” Read about it on the NOS website (in Dutch).

July 2023

Watch the documentary by RTL Indices on sexual and gender-based violence at UCLouvain here. As stated by SudInfo: ‘If this infernal spiral has remained lurking in the academic fortress, it may well be that the #MeToo wave is finally crumbling this colossus.’

June 2023

Check out the pre-print of our book chapter on Lipid metabolism in parasitoids and their hosts written by Mathilde, Léonore and Bertanne. The chapter will be published in Insect Lipid Metabolism. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Musselman LP, Toprak U (Eds) by Springer New York. (Figure copyright: Bertanne Visser)

April 2023

Mathilde and I recommended the paper of Houwenhuyse, Bulteel et al on the role of the microbiome for responding to multiple biotic stressors in Daphnia for the Peer Community in Zoology. You can read the full paper and our recommendation here.

Read the full article here.

#AmINext: This is what thousands of researchers are wondering after the abusive firing of tenured professor Susanne Täuber by the University of Groningen. As a researcher within the research field of social safety, she did her job investigating this at her own university and then got fired for speaking up about the discrimination she herself faced. Susanne has written and published a lot about the inappropriate and harmful ways universities deal with transgressive behaviors. You can still sign the open letter to support Susanne here and contribute to the crowdfunding to support her legal battle. More information, including some of her works can be found on my #MeToo University page.

Court appeal day: UCLouvain appealed the decision of the court condemning them for violence against my esteemed colleague and friend Prof. Caroline Nieberding. Although this time UCLouvain changed strategy (which I would simply call ‘character assassination’), according to our lawyer Me. Violaine Alonso and rephrased by the RTBF, “the university has clearly committed a series of abusive behaviors, constituting harassment…”.

March 2023

There has been some debate about research on lipid metabolism in parasitoids. We aim to resolve this with our latest paper in Current Research in Insect Science, including exciting suggestions for future research! Want to know more? The paper is already available on EcoEcoRxiv.

Here, you can see how extraordinary the parasitoid fat accumulation phenotype (represented here by Eupelmus vuilletti and Nasonia vitripennis) really is compared to a non-parasitoid insect (Drosophila melanogaster)(copyright: Bertanne Visser):

And there she is, the Centri (or ‘add-on’), ready to rock! Curious to see what these amazing machines can do!

Prof. Caroline Nieberding explains the results of our recent paper published in Functional Ecology in Les Éclaireurs (in French).

Have a look at Thomas‘s new paper on the importance of lipids for insect cold tolerance and overwintering.

The different roles of lipids at the cellular and organismal level for cold tolerance and overwintering in insects. Copyright Thomas Enriquez.

Listen to Prof. Caroline Nieberding in the podcast Soluble(s)(in French) talking about the impact of human-induced rapid environmental changes on insect biodiversity. She also discussed our recent paper on the effects of climate warming on butterflies! Available on the website of Soluble(s), Spotify, Deezer, and Apple podcasts.

January 2023

Delightful to see our work highlighted in the press! You can find the article of Le Soir here. Other news outlets have also picked up the story: L’Avenir, msn, Proximus, RTBF, Le Vif and Daily Science. An English coverage can be found in The Brussels Times.

Our paper on maladaptive learning of sexual preferences under climate warming has now been published in Functional Ecology! Congrats to the Nieberding lab for this amazing paper!

Congratulations to Drs Ismail and Albittar for getting their new paper on the pest aphid Aphis fabae accepted for publication!

December 2022

There she is! Our new mass spectrometer with chemical ionization has arrived. Further “add-ons” will arrive soon, such as GCxGC and Centri with HiSorb and SPME. Let the fun begin!

November 2022

Our paper on the effect of climate warming on mate preferences and learning in tropical butterflies has been accepted by Functional Ecology!

October 2022

The verdict is in:
UCLouvain convicted of workplace violence against biology professor.”

More info can be found here.

September 2022

I am immensely proud and grateful to my amazing, smart, and inspirational colleague Professor Caroline Nieberding for speaking up about the harassment and discrimination that we have faced for years at UCLouvain. Her case was heard September 16th by the labor court. Have a look at my #metoo university page for important press releases and more…

Our comprehensive review paper on our pet species, the amber wasp Leptopilina heterotoma, has been accepted pending minor revisions in Ecology and Evolution. Great job of the entire Visser lab!

July 2022

Thomas’s paper on pupal size as a proxy for fat content in Drosophila was just published in Scientific ReportsThe paper is available here. Congratulations!

Le Lann & Visser, together again @ the International Congress of Entomology in Helsinki, Finland.

Our lab obtained support from the Fondation Universitaire de Belgique for 750 euro to partly finance the open access publication of one of our papers!

June 2022

Welcome to Maxime Sigwald who joined the team as a job-student this summer!

Maude obtained a competitive ASPIRANT PhD grant from the FNRS. Amazing! Congratulations!

Thomas‘s paper on pupal size as a proxy for lipid content in Drosophila was accepted by Scientific Reports. Congratulations!

April 2022

Our lab joined the international research project ‘Gradients’ of Prof. Joan van Baaren (Rennes Univ France) to work on bet-hedging strategies in insects.

Congratulations to Léonore who found a new position at the University of Mainz! We wish you all the best!

February 2022

Our lab just obtained funding from ULiège to buy a new and amazing mass spectrometry machine!

December 2021

Our lab has moved to ULiège!!! We have joined the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech campus.

A paper on the effects of learning and inbreeding on fitness and host plant colonization in spider mites has been accepted by Entomologia Generalis!

September 2021

Our paper on social learning and inheritance in non-social arthropods was published in Genes!

Dr. Mathilde Scheifler joined the team as a postdoc associate to work on the molecular basis of plastic fat synthesis. Welcome!

August 2021

Our new review paper on social learning and inheritance in non-social arthropods is now available on EcoEvoRxiv.

Bachelor student Sarah Vreurick joined our group as a summer intern. Welcome!

July 2021

Bachelor student Victoria Lievens joined our group as a summer intern. Welcome!

June 2021

The first traps are out to catch some wild Drosophila!

Bertanne gave an invited seminar at the Louvain Institute for Biomolecular Science and Technology on… fat synthesis in wasps

April 2021

Our paper on plasticity of fat synthesis in Leptopilina heterotoma was published in Scientific Reports!

February 2021

The special issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology ‘Predicting the Future: Species Survival in a Changing World‘ has been published! See our lab’s contribution to this special issue where we talk about the responses of parasitoids and their hosts in the face of predictable and unpredictable changes in temperature.

A recommendation for the paper by Weyna & Romiguier was published by the Peer Community in Evolutionary Biology (PDF)

MSc students Axelle Verdierre and Duncan Wilmart joined our lab. Welcome!

January 2021

Congratulations to Loïc Smets and Céline Deltenre from the Nieberding team for successfully defending their MSc thesis!

Maude Quicray joined our lab as a PhD student working on plasticity of fat synthesis. Welcome to the lab!

December 2020

A review on host and parasitoid responses to predictable and unpredictable temperature, written together with Joan van Baaren and Cécile Le Lann, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Biology!

Our lab just obtained a Credit de Recherche and Equipement grant from the Fonds National de Recherche Scientifique!

There are currently 2 postdoc positions available in the lab of Prof Caroline Nieberding on the adaptive value of learning in butterflies. More information can be found here.

October 2020

Dr. Thomas Enriquez started his Fondation Fyssen fellowship. Welcome to the lab!

PhD student Léonore Wilhelm joined our lab. Welcome!

September 2020

Dr. Shulin He started his postdoctoral project. Welcome to the lab!

August 2020

MSc student Dilhan Ozturk successfully defended his thesis. Congrats!

July 2020

Léonore Wilhelm will join the lab as PhD student working on the link between the microbiome and fat synthesis in Leptopilina. Congrats Léonore!

The Peer Community in Zoology was founded! Submit your papers and/or become a recommender for this amazing publishing initiative. Go to for more info on how to join and publish!

June 2020

Dr Thomas Enriquez obtained a grant from the Fyssen Foundation to work in our lab on the effects of maternal behavior and the environment on plasticity of fat synthesis. Congrats!

May 2020

Our lab obtained a UCLouvain Fonds Spéciaux de Recherche grant to hire a new PhD student in collaboration with the lab of Prof Ellen Decaestecker (KU Leuven) to work on the effects of the microbiome on fat synthesis in parasitic wasps

February 2020

Dr Shulin He will be hired as a postdoctoral associate to work on the molecular basis of plastic fat synthesis in parasitic wasps

MSc students Céline Deltenre and
Loïc Smets
joined the lab of my colleague Caroline Nieberding to work on learning in sexual preferences in Bicyclus anynana

January 2020

MSc student Jordan Wasnaire successfully defended his thesis. Congrats!

December 2019

Together with Prof Caroline Nieberding, our lab obtained a F.R.S.-FNRS Projet de Recherche grant to hire a new postdoc associate

October 2019

MSc-student Dilhan Ozturk joined the lab