Lucas Vanhaelewyn was born in Roeselare, Belgium on March 14, 1990. After having completed secondary school education at the VABI in Roeselare in 2008, he pursued a Bachelor degree in agro- and biotechnology at the KATHO University College. His thesis related to plant biotechnology for banana was done in in Uganda, Africa in 2011, accounting for his first international experience where he has found his passion in Plant Biotechnology. Hence he continued his study in biotechnology and biochemistry and received a Master degree majoring in plant biotechnology in July 2015 with great distinction at Ghent University.

  He started working as a PhD researcher in August 2015 at the Laboratory of Functional Plant Biology (FPB) in the department of Biology of Ghent University, this position includes both research duties and tutoring master students. His PhD research focus is on the morphological effects of UV-B on plants. During recent years, academic education and research experiences were obtained through several specialist courses at Ghent University and Pécs University. International experiences have been expanding through various opportunities, such as an oral presentation at the UV4PLANTS conference in June 2016 (Pécs, Hungary), a one-month scholar visit in the internationally recognized Biological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (BRC) in October 2016, and a poster presentation in the annual Plant Biology meeting of American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) in Honolulu, Hawaii with a travel grant awarded and the annual Plant Biology meeting in Montreal, Canada. Until now, his PhD research has yielded two first author international peer-reviewed publications within his first year of PhD and co-authored two manuscripts ever since.   

Apart from his main research interests, he is also devoted in voluntary development work in Africa. In his spare time, he is actively engaged in various plant biotechnology projects in Uganda while putting the knowledge of entrepreneurship in emerging economies (a completed specialist course from Harvard University) into practice and bringing vision into life. In 2018, Lucas became an ASPB ambassador

-- Last updated: August 2018

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Research Areas:
Applied Plant Biology


2017  Ultraviolet-B conditions that affect growth and defence in Arabidopsis. Filip Vandenbussche, Na Yu, Weidong Li, Lucas Vanhaelewyn, Mohamad Hamshou, Dominique Van Der Straeten, Guy Smagghe

2017 Following the star: inflorescence heliotropism. Alejandro M. Serrano, Maria Verónica Arana, Lucas Vanhaelewyn, Carlos L. Ballaré, Dominique Van Der Straeten, Filip Vandenbussche

2016 REPRESSOR OF ULTRAVIOLET-B PHOTOMORPHOGENESIS function allows efficient phototropin mediated ultraviolet-B phototropism in etiolated seedling. Vanhaelewyn L, Schumacher P, Poelman D, Fankhauser C, Van Der Straeten D, Vandenbussche F.

2016 Hormone-controlled UV-B responses in plants. Lucas Vanhaelewyn, Els Prinsen, Dominique Van Der Straeten, Filip Vandenbussche

2016 Abstract book contribution (C1). Contribution to the Abstract Book of the 1st Network Meeting of UV4Plants. Czégény, Gy.; Hideg,É. (eds.) 2016, International Association for Plant UV Research ISBN:978-963-429-048-3.

Volunteer Activities

Being a PhD researcher, I devote most of my spare time to apply  plant knowledge in Uganda, Africa to support locals. This is done in collaboration with several local private companies. Our main focus since 2015 was to provide farmers with free plant materials such as mango and citrus seedlings. Since The begining of 2018, we shifted focus to value addition such as juice production and dried fruits production, in order to provide a market for local farmers. We intend to have a small scale factory up and running by the end of 2019. 

Current Affiliations
Experience & Education