Prestigious award for ecologists of the University of Antwerp

Introduction: Jonas Lembrechts and his team studied ecology of invasive species in alpine regions.

An international team of ecologists lead by PhD student Jonas Lembrechts ( Global Change Ecology Centre , research group Plants and Ecosystems ) received the ‘ W.S.Cooper award’ for their research on plant invasions in mountains. This prestigious award is granted yearly by the Ecological Society of America for an important contribution to the research on species distributions.

Jonas Lembrechts and colleagues showed that invasive plants can now establish in cold-climate mountains as well. At least, if these mountains are disturbed by humans, for example through the use of roads or trails. In their article in the international scientific journal PNAS , the authors warn for a coming rapid increase in invasive plants in cold-climate ecosystems in the near future, under the impulse of climate change and an increasing human presence.

J
onas Lembrechts in his research plots in the mountains of Swedish Lapland. The award is not usually given to such an early-career researcher.