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Forest ecology and management research group

Division Forest, Nature and Landscape

Earth and Environmental Sciences Department

celestijnenlaan 200e-2411



Forest Ecology and Management Research Group

Nr. 2015 - 01

13 January 2015



Bart (chairman), Tatiana, Bruno, Rita, Bie, Joana, Astrid, Eric, Thomas, Giuseppe, Pau, Floris, Hans, Martin (Report)
Jorgen, Vincent, Aklilu, Kidane, Kitessa, Meron, Ellen, Antonio, Veerle, Vera, Koen T., Pieter H., Pieter M., Koen V.



Home working


Educational Tasks

Social media

Challenges of the month

Kafka of the month


Next FORECOMAN meetings



  • Introduction of Tatiana (new Postdoc): Bio-science engineer with expertise on LCA of bio-based production systems (agriculture, forestry, biomass-based energy production)

  • Preparing HORIZON 20-20 project on forest management optimisation in consortium with Wageningen is ongoing and progressing

  • New Marie Curie Consortium submitted

  • Submitted Methusalem project (follow up on GOA project) was not accepted

  • Ellen recently born a son with the beautiful name of ROJAN. The card is very nice as well. If you are lucky, you can still find it somewhere at the coffee table. Someone should take initiative to prepare a gift or card . We are all very happy that everything went fine and mother and kid are well and healthy.

  • Negotiations ongoing for a new, long-term type of contract for Bruno


  • Bart has performed a small analysis of his publications this year. Although the total amount is ok, very few are coming from Forecoman members research. If a normal PhD has four publications at the end, a group average of one pub per person per year can be expected, which was not met this year. Although a cohort effect could be part of the explanation (many starting PhD’s), we are encouraged to focus more on publishing, and look for publishing opportunities. Next to full experimental research papers journals have other publication formats such as perspectives, letters, ...

Presence absence and home working

    • Agreement with Bart needed on an individual basis

    • Restricted to 2 days a week (or special case agreement)

    • No home working on days of Forecoman meetings and division seminars (Mondays)

    • Enrolment of Giuseppe and Martin at the ULB will not require an extraordinary arrangement.

    • Output remains number one priority, individual arrangements are in the scope of possibilities

Staff appraisal and personal talks with Bart:

  • Initiative to organize individual meetings with every group member on an annual basis

  • Meetings shall give opportunity to review and appraise the personal and professional development within the group. They shall further give room to communicate concerns, worries or criticism of personal or professional matter

  • Talks will follow designated HR guidelines and frameworks

  • Meetings will be planned for February, March and April.

  • Bart will propose time slots and asks everyone to choose suitable dates

Educational tasks

  • Support of exam supervision (5 people):

    • 21/01/2015: morning (Thomas) + afternoon (Bie)

    • 22/01/2015: afternoon (Hans)

    • 23/01/2015: morning (Rita) + afternoon (Tatiana)

    • That’s all, that’s done

  • Bosweek in Hamont-Achel (10th – 13th February): Everyone is invited to drop by, either to give a hand or to join the socializing activities in the afternoon. We also still need volunteers for the kitchen!!!

  • New master thesis proposals: Rita (2), Thomas (2), Bart (1), Giuseppe (in preparation), Floris (in preparation), Petra (in preparation)

    • Call for master thesis proposals is open till the end of January 2015. However, Bart asks to send him potential thesis proposals latest by the middle of the month. Bart will confirm to everyone when their thesis proposals are on the system.

Social media

  • Communication and dissemination strategy


  • Rita has made a list of all gaps in the website (profile pictures, projects etc...)

  • All links and references which are outdated or not working anymore should be deleted and/or replaced with new and updated ones.

  • Rita and Floris will send an invitation to all alumni (for contact details, ask Jos)

  • Plan meeting with Bart to discuss details

  • Proposal Giuseppe: everyone should get administrative rights for the facebook page (trigger and ease contribution of all group members, share responsibilities)

Facebook page (currently, ca 200 followers): keep sending in content (pictures, conferences, new publications,...).

Idea to post blog posts on the blog of the KU Leuven http://kuleuvenblogt.be/

Challenges of the Month


  • Field work (Astrid)

  • Forest-week

  • Toegepaste florakennis

Eric Van Beek

  • Article Elsbroek (vegetation succession) (ongoing, probably finished within a month)

  • Subsidies for Heritage landscape recognition in Hamont-Achel University forest.

  • OFD (ongoing, next month)

  • REDISGN agro-forestry project

Bruno Verbist

  • Update KLIMOS website case studies, reports, ...

  • Biogas paper (Vietnam)

  • Renewable energy paper with Lieve Borremans (Burundi): 2nd round

  • Congo DEFI project report year 2 + planning year 3 almost finished; Trip to Kisangani from 21-31 January

  • Article Elsbroek with Eric and Koenraad

  • Finalise soil paper (on hold)

  • Biogas evaluation project in Tanzania and West-Africa starting on 15/1

  • Belspo-Brain Project proposal SILVAGRA ): SILVicultural and AGRicultural systems’ resilience Assessment in Tshopo district, Orientale province, DRC deadline 25 February 2015

Joana Almeida

  • Temporal paper, processing remarks given by co-authors (LCA done, LUC done, final review by Bart is pending)

  • PhD thesis almost done

  • Prepare preliminary defence (16th of February)

  • Check possibilities and requirements for a follow-up contract with LRD (consultancy service for a French NGO)

  • Selection interview for P&G (Procter & Gamble)

Pieter Moonen

  • Fieldwork in Congo (ongoing, smoothly)

  • Submit driver paper to PNAS

  • Paper with Elisabeth Kersley (ongoing)

Hans De Wandeler

  • Earthworm occurrence paper (ongoing)

  • Experiment on optimization of earthworm fixation – statistical analyses (on hold)

  • Literature review for Sampling paper (ongoing)

  • Prepare data for Synthesis paper, workshop in Paris

  • Last project meeting in March (Check potentially pending project obligations)

Bie Gielen

  • Experimental paper case study (currently rearranging the data, ongoing)

  • Paper on special features in plant-water relationships of Jatropha (on hold)

  • Processing data (entry and analysis of data, ongoing)

Bart Muys

  • Follow up samples Turkey negotiations (awaiting samples from turkey, ongoing)

  • 2 papers for submission to Science (ongoing)

  • Synthesis paper with Bart & Kitessa (on hold)

  • Need to write papers for EFI (ongoing):

    1. Climate change adaptation of forests

    2. Wood biomass resources in European forests (ongoing)

  • Review papers

    1. Joana

    2. Pieter

    3. Mesfin (Mekelle)

    4. Veerle

  • Follow-up on Agro4Campus project (steering committee): Financial negotiations for agroforestry experiment (ongoing)

  • Agronomy paper with Quinvita: take contact with LRD for publication issues (on hold)

  • Contact Jan Valckx (on hold, perhaps forever)

Pieter Hawinkel

  • Low-resolution time series analysis of vegetation-climate interactions (ongoing)

  • Reminder: VITO budget for KU Leuven salary (ongoing)

Koen V

  • Start paper about Elgon

  • Analyse samples: soil, ants (ongoing)

  • Data processing field campaign 2013

  • Paper on coffee certification vs. biodiversity (ongoing)

  • Paper writing strategy


  • On parental leave

  • Reprogramming GREFOS model (on hold)

  • Develop calculation tool for human forest use in excel (on hold)

  • Literature review - climate (on hold)


  • Introduction of MSc students, providing initial guidance, ... (ongoing)

  • Preparation of potential Mali visit

  • Initiating experiment on emission patterns (ongoing)

  • Paper revision for JIFF (ongoing, top priority)

  • 21 month PhD report (second priority)


  • Discussion on literature review paper (ongoing)

  • Carry out survey of Berlin-Brandenbrug paper industries (still volunteering students needed)

  • Perspective paper (Review from Bart is pending)

  • Model calibration and sensitization analysis (on hold)


  • Data gathering – needs follow-up (ongoing)

  • Paper on test case (ongoing)

  • Paper on LCA (ongoing)

  • Learning Python (ongoing)

  • Prepare mission to Zurich

  • Update NFE database

  • WP5 indicator review

  • 21 month PhD report

  • Introduction of Tatiana

  • Remind Nuno for database (on hold)

  • Making Italian pasta on new year’s party (19th of January)


  • Preparation field protocol/work India (ongoing)

  • Prepare fieldwork in India

  • Write perspective paper on biofuel crops (on hold)

  • Write paper on the use of Sim4Tree model (ongoing, preliminary version almost finshed)

  • Exam on econometrics

  • Administrative obligations


  • Mortality rates models --> results to be discussed with Lander

  • Mortality spatial patterns  --> exploring different tools

  • Assessor meeting

  • FORBIO meeting presentations

  • LAI photo analysis for MA thesis

  • bosweek preparations


  • Data analysis (ongoing)

  • Paper meta-analysis (on hold)

  • Prepare abstract for MSc thesis proposal (ongoing)

  • Prepare questioner

  • Write intermediate report on FORBIO climate


  • Fieldwork (ongoing)

  • Prepare lab work: analysis samples [Upcoming meeting in Ghent] (ongoing)

  • Prepare assessor meeting

  • Planning of Flemish observatory, field missions and permission to sample

  • Literature review (ongoing)

Vincent Kint

  • Co-editor of new international book on management planning in forestry (ongoing)

Koen Thijs

  • Conclusions and introduction of PhD Thesis (finalising, probably by the end of the month)


  • Paper biomass allometry (ongoing)

  • Forest community paper (ongoing)

  • Conference dry lands (Bart dismissed invitation, Vera will participate though)

  • Comes to Leuven probably in April 2015

Antonio Trabucco

Veerle Buytaert

  • Finalize 2 papers

  • BIG group

  • Finalize PhD (first half of 2014): Calculation tool for bioenergy systems, defence scheduled in June 2015


  • survey ecotourism (ongoing)

  • preparing survey with farmers (ongoing)

  • follow up 2 MSc students from Geography Department

  • Prepare 1st review paper (on hold)

  • Field data analysis (ongoing)

Kidane Giday

  • Ethnobotany paper: submitted

  • Enrichment planting paper – with co-authors

  • Natural regeneration paper

  • Species dynamics with RS – draft with Jos O.

  • new project concept note


  • Paper coffee shade selection criteria: need to discuss methodology (ongoing)


  • Get familiar with the FORMIT project

  • Complete administrative obligations (KUL contract, 2WD bike, registration at city hall, etc.)

  • FORMIT questioner analysis

Kafka of the month...

Due to the new regulations in the finance dept. of the KUL, the documentation needs for reimbursement of travel expenses has become slightly exaggerated. Strengthened regulations concern the proof of the professional nature of travel expenses, the form and layout of reimbursement requests and deadlines and time restrictions for mission registration and submission of reimbursement claims.

Individual FORECOMAN members suspect a cause-effect relationship between increased administrative obligations and prolonged processing time of reimbursement claims.

Anyhow, “...Full accountability is full mistrusts...” remains valid.


In case of urgent matters you can always reach Bart on his mobile phone (+32494652895)

New years’ party at Bart’s place: Monday 19th of January. With Italian pasta. Prepare an anonymous slide with your impressions/achievements from the past year, which will be used in a game (trying to link it to the real author).

PhD students: Submit mission requests for every missions longer than one day outside the university

Prof.: Submit mission requests for every missions longer than two days outside the university

      • probably subject to further discussion

Next meetings

19th January at ... : FORECOMAN New Year’s Party at Bart’s place

17th February at 9h00 AM (room:

26th March at 2h00 PM (room:

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