Erik Verheyen

Erik Verheyen
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences · Direction Taxonomy and Phylogeny

Dr Sci

About

351
Publications
139,602
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
6,770
Citations
Introduction
Engaged in projects on aquatic and terrestrial Afrotropical vertebrates that contribute to a better understanding of their evolutionary histories and that facilitate ongoing biodiversity inventories of poorly documented faunas. His more recent work on small mammals contributes to an increased understanding of their role in spreading zoonoses. Lastly he is also involved in projects that examine the hazards of hydrocarbon extraction from sensitive freshwater ecosystems.
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - July 2017
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Position
  • Researcher
April 2002 - May 2002
Universität Konstanz
Position
  • Professor
April 2000 - May 2000
Université de Rennes 2
Position
  • Professor
Education
January 1990
University of Antwerp
Field of study
  • Biology
July 1982
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (351)
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Following an outbreak of cases of vesicular-pustular rash with fever evocative of human monkeypox in Bas-Uélé province, Democratic Republic of Congo, surveillance was strengthened. Methods Households with at least one active generalized vesicular-pustular rash case were visited, and contact and clinical history information was collected...
Article
Cichlid radiations often harbour closely related species with overlapping niches and distribution ranges. Such species sometimes hybridise in nature, which raises the question how they can coexist. This also holds for the Tanganyika mouthbrooders Ophthalmotilapia ventralis and O. nasuta. Earlier studies found indications of asymmetrical hybridisati...
Article
Full-text available
To ensure the long-term sustainable use of African Great Lakes (AGL), and to better understand the functioning of these ecosystems, authorities, managers and scientists need regularly collected scientific data and information of key environmental indicators over multi-years to make informed decisions. Monitoring is regularly conducted at some sites...
Data
This file includes information on the proposed parameters for the multi-lakes monitoring of the African Great Lakes (Appendix S2). This file is the Electronic Supplemental Material (ESM) of : Plisnier, P.-D., Kayanda, R., MacIntyre, S., Obiero, K., Okello, W., Vodacek, A., Cocquyt, C., Abegaz, H., Achieng, A., Akonkwa, B., Albrecht, C., Balagizi...
Poster
Full-text available
Identification moléculaire d'une espèce envahissante de Sarotherodon dans la retenue d'eau douce d'Atchakpa (bassin de l'Ouémé, Bénin) et comparaison au sein de S. melanotheron à l'aide du marqueur mitochondrial COI
Article
The morphological identification of raw biological material used to produce archaeological artefacts is sometimes difficult or even impossible. In recent years, newly developed biochemical techniques have allowed more reliable identification of exploited animal species, even for otherwise taxonomically undiagnostic fragments, and thus can help pinp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cichlid radiations often harbour closely related species with overlapping niches and distribution ranges. Such species sometimes hybridize in nature, which raises the question how can they coexist. This also holds for the Tanganyika mouthbrooders Ophthalmotilapia ventralis and O. nasuta . Earlier studies found indications of asymmetrical hybridisat...
Article
Full-text available
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has recently emerged as an alternative to morphological and molecular tools to identify tick species. In this study, we set out to evaluate and confirm the ability of MALDI-TOF MS to identify different species of ticks collected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and...
Article
The tribe Praomyini is a diversified group including 64 species and eight extant rodent genera. They live in a broad spectrum of habitats across whole sub-Saharan Africa. Members of this tribe are often very abundant, they have a key ecological role in ecosystems, they are hosts of many potentially pathogenic microorganisms and comprise numerous ag...
Article
Full-text available
The Atchakpa freshwater reservoir (Ouémé Basin, Benin) was found to harbour an unexpected population of a cichlid species that was presumed to be Sarotherodon melanotheron. This species became dominant in the reservoir and became the main fisheries target species. We applied DNA barcoding to identify this population. Besides specimens from the rese...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The speckled-pelage brush-furred rats (Lophuromys flavopunctatus group) have been difficult to define given conflicting genetic, morphological, and distributional records that combine to obscure meaningful accounts of its taxonomic diversity and evolution. In this study, we inferred the systematics, phylogeography, and evolutionary hist...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis C virus (HCV; genus Hepacivirus) represents a major public health problem, infecting about 3% of the human population. Because no animal reservoir carrying closely related hepaciviruses has been identified, the zoonotic origins of HCV still remain unresolved. Motivated by recent findings of divergent hepaciviruses in rodents and a plausib...
Preprint
Full-text available
We determined near complete and complete monkeypox virus genomes in a shrew ( Crocidura littoralis ), two squirrels ( Funisciurus anerythrus, Funisciurus bayonii ), and produced shorter sequences from two rats ( Stochomys longicaudatus, Cricetomys sp. 2) originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This suggests that a number of rodents b...
Article
Full-text available
This paper documents a community of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii Giglioli, 1872) inhabiting three relict forest fragments situated on the Lake Albert escarpment, down the Ituri highlands, of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The area explored had a combined forested surface of ±18.15 km2 in 2017, shrinking by 1....
Article
Full-text available
The manatee family encompasses three extant congeneric species: Trichechus senegalensis (African manatee), T. inunguis (Amazonian manatee), and T. manatus (West Indian manatee). The fossil record for manatees is scant, and few phylogenetic studies have focused on their evolutionary history. We use full mitogenomes of all extant manatee species to i...
Article
Full-text available
We provide a first survey of hard ticks (Ixodidae) infesting transhumant cattle imported in Kisangani, Tshopo Province, Democratic Republic of Congo and discuss their potential implication in veterinarian health. Indeed, herds of cattle are being brought from the Central African Republic and Eastern regions to Kisangani after at least 550km journey...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The speckled-pelage brush-furred rats (Lophuromys flavopunctatus group) has been difficult to define given conflicting genetic, morphological, and distributional records that combine to obscure meaningful accounts of its taxonomic diversity. In this study, we inferred the systematics, phylogeography, and evolutionary history of the L. f...
Article
Hybridization is suggested to contribute to ecomorphological and taxonomic diversity in lacustrine East African cichlids. This is supported by studies demonstrating that genetic diversity within lake radiations has been influenced by hybridization events, leading to extensive phenotypic differentiation of genetically closely related species. Hybrid...
Article
The tribe Arvicanthini (Muridae: Murinae) is a highly diversified group of rodents (ca. 100 species) and with 18 African genera (plus one Asiatic) represents probably the most successful adaptive radiation of extant mammals in Africa. They colonized a broad spectrum of habitats (from rainforests to semi-deserts) in whole sub-Saharan Africa and thei...
Article
Full-text available
The European Union prohibits the import of meat (products) unless specifically authorised and certified as being eligible for import. Nevertheless, various scientific papers report that passengers from west and central African countries illegally import large quantities of meat, including bushmeat, into Europe via its international airports. They a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hepatitis C virus (HCV; genus Hepacivirus) represents a major public health problem, infecting about 3 % of the human population (± 185,000,000 people). Because no plausible animal reservoir carrying closely related hepaciviruses has been identified, the zoonotic origins of HCV still remain elusive. Motivated by recent findings of divergent hep-aci...
Article
Full-text available
After the 2017 Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in Likati, a district in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, we sampled small mammals from the location where the primary case-patient presumably acquired infection. None tested positive for EBOV RNA or antibodies against EBOV, highlighting the ongoing challenge in detecting animal reservoirs for EB...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the determinants of species coexistence in complex and species-rich communities is a fundamental goal of ecology. Patterns of species coexistence depend on how biotic interactions and environmental filtering act over ecological and evolutionary time scales. Climatic fluctuations in lowland rainforests of the Congo Basin led to the num...
Article
Full-text available
Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into development cooperation—highlights from an ALTER-NET-EKLIPSE workshop - Volume 54 Issue 1 - Jean Hugé, Maarten Vanhove, Bruno Verbist, Els Dekeyzer, Piet Stoffelen, Ingrid Leemans, Jennifer Sjölund, Isabelle Vertriest, Erik Verheyen, Hilde Keunen, Anne-Julie Rochette, Luc Janssens de Bisthoven
Article
Full-text available
The Congo Basin rainforest is the second largest rainforest in the world and one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. Nevertheless, the Congo Basin biodiversity remains to be fully mapped, with many species awaiting discovery or official description. In recent years, much effort has been put into research on shrews (Soricidae), particularly in...
Article
Wood mice of the genus Hylomyscus, are small-sized rodents widely distributed in lowland and montane rainforests in tropical Africa, where they can be locally abundant. Recent morphological and molecular studies have increased the number of recognized species from 8 to 18 during the last 15 years. We used complete mitochondrial genomes and five nuc...
Article
Full-text available
Conserving African biosphere reserves: a workshop on the valuation of ecosystem services in Man and the Biosphere Reserves
Poster
Full-text available
Since its launch in 2007 the African Rodentia database has become an important reference with on average 100 unique visitors per month, about 50,000 page views per year and more than 150 registered users. Because of its proven usefulness for the diffusion of data on African rodents the taxonomical range of the database was expanded in 2019 to inclu...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the degree to which aquatic and terrestrial primary production fuel tropical aquatic food webs remains poorly understood, and quantifying the relative contributions of autochthonous and allochthonous inputs is methodologically challenging. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ15N) can provide valuable insights about contr...
Poster
Full-text available
Background: Notwithstanding the prohibition at national and European Union level to import individual consignments of meat (products), various publications report that large quantities of meat, including bushmeat, are entering Europe via its international airports, without authorization or certification. These studies suggest an organized market fo...
Article
Full-text available
Aim We investigate the Plio‐Pleistocene evolutionary history of one of the most abundant rodents in Afrotropical forests. Specifically, we ask how their diversification was influenced by climate change, topography and major rivers. Location Tropical Africa: Lower Guinea (including Cameroon volcanic line; CVL), Congolia, Albertine Rift (AR), Kenyan...
Article
Full-text available
African Grass Rats of the genus Arvicanthis Lesson, 1842, are one of the most important groups of rodents in sub‐Saharan Africa. They are abundant in a variety of open habitats, they are major agricultural pests, and they became a popular model in physiological research because of their diurnal activity. Despite this importance, information about t...
Article
The taxonomy of African shrew species is still unresolved due to their conserved morphology. This also affects knowledge concerning their geographic distribution. In Nigeria, using mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene sequences, we carried out a survey for shrews from the genus Crocidura across various ecological zones to determine taxa that are present...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most widely recognized patterns in ecology is the increase in species richness from poles to tropics. Literature suggests that the Congolian lowland rainforest does not follow this pattern: the Central Congolian forest (CCLF), south of the Congo River, is thought to harbor fewer vertebrate species and endemics than the Northeastern (NELF...
Article
Full-text available
The Congolese and Lower Guinean ichthyological provinces are understudied hotspots of the global fish diversity. Here, we barcoded 741 specimens from the Lower and Middle Congo River and from three major drainage basins of the Lower Guinean ichthyological province, Kouilou‐Niari, Nyanga and Ogowe. We identified 194 morphospecies belonging to 82 gen...
Poster
Full-text available
The European Union prohibits any personal consignment of meat (products) from entering the Union unless specifically authorized and certified as being eligible for import. Notwithstanding these regulations, various recent papers report that large quantities of meat, including bushmeat, are entering Europe via its international airports without such...
Article
Full-text available
Amongst small mammals, rodents are the largest order in terms of both species and population numbers. They have a high rate of reproduction, are cosmopolitan and have the ability to adapt to a wide variety of habitats. Several studies were carried out on myomorphic rodents in the Kisangani ecoregion, while those on sciuromorphic rodents are very sc...
Article
Full-text available
Pangolins, considered the most-trafficked mammals on Earth, are rapidly heading to extinction. Eight extant species of these African and Asian scale-bodied anteaters are commonly recognized, but their evolutionary relationships remain largely unexplored. Here we present the most comprehensive phylogenetic assessment of pangolins, based on genetic v...
Chapter
Full-text available
Large and small mammals, likewise bat, have been used as main animal protein source and even income source for many urban and rural families in the African lowland rainforest regions, like in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These findings imply that bat consumption is associated with human culture, which augurs eventual harmful consequences o...
Article
Full-text available
Protecting aboveground carbon stocks in tropical forests is essential for mitigating global climate change and is assumed to simultaneously conserve biodiversity. Although the relationship between tree diversity and carbon stocks is generally positive, the relationship remains unclear for consumers or decomposers. We assessed this relationship for...
Article
Full-text available
The detection of external and internal cues alters gene expression in the brain which in turn may affect neural networks that underly behavioral responses. Previous studies have shown that gene expression profiles differ between major brain regions within individuals and between species with different morphologies, cognitive abilities and/or behavi...
Data
Log2 cpm values of the 32 interaction genes in each brain part for O. nasuta (Black) and O. ventralis (Red).
Data
GO terms for each brainpart identified by CAMERA as significantly enriched. For each brainpart (BS, CE, TE, OT, OB, DI), the GO term, Biological process, adjusted P-value for O. nasuta (adj Pvalue ON) and for O. ventralis (adj Pvalue OV) are provided. GO terms and Biological processes in bold are uniquely enriched in that particular brainpart.
Data
Heatmap of log2 values of cpm from the top 200 genes that are differentially expressed in one brain part compared to the average expression in the other five brain parts for O. nasuta and O. ventralis. Rows represent genes, columns represent brain parts. (Na: O. nasuta; Ve: O. ventralis; BS, brainstem; CE, cerebellum; DI, diencephalon; OB, olfactor...
Data
Number of reads in each of the 59 sample safter quality filtering for four immediate early genes (bdnf, egr1, fosb, fosl2), nine behavioral genes (avpi1, gabarap, gnrh1, gnrh3, kpna1, nlgn3, oxt, serpini1, vip) and four receptor genes (adrb1, drd2, htr1a, htr2a) reported in previous studies (see references in Table S4). Note that the Y-axis has dif...
Data
Genes that are significantly different for the interaction brain part * species after the stage wise testing procedure. Gene, Locus name Oreochromis niloticus; GeneID, GeneID Oreochromis niloticus; log2 FC, log fold chance; adj P value, adjusted P value according to Holm; contrast, contrast compared between O. nasuta and O. ventralis; go_id, go_id...
Data
Log2FC represent the gene expression in each brainpart compared to the average gene expression in the remaining 5 brainparts. Genes that are significantly differentially expressed in both species are indicated with LogFC and AdjP values in bold. Values in bold indicate genes that are significantly more expressed compared to the average gene express...
Data
Bubble plots of significant GO terms determined by CAMERA. Plots for each brainpart (BS, OB, CE, OT, DI and TE) are side by side for the two species (Na or Ve). Only significant GO terms are labelled. The Y-axis represents the significance of the GO term (the higher the value in the plot, the more significant the term is), the X-axis shows the Z-sc...
Data
List of genes that are DE in both species with a |log2FC| > 2. Both the locus name (Locus) and gene ID (GeneID) from Oreochromis niloticus of each gene is provided, along with the gene ontology ID (GoID) and Biological Process. LogFC and adjusted p-values after the stage-wise statistical analyses for O. nasuta (Na) and O. ventralis (Ve) are provide...
Data
STAR alignment scores of the reads for each of the 60 samples. All reads were mapped against the Oreochromis nilo-cus genome version ASM185804v2. Green: % of reads uniquely mapped; Blue: % of reads mapped to mulJple loci; orange: % of reads not mapped because the read was too short; Red: % of reads not mapped for other reasons (eg because they were...
Article
Full-text available
Protecting aboveground carbon stocks in tropical forests is essential for mitigating global climate change and is assumed to simultaneously conserve biodiversity. Although the relationship between tree diversity and carbon stocks is generally positive, the relationship remains unclear for consumers or decomposers. We assessed this relationship for...
Article
Full-text available
In 1966, Robert William Hayman, Xavier Misonne and Walter Verheyen published their listing of the Congolese, Rwandan and Burundian bat specimens in the collections in the museums of Tervuren, Brussels, Geneva, London and New York. In the fifty years that have passed since, some major changes have been introduced in the taxonomy of the Chiroptera: n...
Article
Since prezygotic rather than postzygotic barriers are believed to maintain the diversity of closely related sympatric cichlids, differences in phenotypic traits and reproductive behaviours are likely involved in maintaining species boundaries. Here, we focused on the reproductive behaviour of three Ophthalmotilapia species with distributions that o...
Article
Full-text available
African catfish, Clarias gariepinus, is an important species in aquaculture and fisheries in Kenya. Mitochondrial D-loop control region was used to determine genetic variation and population structure in samples of C. gariepinus from 10 sites including five natural populations (Lakes Victoria (LVG), Kanyaboli (LKG), Turkana (LTA), Baringo (LBA) and...
Article
Full-text available
Nigeria has a rich small mammal community, with several species implicated as carriers of zoonotic microbes such as the Lassa virus (LASV). We sought to elucidate the diversity and distribution of these animals (including known LASV reservoirs) geographically, habitat-wise and seasonally. Our DNA-assisted survey detected at least 19 small mammal sp...
Article
In this study, morphological differences were found that corroborate earlier results that showed the existence of six species within the previously monospecific African pike genus Hepsetus. Additional genetic data (coI, mtDNA and rag1, nDNA) confirm the morphology-based species delineations. Deep genetic divergences imply a relatively old age for d...
Presentation
Full-text available
Unnoticed by the public, initiatives for oil exploration are advanced in Africa’s largest freshwater reservoirs, including Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi and lately Albert, threatening their ecosystems and biota. It is imperative that environmental impact assessments are conducted by independent organizations to ensure that decisions on this matter are b...