University of Namur (UNamur)
Research Unit in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology (URBE)
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences

Prof. Dr Patrick Kestemont, Director of URBE
Phone: +32 (0)81 72.43.63
Fax: +32 (0)81 72.43.62

University of Namur
61, rue de Bruxelles
B-5000 Namur

The Research Unit in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology (URBE) of UNamur is focusing its research on aquatic organisms, on their interactions with the environment as well as on their adaptive and evolutionary mechanisms. It includes research on comparative (different aquatic species) and integrative (different levels of biological integration) biology, from genome to community and ecosystem studies. Within URBE, Patrick Kestemont is heading the research group on environmental physiology and toxicology. How the physiology of aquatic organisms (fish, crustaceans and amphibians) is modified to cope with environmental changes and pollutants (pesticides, metal trace elements, endocrine disrupting chemicals-EDC) constitutes the main research theme of the group. A special attention is given to the impacts of xenobiotics (in the framework of multi-stressor context) on the reproductive system in interaction with the immune response in fish. The mechanisms of sex differentiation and intersexuality induced by EDC have been investigated recently, through a combination of in vitro, in vivo, in situ and in silico approaches on model organisms (rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss) and sentinel species (gudgeon Gobio gobio).


Relevant publications
1. Henrotte E., Kaspar V., Rodina M., Psenicka M., Linhart O. & Kestemont P., 2010. Dietary n-3/n-6 ratio affects the biochemical composition of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) semen but not indicators of sperm quality. Aquaculture Research 41: e31-e38.
2. Henrotte E., Mandiki S.N.M., Agbohessi T.P., Vandecam M., Mélard C. & Kestemont P., 2010. Egg and larval quality, and egg fatty acid composition of Eurasian perch breeders (Perca fluviatilis) fed different dietary DHA/EPA/AA ratio. Aquaculture Research 41: e53-e61.
3. Henrotte E., Mandiki SNM & Kestemont P., 2011. In vitro effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids and derivatives on final follicle maturation, sex steroid and prostaglandin production in Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis). Lipids 46: 179-187.
4. Nadzialek S. & Kestemont P., 2010. 17α-ethynilestradiol induces an imbalance between apoptosis and cell proliferation in a testis culture of gudgeon Gobio gobio. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 29, 4, 881-886.
5. Nadzialek S. Pigneur L.M., Wéron B. & Kestemont P., 2010. Bcl-2 and Caspase 3 mRNA levels in the testes of gudgeon, Gobio gobio, exposed to ethinylestradiol (EE2). Aquatic Toxicology 98, 304-310.
6. Milla S., Sambroni E., Kestemont P., Jalabert B., 2011. Effects of mechanical perturbation at various times during incubation on egg survival, hatching and malformation rates in the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, and influence of post-ovulatory oocyte ageing. Aquaculture Research 42: 1061-1065.
7. Hayes, T.B., Anderson, L.L., Beasley, V.R., de Solla, S.R., Iguchi, T., Ingraham, H., Kestemont, P., Kniewald, J., Kniewald, Z., Langlois, V.S., Luque, E.H., McCoy, K.A., Muñoz-de-Toro, M., Oka, T., Oliveira, C.A., Orton, F., Ruby, S., Suzawa, M., Tavera-Mendoza, L.E., Trudeau, V.L., Victor-Costa, A.B., Willingham, E., 2011. Demasculinization and feminization of male gonads by atrazine: Consistent effects across vertebrate classes. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 127 (1-2): 64-73.
8. Zarski, D., Kucharczyk, D., Targońska, K., Palińska, K., Kupren, K., Fontaine, P. & Kestemont, P., 2011. A new classification of pre-ovulatory oocyte maturation stages in pikeperch, Sander lucioperca (L.), and its application during artificial reproduction. Aquaculture Research 43: 713-721.
9. Nyina-wamwiza, L., Milla, S., Pierrard, M.-A., Rurangwa, E., Mandiki, S.N.M., Van Look, K.J.W., Kestemont, P. , 2012. Partial and total fish meal replacement by agricultural products in the diets improves sperm quality in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Theriogenology 77: 184-194.
10. Castets, M.-D., Schaerlinger, B., Silvestre, F., Gardeur, J.-N., Dieu, M., Corbier, C., Kestemont, P., Fontaine, P., 2012. Combined analysis of Perca fluviatilis reproductive performance and oocyte proteomic profile. Theriogenology 78: 432-442.
11. Zarski, D., Krejszeff, S., Paliska, K., Targoska, K., Kupren, K., Fontaine, P., Kestemont, P., Kucharczyk, D., 2012. Cortical reaction as an egg quality indicator in artificial reproduction of pikeperch, Sander lucioperca. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 24: 843-850.
12. Nyina-wamwiza, L., Defreyne, P.S., Ngendahayo, L., Milla, S., Mandiki, S.N.M. & Kestemont, P. , 2012. Effects of partial or total fish meal replacement by agricultural by-product diets on gonad maturation, sex steroids and vitellogenin dynamics of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Fish Physiology & Biochemistry 38: 1287-1298.
13. Abdulfatah, A., Fontaine, P., Kestemont, P., Milla, S. & Marie M., 2013. Effects of the thermal threshold and the timing of temperature reduction on the initiation and course of oocyte development in cultured female of Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis. Aquaculture 376-379: 90-96.
14. Agbohessi P., Imorou Toko I. Houndji, A., Gillardin, V., Mandiki, S.N.M. & Kestemont, P., 2013. Acute Toxicity of Agricultural Pesticides to Embryo-Larval and Juvenile African Catfish Clarias gariepinus. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 64: 692-700.
15. Depiereux S. Liagre M., Danis L., De Meulder B., Depiereux E., Segner H. & Kestemont P., 2014. Intersex occurrence in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss male fry chronically exposed to ethynylestradiol. PLoS one 9: 7, e98531.