Marleen De Troch (°Ninove, 16 July 1973) is a marine ecologist at Ghent University (Marine Biology Research Group). She graduated as Master in Biology (option Zoology) from the Ghent University in 1995 with a masterthesis on ‘Community structure and feeding ecology of fishes from a tropical bay (Gazi Bay, Kenya)’.
Her PhD research (1995-2001, PhD fellow of the FWO–Flanders) focussed on ‘Ecology of harpacticoid copepods: structural biodiversity in tropical seagrass beds’ in close cooperation with the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (Kenya), El Colegio del frontera Sur (Mexico) and the Davao Oriental State College for Science and Technology (The Philippines).
As Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders (2001-2011) and UGent Special research Fund (2011-2015) she studied the structural aspects of marine biodiversity and the trophic interactions at the basis of marine food webs between primary producers and consumers.
Her research team is specialized in ecological and systematic research of the ecology and biodiversity of invertebrates in marine ecosystems, with special emphasis on harpacticoid copepods (Crustacea). Next to the analysis of structural biodiversity in marine habitats, the research focusses on climate related changes on marine organisms i.e. how do they response to changes in temperature, food quality and food availability. More specifically, the research of M. De Troch and co-workers disentangles the trophic interactions and energy flows in marine food webs by means of trophic markers (stable isotopes, fatty acids). Biochemical profiling of field samples and material from lab experiments serves as the perfect toolbox to unravel ‘biodiversity-ecosystem functioning’ research questions in marine ecosystems worldwide.
She was awarded several individual research grants (Krediet aan Navorsers) and travel grants for instance to finance a study stay at the University of Stockholm (Sweden). On 1st of February 2015 she was appointed an assistant professorship at the Faculty of Sciences at Ghent University. Her main research disciplines are trophic ecology, marine ecology, stress ecology, lipidomics and copepodology.
She (co)authored 112 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is (co)promotor of 14 finalised doctoral dissertations and 9 ongoing PhD studies.