Logo UHasselt



Experts and speakers

Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


Tom ArtoisTom Artois is a Professor of Zoology at the Faculty of Sciences at Hasselt University. His research focuses on biodiversity and evolution of invertebrate animals, free-living flatworms in particular. He teaches courses on systematic zoology and evolution, and on the philosophy of biology.

Marlies AertsMarlies Aerts is a student at the Faculty of Architecture at Hasselt University. She is board member of the student association STURA, and will be chairing the student jury at the Arena.

Indra DewitteIndra Dewitte is a journalist and deputy editor-in-chief at Het Belang van Limburg. Previously she worked at VRT where she hosted ‘De Zevende Dag’ for six years.

Dirk DraulansDirk Draulans is a Flemish biologist, journalist and writer. He writes for Knack magazine and published several books. He made several TV documentaries on science related topics such ‘De macht van het minuscule’ on the microbial world recently broadcasted at CANVAS.

Jan GoossensJan Goossens was the former Director of “Medics Without Vacation” ngo, where he worked from 1998 till the end of October 2012. He started his career as a nurse in a primary health care project in former Zaire in 1988, where he was active till 1990. Prior to joining Medics Without Vacation and after he came back from Zaire, he worked a few years in Belgian hospitals. In 1995 he became involved in MWV, first as a volunteer and from 1998 on as an employee under contract. He worked with MWV in various capacities, including Field Coordinator which have taken him to RDCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. Later he became Head of Projects and from 2008 on, he has been leading MWV. He’s also a Board Member of MWV, Mamas for Africa and is Chairman of the Board of Bond Zonder Naam.

Chido GoveraChido Govera is a Social Entrepreneur, founder of The Future of Hope Foundation, expert in Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms and pioneer in the conversion coffee grounds from cafes into mushrooms - an initiative that’s currently very popular around the world.
A hardworking, responsible and action oriented young woman. A team player and good communicator. Passionate and committed to learning, dedicated to simplify securing basic needs for women and girls at grassroots level. Chido is committed to sharing skills that promote food security, optimal conditions for self-development and reaching out to the ‘un-reached’, with the ultimate aim to end poverty and abuse.

Inge C GyssensInge C Gyssens is an infectious diseases specialist. She has a clinical appointment at Jessa Ziekenhuis, Hasselt and a teaching and research position at Hasselt University. At Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Canisius Wilhelmina hospital she leads several research projects on immunogenetics of infectious diseases. She is involved in educational projects on antimicrobial stewardship. She is work package leader of two recent European projects, the recently started Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) DRIVE-AB (Driving Reinvestment in R&D and Responsible Antibiotic Use and the Horizon 2020 FAPIC (Fast Assay for Pathogen Identification and Characterisation) project.

Niel HensNiel Hens is associate professor in biostatistics at Hasselt University and Holder of the Scientific Chair in Evidence-based Vaccinology at the University of Antwerp. His research focuses on developing statistical and mathematical models for the spread of infectious diseases ranging from within host models to transmission models. More recently, his interest is in understanding the Ebola epidemic in West-Africa and the possible resurgence of measles in highly vaccinated populations such as in Belgium. Since 2014, he is member of the ‘Jonge Academie’ (Young Academy) of Belgium.

James LavelleJames Lavelle is an England-based electronic musician and co-founder of record label Mo’Wax. He has collaborated with artists like DJ Shadow, Richard Ashcroft and Thom Yorke. His collaborations with DJ Shadow were released under the name UNKLE. After Mo’ Wax ended, James has been touring the world over DJing all the hot spots. “We headlined Sydney Opera House, Brixton Academy, Creamfields in South America, played Tel Aviv with Nine Inch Nails, we worked with everyone from Queens Of The Stone Age through to Massive Attack and Radiohead.”

Jean MancaJean Manca is full professor in experimental physics and head of the research group X-LaB and the educational lab Phys-X-LaB at Hasselt University (Belgium). He has been Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at Hasselt University (2009-2013) and visiting scientist in Stanford University (2013) and MIT (2014). Jean Manca has published more than 130 articles in international peer-reviewed journals (including paper in Nature Materials and 2 cover articles). The fundamental and frontier research projects within X-LaB involve interdisciplinary projects ranging from exploration of novel concepts for energy conversion to the study of the ‘physics of life’ and biomimetics. Furthermore, X-LaB aims to form a creative cross-over lab where science, technology, art and design meet with as mission statement ‘eXploration and crossXover for a creative and sustainable future’.

Rudi MoesenRudi Moesen worked for local and Belgian radio stations. Since 2004 he works at the regional TV station TV-Limburg where he currently hosts ‘Studio TVL’.  

Willem OmbeletWillem Ombelet is a medical doctor and founder of the Genk Institute for Fertility Technology (Hospital ZOL) and co-founder of the Walking Egg non-profit organization, which strives to implement accessible infertility programs in resource-poor countries. The project also aims to raise awareness surrounding childlessness in these countries and to make infertility care in all its aspects available to a larger part of the public. Willem is also visiting professor at Hasselt University.

Wim PinxtenWim Pinxten is a medical ethicist with a background in religious studies (MA), law (BA), applied ethics (MA), and biomedical sciences (PhD). His research focuses on research ethics, scientific integrity, and healthcare for vulnerable populations.
He is assistant professor at Hasselt University (Belgium) and previously worked as a researcher in medical ethics and health law at the ErasmusMC Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Louvain University (Belgium) and the International Forum for Biophilosophy (Belgium).

James PutnamJames Putnam is an independent curator/writer and currently Senior Research Fellow, Exhibitions at University of the Arts, London. He studied Art History at London University and went on to join the Egyptian Antiquities and then the Education Departments of the British Museum having curated contemporary projects both for and independently of the Museum. He initiates projects with a cross-disciplinary approach, working with visual and performing artists, designers, writers and cultural studies specialists. He develops residencies, installations, talks and performances and conferences in collaboration with national and international institutions.

Bart RaymaekersBart Raymaekers is a professor of Ethics, Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Law at the Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte in Leuven. He has published books on the basics of ethics the role of ethics with regard to rights and society.

Ignace SchopsIgnace Schops is an environmentalist and expert on biodiversity, landscaping and herpetology, as well as Director of the Belgian NGO Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland, and president of the largest network on the natural heritage in Europe (the EUROPARC Federation). In 2008 he was awarded with the Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as the Green Nobel Prize, for his contributions to the establishment of the first National Park in Belgium. He received a honorary doctorate from Hasselt University.

Jill SilvermanJill Silverman van Coenegrachts is managing partner of jsvcARTPROJECTS/London, a creative cultural agency working with artists, collections, museums and foundations, producing exhibitions, creating public projects, offering strategic development for artists and content driven guidance in her work with collectors around the world.  As a gallerist, writer, and curator she has been at the forefront of the contemporary art market for 3 decades as a partner in Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris/Salzburg, managing director of LISSON GALLERY London, and director John Gibson Gallery, NY. Her work has been noted not only for intensely working with artists, but too in facilitating public institutions and international collections acquire major works; she has originated major international travelling museum exhibitions for Richard Deacon, Art & Language, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Tony Cragg, Anthony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Sturtevant, Alex Katz and Robert Longo. She is currently curator of the Philippe Meaille Collection of Art & Language on long term loan to MACBA, Barcelona.

Piet StinissenPiet Stinissen is a professor of Immunology and dean at the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences at UHasselt. His research focuses on the mechanisms involved in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. 

Hans Van DyckHans Van Dyck is a professor and chair of the Behavioural ecology and conservation group at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). His group has a strong interest in both basic and applied ecology and evolution, and particularly in animal behaviour. A goal is to improve applied conservation work by making use of evolutionary ecological conceptual approaches. A general theme of research in his group is evolutionary change in anthropogenic environments: “changing organisms in changing landscapes”. Why are some species highly successful in anthropogenic landscapes, while many others decline? In addition to his scientific work, Hans publishes on general topics related to biodiversity and global change in De Standaard and EOS.

Koen VanmechelenKoen Vanmechelen is a conceptual artist internationally renowned for his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project and known for his collaborations with authorities in the scientific field. His work is based on notions and ideas regarding biocultural diversity and identity. Koen was awarded a honorary doctorate from Hasselt University.