Claude Belpaire
  • Herman Teirlinckgebouw, Havenlaan 88 bus 73

    1000 Brussel


1982 …2022

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research expertise

Claude Belpaire is an INBO researcher in the Monitoring and Restoration of Aquatic Fauna (MHAF) team. He started his scientific career as a biologist at KU Leuven, where he helped build the starting Laboratory of Ecology and Aquaculture at the Zoological Institute. The laboratory later developed into an important research unit in aquatic ecology. His research focused on fish farming and ecology of freshwater fish species. He holds a PhD in biological sciences from KU Leuven.

In 1991, Claude started as a researcher at the Institute for Forestry and Wildlife Management in Groenendaal, the former more than 100-year-old National Station for Forest and Hydrobiological Research, where he had the chance to gather an enthusiastic team of biologists, technicians and green workers. Together they carry out all kinds of policy-oriented fisheries research in Flemish freshwater ecosystems, usually at the request of local to international target groups.

In that period Claude is mainly active in drawing the contours of a number of future MHAF research lines. Even before the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) came into effect, the Freshwater Fish Monitoring Network was operational in Flanders and Fish Indices were developed later used for European reports on ecological water quality. He lays the first foundations of the Fish Database, which is currently an essential tool for accessing Flemish fish data. In addition, he developed a Flemish eel pollutant monitoring network, in which the accumulation of toxic substances is monitored in eel as a bioindicator. This principle will later be applied on a European scale in a WFD daughter directive.

Claude is currently coordinating several ecological and ecotoxicological projects for governmental partners. His research focuses on ecological and ecotoxicological aspects of eel, and he is active in international advisory bodies for eel management.


  • aquatic management
  • biodiversity policy
  • Water Framework Directive
  • fisheries policy

Thematic List

  • Fish
  • Pollution
  • Water Framework Directive
  • Fish reference network
  • Fisheries (society)

Geographic List

  • river catchments
  • Flanders
  • Belgium

Taxonomic List

  • fishes (Pisces)
  • eel-like fishes (Anguillidae)


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