Mathieu Denoël

Research Director at Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS
President of the European Herpetological Society (SEH)

Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians
Freshwater and OCeanic science Unit of reSearch (U.R. FOCUS)
University of Liege (ULiege) – 22 Quai van Beneden, 4020 Liege, Belgium

Phone: (+32) (0) 4.366.50.84
E-mail: Mathieu.Denoel[a]



The research of Mathieu Denoel’s lab aims to determine the characteristics and more particularly the determinism of diversity patterns in freshwater organisms, particularly amphibians. A special focus is given on phenotypic plasticity and polyphenisms, such as facultative paedomorphosis (retention of gills at the adult stage versus metamorphosis). The benefits of life in the aquatic and terrestrial environments are characterized in link with the evolution of simple and complex life cycles. The approach is integrative and multidisplinary in ecology, including and combining its different components such as behavioural, dispersal, functional, landscape, evolutionary, and molecular ecology. The study combine both lab experiments in controlled environments and field sampling and observations in a large range of habitats and geographic areas. The research program is not only fundamental but embedded in a biological conservation framework to explain adaptation and decline of native species at the inter and intraspecific levels. More broadly, the entire aquatic and terrestrial communities associated with freshwater environments are considered in trophic and molecular studies. A special focus is done on the effects of climate change (drying) and the introduction of invasive alien species (teleost fish and amphibians). More on this research can be found in the webpage on research projects.

Main study species: Ambystoma tigrinum, Anguilla anguilla, Calotriton asper, Carassius auratus, Ceratophrys stolzmanni, Gambusia holbrooki, Ichthyosaura alpestris, Lissotriton graecus, Lissotriton helveticus, Lissotriton vulgaris, Rana temporaria, Pelobates fuscus, Pelobates syriacus, Pelophylax kurtmuelleri, Pelophylax ridibundus, Salamandra salamandra, Triturus cristatus, Triturus marmoratus.

Methodology: standardized field surveys, multi-scale ecological modeling, development of behavioural markers such as video-tracking, RFID telemetry, experiments in controlled conditions, trophic ecology analyses.


15 last publications

Societas Europaea Herpetologica

The European herpetological society Societas Europaea Herpetologica (SEH) was founded in 1979 and has members from most of the European countries and elsewhere. Its aim is to support scientific research on amphibians and reptiles, to promote collaborations between herpetologists and, through its committees, to coordinate mapping and conservation projects at the European level. It publishes the quarterly journal Amphibia-Reptilia (indexed in Current Contents and Scopus) and Herpetology notes and it organizes a bi-annual interantional congress.

Become a member of the Society and join our community of herpetologists.


Editorial and scientific boards – Reviewer

Associate editor of Amphibia-Reptilia (Editions Brill) – previously Co-Editor (2003-2011)


Generalist and thematic journals: Acta oecologica, Acta zoologica, African Journal of Ecology, American Midland Naturalist, American Naturalist, Annales Zoologi Fennici, Animal Behaviour, Animal Biology, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, Aquatic Ecology, Aquatic Toxicology, Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Belgian Journal of Zoology, Biodiversity and Conservation, Biological Conservation, Biological Invasions, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Biology Letters, BMC Ecology, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Chemosphere, Community Ecology, Comptes Rendus Biologies, Current Zoology, Diversity and Distribution, Ecography, Ecological Restauration, Ecology, Ecology Letters, Ecotoxicology, Ethology, Evolution & Development, Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Ecology, Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, Freshwater Biology, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Frontiers in Zoology, Functional Ecology, Heredity, Hormones and Behavior, Hydrobiologia, Italian Journal of Zoology, Journal of Animal Ecology, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Ethology, Journal of Nature Conservation, Journal of Natural History, Journal of Thermal Biology, Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, Journal of Zoology, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, North-Western Journal of Zoology, Oecologia, Oryx, PeerJ, PLoS ONE, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Revue d’Ecologie, Water Air & Soil Pollution, Science of the Total Environment, Wetlands, Zookeys, Zoological Letters, Zoology.

Herpetological journals: Acta herpetologica, Amphibia-Reptilia, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, Asian Herpetological Research, Bulletin de la Société Herpétologique de France, Copeia, Herpetologica, Herpetological Monographs, Herpetological Conservation and Biology, Herpetological Journal, Herpetology Notes, Journal of Herpetology, Russian Journal of Herpetology.

Member of the International Council of Ethologists (Belgian representative), the European Amphibian Red List Authority Working Group and the IUCN