Keynote Speakers

Professor Frank Nilsen obtained the Dr. scient degree from University of Bergen in 1998. The same year he started as a scientist at Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen, Norway working on salmon louse and other parasites. He became a group leader in Marine Genomics at IMR where the research focus was on salmon louse and cod genomics/functional genomics. In 2007, he was appointed as a professor in fish health at University of Bergen. From 2011 professor Nilsen has been leading Sea Lice Research Centre SFI, a centre of research based innovation appointed by the Norwegian Research Council. Understanding key processes of the salmon louse biology using molecular and functional genomic tools characterize the research interest during the last 10 years.




Geert Wiegertjes is professor in ‘Fish Immunology and Health’ at the Cell Biology and Immunology Group of Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands and chair of the Research Committee of the Graduate School ‘Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences’. He graduated in Aquaculture and Fisheries in 1988 and received his PhD degree in  1995.  Since he took up his teaching and research position at Wageningen University in 1990, he published >100 scientific articles on different aspects of fish immunology including hallmark reviews on immunogenetics of disease resistance, toll-like receptors, macrophage polarisation and trained immunity. He has been the organisor of the series of annual Fish Immunology / Vaccination Workshops in Wageningen since the first one in 1998. He is Associate Editor of Fish & Shellfish Immunology (FSI) and Secretary of Education of the International Society of Developmental & Comparative Immunology (ISDCI), and on the Editoral Board of the associated journal (DCI). He has been guest editor of special issues of DCI on ‘Immunity to Infectious Diseases of Fish’ and ‘Intestinal Immunity’ and is guest editing a special issue of FSI on ‘Targeting Fish Vaccination’. He has long-term experience with funding by the European Community (Marie Curie, FP6, FP7, H2020), is work package leader of ParaFishControl (H2020) and coordinates TargetFish (FP7), presently the largest European project addressing fish vaccination.



Isabelle Arzul is a marine parasitologist and pathologist whose research focuses primarily on the evolutionary ecology of marine diseases and the interactions between protozoan parasites and marine bivalves. She obtained her Ve

terinarian phD from the Veterinarian school of Nantes in France before completing a PhD in virology at the University of Montpellier. During her phD she investigated the diversity and virulence of a virus infecting oysters.

Since 2002 she has been working at the Laboratory of Genetic and Pathology of Marine Molluscs at Ifremer La Tremblade on the middle west coast of France. After coordinating the national network for the surveillance and the monitoring of bivalve diseases on the French coasts, she has been responsible for the EU Reference Laboratory for Mollusc Diseases in Europe, leading a network of 23 reference laboratories.

She has been involved in five European projects and since 2016 she has been coordinating the European H2020 project VIVALDI. Olga (Liduina Maria) Haenen is a senior scientist and head of the National Reference Laboratory for Fish, Crustacean and Shellfish Diseases, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research at Lelystad (since 1985)

Education  (Academic Qualifications)

  • MSc in Biology at Wageningen University (1985)
  • PhD in fish diseases (1995): Thesis: Haenen, O.L.M., 1995. Anguillicola crassus (Nematoda, Dracun­culoidea) infections of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) in the Netherlands: epidemio­lo­gy, pathogenesis and pathobiology. Thesis with hypotheses,127 pages.


  • since 1985: Head of the National Reference Laboratory of Fish, Shellfish and Crustacean Diseases, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR, former CVI) of WUR, Lelystad, the Netherlands

 Expertise in general:

  • Project leader, building up a fish diseases laboratory from scratch, clinical pathology, overall diagnosis of fish diseases, especially related to eels, carps/koi, tilapia, catfish, ornamental fish, and marine flatfish (necropsy, parasitology, bacteriology, virology, histopathology), auditing for ISO 9001 and ISO 17025, with a huge global network.
  • Giving advice on fish diseases, for (inter)national government bodies, the EC (as government expert, and as private expert in the Working Group on Fish Diseases), the OIE (Aquatic Commission) , EFSA, EIFAC, and FAO.