Recognizing Plant Physiology first authors: Valentin Couvreur

Valentin Couvreur, first author of Going with the flow: multiscale insights into the composite nature of water transport in roots

Current Position: FRS-FNRS postdoctoral researcher, University of Louvain, Earth and Life Institute

Education: PhD in Agronomical Sciences and Biological Engineering, University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Non-scientific Interests: Group dynamics and personality types, literature of anticipation, world vegetarian cuisine.

Brief bio: Being an “undercover” soil physicist among plant developmental biologists is a peculiar feature in a pedigree. On-the-fly learning about hormones, transporters, and gene regulatory networks proves to be a massive challenge. Nonetheless, mastering quantitative hydraulics is an equally massive advantage in a domain where water flow is ubiquitous and yet a blind spot. After graduating as a Bioengineer specialised in soil and water resources, I had the chance to expand my modelling skills in soil and plant hydraulics with in the team of Prof. Mathieu Javaux (UCLouvain). Discovering emergent properties of the plant hydraulic architecture got me a PhD in Agronomical Sciences and Biological Engineering. During the next two years, I had the pleasure to pursue research on the water balance of orchards using deep learning tools at the University of California Davis with Prof. Jan Hopmans. My ticket back to UCLouvain Belgium was granted by Prof. Xavier Draye who had the brilliant idea to introduce the quantitative hydraulics perspective in plant developmental biology, then creating the first plant “hydraulic anatomy”.