Treeclimbers

Tropical forests play an essential role in the global carbon cycle - a well-known fact. Something that not many people know, however, is that lianas are key components of these forests, and furthermore, they have been increasing in abundance and biomass over the last two decades, but nobody knows why. Therefore, the ERC council awarded Prof. Hans Verbeeck a grant to discover the reason why. Liana proliferation might be a key adaptation mechanism of tropical forests to climate change, with large impacts on the long term tropical forest carbon balance, and until now no single terrestrial ecosystem model currently includes lianas!

The protagonist of our webcomic will not be Tarzan, who in reality could have never swung on lianas as in the movies, because lianas are not attached at the top, but at the bottom (they are plants, with roots in the ground). Our protagonist will be the forest itself, with its plants, its insects, its animals, and its fragile balance.

Get ready to scroll and enjoy!


Prof. Hans Verbeeck (researcher)

He graduated as a bioengineer (land and forest management) at the University of Gent (2002). He completed his Ph.D. at Antwerp University with a dissertation on the modeling of carbon and water balances of temperate forests (2007). At the end of 2014 Verbeeck received an ERC grant (European Research Council) to begin the TREECLIMBERS project. In 2015 he was appointed as Research Professor on the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. In the Department of Applied Ecology and Environmental Biology he also established the research group CAVElab (Computational and Applied Vegetation Ecology, cavelab.ugent.be).

Giacomo Nanni (artist)

Born in Rimini, Italy, Nanni is an illustrator and graphic novelist. He has worked for magazines such as L'Obs, XXI, Marie Claire, Air France Magazine, Officiel Italia, Alternatives Internationales, Libération, Internazionale. Nanni’s graphic novels are published in France by Cornélius. He lives in Paris.
giacomonanni.com