Gabriel Charvalakis

Gabriel Charvalakis MSc

PhD Candidate
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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands



Insects as some of the most species-rich and abundant organisms on our planet provide vital ecosystem functions and services. I aim to elucidate how the properties of artificial light at night affect the responses of insects in space and through time.


Biodiversity is facing severe consequences due to anthropogenic factors. Thus, I studied Biology at Wageningen University & Research here in the Netherlands and specialized in a “Biodiversity & Ecology” MSc degree.

During my studies in Wageningen I learned: i) How the chemical ecology of insects shapes trophic systems and ecosystem functions ii) Which are the neurobiological mechanisms affecting the chemical ecology of insects.  After my studies I continued exploring the amazing sensory systems of insects as a volunteer entomologist of InsectSense B.V at the Wageningen StartHub.

Throughout my PhD project within the BioClock consortium I will focus on the effect of artificial light at night on the spatial and temporal responses of moth species. Moths are not only key prey species for birds and bats but are also severely underappreciated as important nocturnal pollinators. Research examining the effect of light intensity and spectral wavelength on moth responses will be conducted at the Lights on Nature experimental sites. The project also aims to link moth behaviours under illuminated conditions at night to their corresponding neurophysiological mechanisms of photoreception and circadian rhythmicity. Such information could potentially contribute towards mitigating the effects of light pollution.

Research groups

Research Expertise


Projects & collaborations


  • Artificial light

    Project 2016–Present
    Nocturnal illumination leads to a permanent disturbance of natural habitats and there is accumulating evidence for – often negative – impact of artificial light in an increasing number of species.
    experimental setup
  • BioClock

    Project 2021–2027
    Our night sky is heavily light-polluted which has a far-reaching impact on our ecosystem, changing daily and seasonal timing of a multitude of organisms we share our environment with. At the NIOO-KNAW, we team up with ecologists and chronobiologists all across the Netherlands to restore healthy rhythms for ourselves and in our natural environment.