UCLouvain - Earth and life institute


I m a Postdoctoral researcher at UCLouvain (Belgium).

I did my PhD from 2018 to 2022 and the "root" adventure is still ongoing. Roots are the hidden parts of the plant. They are quite surprising and to unravel their mysteries, I study them. From phenotyping the hydraulic on the root system, to analysing cross-sections, passing by creating digital twin of root system architecture, I have tried to look at them in details. One constant, is that roots are dynamics and that its constantly evolving, adapting to their environments. As a results, a better understanding of the below ground will probably improve the ways we grow plants.

Research Project

Overview of the few project I have been working on.


The influence of heterogeneous soil water potential on root growth, modeling root plastic response

A. Heymans, T. Wei, M. Laurent, X. Draye and M. Javaux.

Hydraulic Maps

Combining cross-section images and modeling tools to create high-resolution root system hydraulic atlases in Zea mays

A. Heymans, V. Couvreur, and G. Lobet.


Radial water fluxes in a generated root cross section

A. Heymans, and V. Couvreur

Hydraulic VIPER

Virtual phenotyping pipeline for root hydraulic traits.

A. Heymans, V. Couvreur, F. Meunier, M. Javaux, X. Draye, and G. Lobet.


Generator of root anatomy in R.

A. Heymans, V. Couvreur, T. LaRue, A. Paez-Garcia, G. Lobet.


MARSHAL, a novel tool for virtual phenotyping of maize root system hydraulic architectures

F. Meunier, A. Heymans, X. Draye, V. Couvreur, M. Javaux, and G. Lobet

SmartRoot to CRootBox

From root system scans to a 3D models of your plant in few steps.

Useful tools

Plant models - Image analysis software tools - Image dataset . A website presenting image analysis software tools and models for plants

Doing Sciences with R

R for Data Science. This book will teach you how to do data science with R

Data to Viz. From Data to Viz leads you to the most appropriate graph for your data. It links to the code to build it and lists common caveats you should avoid.