It was scuba diving in the sea which gave Gilles Vandewalle the desire to understand animal behaviour. In opting to study biology at the University of Liège he was following the footsteps of his father, a biology professor at the same university. But he progressively changed direction as over the course of his studies his interests turned more towards the neurosciences than classical biology. In 2002 he began a DEA in neuroimaging, carried out in part at the ULg’s Cyclotron Research Centre, whilst practical work was carried out at the University of Surrey in England.
After several months on the other side of the Channel he returned to the ULg to work on a doctorate with Professor Pierre Maquet at the Cyclotron Research Centre. Defended in 2007 his thesis focused on the impact of light on the brain’s non-visual functions. Since then he has worked continually on this theme, first of all during postdoctoral studies at Montreal and then at the ULg, where he has been a FNRS Postdoctoral Researcher since October 2010.