Originally from Schoten, Belgium, Evelien Adriaenssens studied Bioscience Engineering at the University of Leuven, Belgium. During her MSc she majored in Plant Production with a minor in Cell and Gene Biotechnology and graduated in 2008. That year She started her PhD on the use of bacteriophages against a rot-causing bacteria of potato. This was a collaboration between the Laboratory of Gene Technology of the University of Leuven and the unit Plant – Crop protection of the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research Flanders. After receiving her PhD degree in September 2012, she worked as a postdoc for three months on the classification and taxonomy of bacteriophages.
In March 2013, she joined the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics at the University of Pretoria under Prof Don Cowan. Her main focus is on metaviromics of extreme habitats such as the Namibian desert and Antarctic desert communities. She will also be involved in the metagenomics project concerning these habitats.