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Interested in working at the museum? Find our current job openings on this page.

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is recruiting a Scientific collaborator for a contract of definite duration (01/10/2021-31/12/2023).


The area of the northern East African rift-valley lakes Kivu, Edward and Albert (KEA) is a hotspot of terrestrial biodiversity. For fishes, it is one of the most enigmatic regions in terms of biogeography as it is situated at the intersection of three major ichthyo-geographic provinces (Nilo-Sudan, East Coast and Congo), and as it featured a turbulent tectonic history. Although the region is much poorer in species than the neighbouring basins, it has high levels of species endemicity, especially for lacustrine cichlids. It was speculated that the region, and especially the three deep-water lakes, acted as a refuge during recent climatic changes, such as the dry periods that led to the desiccation of Lake Victoria (ca. 15 000 years ago). In the KEAFish project, we will test this by studying the entire ichthyofauna of the region using classical taxonomy, standard sequencing methods, and state-of-the-art genomic techniques. This will allow us to characterise how the region’s fish fauna emerged, and how it shaped or influenced the current fish faunas of the rest of the continent.


The candidate will be part of a team that includes experts in fish taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography and genomics. She/he will use next generation sequencing (NGS) technology to investigate the role of the KEA region as the cradle of wide-spread fish species that are currently found throughout Africa. Additionally, she/he will use a combination of genetic, genomic and taxonomic approaches to investigate the evolutionary history of species and species complexes whose distribution is restricted to the region.


Diploma: PhD or MSc in Biology or Bioinformatics

Technical competence

  • experience with NGS data analysis

Generic competence

  • Eager to learn
  • Team player


  • Knowledge of biogeography and evolutionary processes
  • Knowledge of ichthyology
  • Experience in genetic lab work
  • Good English proficiency

We offer

  • Depending on seniority, a fixed-term contract of two or three years
  • Salary according to the standard scale for an assistant (SW1)
  • Free public transport
  • A dynamic and interesting working environment
  • If the candidate would be MSc, this research would be expected to lead towards a PhD thesis

How to apply

E-mail your motivation letter, 2 references and CV before 01/09/2021 to : Maarten Van Steenberge via:

For more info, contact Maarten Van Steenberge

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the Université  Libre de Bruxelles are recruiting a doctor of science or biomedical sciences in the field of anthropology and virtual anatomy (FED-tWIN program). 

For more information :

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