The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS, Belgium) is recruiting a scientific collaborator (M/F/X) in the context of marine multi-use and ecosystem-based marine spatial planning. The new collaborator will be engaged in the currently ongoing UNITED project ( and in the MarinePlan project, which will start in Autumn 2022. Both projects are funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020/Europe programme.


The research group MARECO (Marine Ecology and Management,, part of the Operational Directorate Natural Environment (OD Nature) of the RBINS has in-depth expertise with regard to marine research in various research domains. MARECO attaches great importance to the link between research and policy support. MARECO contributes to environmental impact assessment, environmental status assessment and marine spatial planning. The team coordinates multiple monitoring programmes that assess the environmental status of the marine environment and study the environmental impact of human activities at sea. The team uses state-of-the-art research equipment, modern lab facilities and the new research vessel RV Belgica. MARECO provides scientific services, including access to the 'Artificial Hard Substrate Garden' and identification of marine organisms.

This vacancy is situated within the MARECO activities with regard to environmental impact assessment and marine spatial planning, more specifically on (a) the assessment of economic, social and environmental viability of multi-use activities, and on (b) ecosystem-based marine spatial planning to achieve environmental policy objectives.


The focus of the new collaborator will be on (1) the assessment of economic, social and environmental gain of multi-use (in collaboration with the UNITED consortium), (2) giving advice and support to the Belgian pilot of UNITED, which focusses on offshore wind, seaweed and oyster cultivation, and oyster reef restoration (in close collaboration with the Ghent University), (3) develop and apply a decision support system for ecosystem-based marine spatial planning (in collaboration with the MarinePlan consortium), and (4) evaluating and synthesizing ecosystem-based marine spatial planning and planning optionsfor achieving EU biodiversity goalsin the Southern North Sea case study (led by RBINS but in collaboration with the MarinePlan consortium). 


  • Master in Sciences or Bio-engineering Sciences or equivalent
  • Wide interest in multidisciplinary research related to all aspects of marine management (e.g. environmental, regulatory, economic, and social)

Technical competence

  • Proficient knowledge of the English language

Generic competence

  • Excellent organization skills for a successful and timely execution of the widely ranging tasks
  • Open, collaborative and inclusive attitude
  • Prepared to take initiative, but also to work in close collaboration with other consortia team members within and beyond RBINS Prepared to participate in (inter)national workshops, conferences and symposia 

We offer

  • A full-time position as a scientific collaborator (SW1) for a period of 10 months, extendable with 26 months
  • A dynamic, challenging, varied and stimulating research environment
  • Free public commuting and/or bicycle allowance


  • 1 September 2022 (preferably)
  • RBINS Brussels (Vautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels) with occasional visits to RBINS Oostende (3e en 23e Linieregimentsplein, 8400 Oostende)
  • Possibility for up to three teleworking days per week

How to apply

If interested, please send your motivation letter, CV and a copy of your Master’s Degree diploma, with reference “MarinePlan” the latest by 6 June 2022 to Mrs. Yolande Maes(

For more information:

Interviews with pre-selected candidates will take place on 20 June 2022. Only applications that meet the profile and that are received in time will be taken into consideration.


The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is a world-class research institute with more than 250 scientists and scientific collaborators covering a wide range of disciplines from biology to geology, oceanography to taxonomy, and palaeontology to ecology. Research at RBINS is used to support national and international decision-makers, which enables our researchers to have a direct impact on society. The Ecosystems data processing and modelling unit (ECOMOD) within the Operational Directorate Natural Environment (OD Nature) ( is specialized in hydrodynamic and biogeochemical modeling, with a strong focus on coastal environments.

Ghent University is one of the most important educational and research institutions in the Low Countries. More than 9000 employees and 41000 students live up to the motto “Dare to Think” every day. Ghent University's mission statement is characterised by qualitative
education, internationally renowned research, and a pluralistic social responsibility. The Marine Biology Research group ( as part of the Biology Department and Faculty of Sciences, has a long tradition in marine research with a focus on benthic ecosystems. Both aspects of biodiversity and the link to ecosystem functions and services, as well as the sustainable management of marine ecosystems and their biological resources, are key research areas.

The Ecosystems data processing and modelling unit at RBINS and the Marine Biology Research group at UGENT are looking for a full-time (100%) Doctoral student to investigate Benthic iron cycling in fjord environments (4 years, f/m/x)

Iron availability limits marine productivity and controls the intensity of the biological carbon pump and oceanic CO2 uptake. Dissolved iron (dFe) is only present in trace concentrations in seawater because it is very insoluble in oxygenated seawater. The sources of dFe to the ocean thus regulate its availability for primary productivity. Glacial meltwaters represent an important source of iron to the ocean. A large fraction of glacial meltwaters transit through fjords before reaching the open ocean. Because of its low solubility, iron recycling from fjord sediments, and in particular the activity of the benthic communities, plays a critical role in modulating ice-to-ocean iron fluxes. However, the impact of benthic fauna on fjord iron cycling and ice-to-ocean fluxes remains largely unquantified.


This PhD project will target benthic iron cycling in fjord sediments, with particular attention to the role of benthic macrofauna communities. The successful candidate will participate in research cruises to Iceland and Greenland, collect and process sediment samples, and identify benthic communities. Iron minerals will be characterised through a series of laboratory extractions. The PhD student will be engaged in the interdisciplinary research project CANOE (‘Climate chANge impacts on carbon cycling and fOod wEbs in Arctic fjords’). This project aims to investigate the influence of glacial melt on biogeochemistry and food web structure and stability in Greenlandic fjords.

We seek a candidate with a background in marine science, biogeochemistry, biology, or related fields.

The selected candidate will be jointly supervised by Dr. Ulrike Braeckman (UGent) and Dr. Sebastiaan van de Velde (RBINS), will be affiliated with both RBINS and UGent and is expected to closely interact with all involved institutes.

  • You are highly motivated to conduct research within an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers, and thus build a professional network and academic career;
  • You will perform fundamental research within the domain of marine biogeochemistry and ecology; 
  • You prepare and participate regularly in sampling campaigns at sea on location in
    Arctic and (sub-)Arctic fjords.
  • You have a strong interest in marine biogeochemistry and ecology;
  • You are willing to participate in research cruises with lengths of a few days to a few months;
  • You are flexible and willing to divide your time between the labs in Brussels and Ghent.
  • You will support education activities at Ghent University by supervising bachelor and master thesis projects, and by assisting in practical and theoretical biology and ecology classes.


We are looking for a flexible and creative person, who is highly motivated to tackle new and complex questions at the interface between physics, geochemistry, and biology.

You hold a masters degree (MSc) - or are expected to have one before the starting date of the position - in marine science, biogeochemistry, biology, or a related discipline in the Natural Sciences, and have a strong interest in cross-disciplinary research.

Generic competence

  • You are creative, possess excellent organisational skills, and have a cooperative mindset;
  • You are an excellent team player, and enthusiastic to learn new technologies;
  • Strong communication skills in English are essential, including the ability to present to both academic and non-academic audiences.


  • Candidates who have experience with marine field (e.g. sediment sampling) and laboratory (e.g. sequential extractions) techniques are particularly encouraged to apply.

We offer

  • A dynamic, vibrant, and stimulating work environment at both the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and Ghent University;
  • Opportunities to participate in sea-going expeditions ;
  • Opportunities to present your work at international conferences;
  • A full-time contract as a doctoral student for four years (2 years at RBINS, with evaluation after year 1, followed by 2 years at UGent);
  • A working environment right in the heart of the capital of Europe (Brussels) and dynamic student-hub Gent;
  • Free public transport and/or bike allowance between home/work.

How to apply

  • Applications should be sent by email to (subject: candidature CANOE-PhD) and should include a cover letter specifying the motivation to apply for the position (max. 2 pages), a short CV, including an abstract of the master thesis, a copy of the highest degree obtained and contact details of 2 references.
  • The deadline for the application is 30th June 2022 (by midnight CET).
  • We will perform a pre-selection and invite selected candidates for an interview. The selection committee will review the applications immediately after the application deadline. These interviews will take place by mid-July 2022 by videoconference. The planned start date is 1 September 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • For informal inquiries, please contact Dr. Sebastiaan van de Velde ( or Dr. Ulrike Braeckman (

We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.


We offer a 4-year PhD researcher position to analyze the offshore sedimentary record

to reconstruct a relative sea level (RSL) curve for the Holocene, which is poorly constrained so far for the Shetland Islands, in order to more accurately assess run-up heights of the palaeo-tsunamis.

The PhD researcher will use a combination of coastal geological research techniques, such as coring and microfossil analysis, geochemical analysis, fabric analysis, geochronology and multivariate statistics in combination with onshore mapping, multibeam bathymetric mapping, sub-bottom and high-resolution reflection seismic profiling. The aim is to develop a new RSL curve for the region by collecting new sea-level data from the Shetland Islands and by coupling onshore and offshore sea-level index points into a record to improve regional GIA models.

The PhD student will be based at the Geological Survey of Belgium and enrolled at the Department of Geology at Ghent University. The PhD supervisors will be Prof. Vanessa Heyvaert at Ghent University/Geological Survey of Belgium (UGent/GSB), Prof. Sue Dawson (University of Dundee, UK) and Dr. Max Engel (University of Heidelberg, Germany). It is expected that the PhD student will spend considerable time at the co-supervisors’ institutions to receive specialist training in specific methods and techniques (e.g. diatom analysis) and to apply these methods and techniques to the project data.

Tentative start date: 1 September 2022. The position is initially for one year, but it will be extended to a maximum of four years after positive evaluation. The PhD student will be employed by the GSB, but enrolled for his PhD study at Ghent University. More information about PhD studies at Ghent University can be found here:

The PhD researcher will work in tandem with a second PhD researcher, who will be hired by Ghent University. This second PhD project will largely use the same data, but with a focus on the sedimentological study of offshore tsunami deposits (see vacancy on:, under Department of Geology).

Both positions are funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) under the collaborative research Grant “Storegga and beyond – North Sea tsunami deposits offshore Shetland Islands (NORSEAT)”. This project has been awarded in the framework of a special programme to stimulate innovative scientific research using Belgium’s new RV Belgica II. We urge applicants to consider applying for both positions.


  • Conduct an extensive and comprehensive literature review and review of existing sea-level data;
  • Plan and perform surveys at sea;
  • Plan and perform the collection of sea-level index points through on- and offshore coring.
  • Develop a RSL curve by means of a range of different indicators, including microfossil-based transfer functions;
  • Collaborate with international researcher partners;
  • Write high quality research manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • Participate in and represent the Geologica Survey of Belgium at project meetings, follow up and deliver milestones and deliverables as indicated in the grant proposal;
  • Discuss planning and report progress to principal investigators;
  • Present research at national and international conferences.


  • MSc in Geology, Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, or an equivalent degree in related fields pertinent to the research project. MSc degree is required at the start of the appointment. For diplomas awarded outside the European Union, a certificate of equivalence (NARIC) must be submitted.
  • A keen interest in sedimentology, micropalaeontology and RSL reconstructions, as well as geological field and lab work in general. Prior experience (e.g. via master thesis) in one or more of these topics is desirable.
  • Willingness to participate in multi-day marine surveys, onboard RV Belgica II.

Generic competence

  • Good organizational and interpersonal skills; a team player.
  • Excellent communication skills in English – both orally and written.
  • Highly motivated to conduct scientific research.
  • Critical and creative.
  • Scientific integrity.
  • Open minded and taking initiative.
  • Passionate scientist, willing to learn new skills and develop excellent research.
  • Willing to work in an international context.

How to apply

Application to be submitted electronically in a single PDF file, by e-mail, to Prof. Vanessa Heyvaert ( Deadline : 10/06/2022

Application should Include CV, a motivation letter and an overview of study results (transcript of records).

All applications will be assessed after the deadline and shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a remote interview.


Prof. Vanessa Heyvaert (


Postdoctoral Fellow in Marine Ecological Modeling at KU Leuven and Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium (extended call)


The Department of Biology of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium) and the Operational Directorate Natural Environments of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS, Brussels, Belgium) have an opening for a postdoctoral fellow in Marine Ecological Modelling.


The position, based in the groups of Filip Volckaert (KU Leuven) and Geneviève Lacroix (RBINS), is funded for 18 months within the project “Marine Solar POtential and Technology Study - MarineSPOTS”, funded by the Energy Transition Fund of the Belgian Federal Government. The Biodiversity and Evolutionary Genomics group of Filip Volckaert focuses on marine ecological and evolutionary questions regarding connectivity, seascape genomics and the genetic basis of adaptation. The group of Geneviève Lacroix focuses on marine ecosystem modelling. The current call is an extension of a previous call.


The project will investigate the impact of floating structures on the ecology of the North Sea. The first major goal of the project is to model the impact of shading on phytoplankton productivity with the hydrodynamic model coherens and the biogeochemical model miro&co (Dulière et al. Hydrobiologia 2019). The second goal is to model the impact of stepping stones on marine functional connectivity with the coherens model coupled to the individual based model larvae&co (Barbut et al. L&0 2019).


You will be in charge of the design and implementation of the management scenarios within miro&co and larvae&co models, and the analysis of the output.


Ideally, you have a profound interest in individual based and biogeochemical models in a marine context. You have earned a PhD in a relevant field of oceanography, marine science or related discipline. 

Technical competence

  • You have intermediate to excellent programming skills (FORTRAN, python, …), and experience with hydrodynamic models is an asset.
  • The quality of your research is proven by publications in leading international top 25% journals.
  • International research experience is an important advantage.
  • Excellent communication skills in English and ability and will to work in a team are essential.
  • The group’s working language is English and fluency in writing and speaking is required. Knowledge of Dutch or French is not required.

We offer

The position is shared between the Laboratory of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Genomics at the Department of Biology of the KU Leuven and the Operational Directorate Natural Environments at the RBINS Both teams have a long-standing collaboration on the modelling of dispersal with individual based models (Lacroix et al. J Sea Res 2013; Lacroix et al. Glob Change Biol 2018; Barbut et al. ICES J Mar Sci 2020). The successful candidate will have a unique opportunity to take advantage of both these excellent academic environments. More information about the current research group and ongoing projects in both groups can be found at and You will work in Leuven and Brussels. Leuven is a historic, dynamic and vibrant city located in the heart of Belgium, within twenty minutes from Brussels. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the European Union, hosts a rich cultural program and a vibrant international community, and is located less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam


KU Leuven and RBINS are modern employers and offer an excellent working environment where staff can contribute their strengths, experience and ways of thinking. KU Leuven and RBINS seek to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairment. The compatibility of career and family is of central importance to us. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support at KU Leuven, please contact us at The ‘Gender Equality Plan’ of RBINS can be consulted at [our Gender Equality Plan].

How to apply

Applications should include a cover letter with a concise statement about your previous education and research experience, your vision for the future and in particular your motivation to work on this project (1 page maximum), a curriculum vitae, copies of your academic qualifications, a commentary on your 5 most significant publications, and names and contact information of 2-3 academic references (please do not include letters with the application). Any questions about the position can be directed to Filip Volckaert and/or Geneviève Lacroix. Screening of applicants will begin immediately, and the closing date is 31 May 2022. We look forward to receiving your application through the online application tool (


Geneviève Lacroix; phone +32 2 672 42 99  

Filip Volckaert; phone +32 16 32 39 72

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