The measurements for CurieuzenAir are taken next to the entrance of the Museum of Natural Sciences. (Image: RBINS)

CurieuzenAir – RBINS as citizen scientist

post by
Kelle Moreau

Anyone who lives, works or plays sport in Brussels breathes litres of air every minute. That air is free, but it is incredibly precious and important for our health. But how good is the air quality in Brussels? CurieuzenAir calls on everyone's cooperation to find out.

Sawfly larva Nematus spiraeae. By raising its abdomen, the insect stays ready to emit defensive volatiles upon harassment. Photo: Jean-Luc Boevé

Insect defensive chemicals translated into sounds

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Researchers have translated odours emitted by insects to defend themselves against predators into sounds. This allowed them to compare the effect of such odorous cocktails on predators with the effect of sounds on humans.

Plastic fibres in water from the port of Zeebrugge, filtered through a 100 μm sieve (photographed by microscope). Image: RBINS/C. De Schrijver

Plastic pollution in the Belgian North Sea: fish safe to eat and plastic fibres everywhere

post by
Kelle Moreau

More than three quarters of all waste in the Belgian North Sea consists of macroplastics (larger particles of plastic waste), and this is a major source of pollution, especially in the coastal zone.

Mussels in the collections of the RBINS. (c) Thierry Backeljau, RBINS

Belgian mussels developed stronger shells

post by
Siska Van Parys

Belgian mussels have developed stronger shells over the last hundred years. More calcareous shells protect them better from crabs’ claws and seagulls’ beaks. These predators have increased significantly in number during the last fifty years.

The RV Belgica ends her last campaign as a Belgian oceanographic research vessel, 25 March 2021. Image: Belgian Navy/J. Urbain

Iconic Belgica gets second life as Ukrainian research vessel

post by
Kelle Moreau

On 13 September 2021, the agreement was signed for the transfer of the legendary research vessel Belgica from the Belgian to the Ukrainian authorities. A few days later, the ship will start her journey to her new home base in Odessa.

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