Research projects

01/10/2013 to 31/12/2017


This project aims to reconstruct past earthquakes along the Nankai Trough, south central Japan. The project combines fieldwork, advanced sedimentological and geochemical analyses, innovative dating techniques, tsunami inundation modeling and hazard assessment, with government policy support and public outreach.
01/10/2013 to 30/09/2016

Deciphering shallow marine ecosystem dynamics during rapid global warmings: an early Eocene North Sea Basin perspective (Belgium)

This research is intended to lead to a better understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between the geo- and biosphere in shallow-water settings, and to answer the question how early Eocene benthic ecosystems respond to environmental changes during periods of rapid global warming.
01/01/2013 to 31/12/2016

Out of the trenches: towards disentangling gradual and catastrophic changes across the K/T boundary

In a recent synthesis, it was convincingly shown that the impact of a large asteroid in the Gulf of Mexico coincided with the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary, 65 million years ago, and with the sudden biodiversity decline known as the K/T mass extinction when numerous organisms became extinct.

02/04/2012 to 30/06/2016

Seasonality and mobility of the last Neanderthals/first Anatomically Modern Humans in North-West Europe: a faunal perspective

PhD project by Elodie-Laure Jimenez at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, on the different aspects of human and faunal occupation in North-West Europe at the end of MIS 3, by studying migrations and seasonality.
01/04/2012 to 30/09/2017

CORES: Comparing regionality and sustainability in Pisidia, Boeotia, Picenum and NW Gaul between Iron and Middle Ages (1,000 BC - AD 1,000)

The aim of the project is to approach the concepts of regionality and sustainability in four ancient regions, Pisidia, Boeotia, Picenum and NW Gaul, from 1000 BC to 1000 AD, through the interdisciplinary study of long-term waves of regional change and development in a comparative framework.
01/04/2012 to 31/03/2017

Greater Mesopotamia: Reconstruction of its Environment and History

Our aim is to contribute to a comprehensive study of depositional sedimentary environments, their evolution and the human interaction within the region. Regarding the latter topic it is our aim to detect how settlement patterns changed in relation to changing sea-level, shoreline displacements and to changing watercourses.
01/01/2012 to 31/12/2015


This project aims the reconstruction of climatic and environmental variability during the Eemian period, based on an intercomparison of marine carbonate bivalves from coastal sedimentary cores and independently dated calcite speleothems.
01/01/2012 to 31/12/2013

Fossil sperm whales and their prey: evolution of Physeteroid feeding strategies

The objective of this project is to investigate the high diversity of morphologies and sizes among fossil and modern sperm whale lineages in order to reconstruct the evolution of their predation modes, prey types and habitats - and to define the potential triggers of the main ecological shifts.
01/10/2011 to 01/10/2015

Palaeodemographic and palaeopathological study of the St.Romboutscemetery, Mechelen

Doctoral thesis by Katrien Van de Vijver at the Faculty of Sciences KU Leuven on the human skeletons found in the St.Romboutscemetery in Mechelen, dated between the 11th and 18th centuries AD.
01/10/2011 to 30/09/2014

Divergent pathways to early food production and early complex societies: archaeozoological data from northeastern Africa

Through archaeozoological analyses the project aims at demonstrating that possible pathways to food production, resulting in the rise of complex societies and probably the most important development in human history, are very diverse and that the models from Eurasia are not valid in Africa. The role of the natural environment is thereby tested.


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