Research vessel Belgica

The Directorate Natural Environment (OD Nature) envisages being a “centre of excellence in fundamental and applied research of biodiversity and ecosystems in support of the protection and sustainable management of the natural environment.”

To realise this vision, we have a fourfold mission:

  • The study of the biotic and abiotic components of the natural environment and the interactions of the systems that form part of it.
  • To provide scientific expertise including running a monitoring program for the North Sea and capacity building in the field of biodiversity in developing countries.
  • The management and improvement of databases and major scientific instruments such as the RV Belgica.
  • Representing the Federal state in international bodies and instruments.

Around 100 collaborators are spread over 3 locations in Brussels and Ostend. They have a large and diverse expertise and a strong reputation in their fields that include ecology, molecular biology, nature conservation and protection, biodiversity, chemistry, hydrodynamics, modelling, databases and image processing. This expertise is applicable to terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments worldwide.

OD Nature delivers: Science Policy Support, Scientific services and Scientific Research. There are 7 groups in this Directorate: ATECO, BEDIC, BIOPOLS, ECOCHEM, ECODAM, MUMM, MSO.

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