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Main research topics


Trace metal biogeochemistry in riverine, estuarine and marine systems

  • Ultra-clean sampling, storage and analyses techniques.

  • Determination of trace metals in organisms, plants, sediments, air, water.

  • Spatial and seasonal variations in the transport of trace metals.

  • Biogeochemical cycles of trace elements

  • Marine barium biogeochemistry

  • Trace, minor and major elements in non-organic biogenic substrates as tracers of environmental changes (shells of bivalves and calcareous sponges)

Carbon and nitrogen cycling in oceanic and coastal systems

 Production, transport and fate of organic matter and associated elements in marine systems. New production and regenerated production. Tracers of export production.

 Carbon and nitrogen flow in tropical coastal mangrove ecosystems (Kenya, India, Sri Lanka) and in temperate estuaries (e.g. Scheldt river).

 Stable C and N isotope tracers (d13C en d15N ) as a tool to understand trophic relationships in deep-sea hydrothermal communities; coastal, estuarine and riverine ecosystems.

 Biogeochemical cycle of carbon in coastal waters, estuaries and rivers


Modeling of biogeochemical processes in the aquatic environment

 Modeling the biological nitrogen transformation processes in oceanic environments

 Modeling the biogeochemical behaviour of pollutants (trace metals, nutrients, microorganics) in rivers, estuaries and coastal seas.

 Modeling of suspended barite formation and distribution in the Southern Ocean and its relation with the export production.

 Modeling of toxic heavy metal distribution in waterways connecting the city of Brussels with the river Scheldt.



Links to more detailed pages on current research projects or consortia :

Flemish Centre of Expertise for Enviroment and Health (Vlaams Steunpunt van Milieu en Gezondheid)

SWIFT-WFD (EU FP6 research project: SCreening methods for Water data Information in support of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive)

STARDUST (Spatial and Temporal Assessment of high Resolution Depth Profiles Using novel Sampling Technologies)

CALMARS project (CALcareous MARine Skeletons as recorders of global climate changes)

Mangrove Management Group

Recent and current mangrove-related projects :

      1999-2001: Assessment of mangrove degradation and resilience in the Indian sub-continent : the cases of Godavari Estuary and South West Sri Lanka (EC-INCO, contract ERB IC18-CT98-0295)

      2002-2005: Trophic significance and ecological fate of microbial production and leaf litter in mangrove ecosystems. Funded by the Fund for Scientific Research (FWO-Vlaanderen, contract G.0118.02)

      2005-2007: PUMPSEA (Peri-urban mangrove forests as filters and potential phytoremediators of domestic sewage in east Africa), an EC-funded project (FP6) coordinated by the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Click here to go to the official PUMPSEA website.

Antarctic research projects

Participation in the Marie Curie Research Training network 'MOMARNET' (MOnitoring deep sea floor hydrothermal environments on the Mid Atlantic Ridge)

Participation in the Vertigo project (Vertical Transport In the Global Ocean): see the WHOI website for a short project description and here for a poster describing the project outline.

Partner in EUROCEANS (EU FP-6 Network of Excellence for Ocean Ecosystem Analysis), 2005-2008.

Participation in the European Iron Ferilisation Experiment (EIFEX), see the AWI website for a brief description.

For an overview presentation of 234Th applications in aquatic systems, see the presentation by Nicolas Savoye on the homepage of the 234Th conference held at the WHOI in August 2004. Also, see the following paper in EOS summarizing this meeting.

OMEX homepage (Ocean Margin Exchange)

CANOPY homepage (Carbon, Nitrogen & Phosphorus Cycling in the North Sea)

MANUDYN (Marcrophyte, phytoplankton, and nutrient dynamics in the upper reaches of the Scheldt estuary): results homepage (restricted area - password required)


Last update : April, 2006 (Karen Goeyens)