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Based at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the BIOMAR marine biology lab carries out its research on the bioecology of marine benthic invertebrates, with a special focus on echinoderms.
Our lab will be coordinating the new vERSO research project which aims to assess the impact of the main stressors driven by global change on benthic Antarctic ecosystems using representative taxa from different size classes of the benthos.
We will assess the simultaneous effects of temperature, acidification, sedimentation and food quality and quantity on nutrient fluxes and metabolism of sediment communities, providing insights in both sensitivity and resilience of these ecosystems. It is intended to integrate these aspects to develop dynamic species distribution models (SDMs), under non-equilibrium conditions. These models can help reveal tipping points leading to irreversible changes in ecosystems functioning.
We are looking for a postdoctoral scientist, for a period of 2 years
Global change affects Antarctic communities through numerous interacting stressors, the most important ones being temperature increase, acidification, increase in sedimentation rate and change in nutrients and food supply linked to glacier melting, reduced seasonal ice cover and ice shelf collapses. For the Antarctic the impact of stressors such as temperature rise and acidification have so far mainly been considered at the individual or species level and, in most cases, only a single impact factor was studied and occasionally two. These studies provided evidence that numerous taxa as well as global diversity will be affected. However, no community-level studies addressed the combined effects of the aforementioned stressors on Antarctic benthos. Furthermore, it is obvious that stressors will act synergistically and that their combined effects should be determined.
Emphasis will be put on in situ experiments during polar expeditions, in two contrasting areas of the Southern Ocean. In parallel, dynamic SDMs will be developed to gain insights on the potential future distributions of models organisms under various Global Change scenarios.
- PhD in Marine Biology
- Spent over 24 months abroad (not in Belgium) during the last 3 years
- Interest in polar ecosystems and biodiversity informatics
- Ready to participate in long sampling campaigns at sea or station-based
- Experience in project coordination and interest in modelling is an asset