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BE-POLES project

Antarctica phase V (2000-2005)

BE-POLES: the Belgian Polar Research cluster


The BE-POLES project initiated by Belgian Science Policy (Belspo) aims to promote the national and international profile of Belgian polar research. It clusters all Belgian polar researchers, funded or not within the Belspo research programmes. The International Polar Foundation (IPF) is also included as a partner, contributing to the project with their ‘education and outreach’ experience.

Belgian polar research – as a lot of research – lacks the necessary visibility outside the scientific community. The BE-POLES project, by laying the foundations for a 'Virtual Belgian Polar Institute', will be a major step towards improved communication to the general public and policy makers.

The process already has some momentum in Antarctic research through Belspo’s SPSD II programme (second multi-annual scientific Support Plan for a Sustainable Development policy). Fifteen partners funded by SPSD II form the core of this part of the BE-POLES project. In addition, 6 research teams performing high level research in the polar regions are involved (supported by other funding sources).

The disciplines represented include oceanography, biogeochemistry, numerical modelling, zoology, biodiversity, paleolimnology, climatology, glaciology, geology and geophysics, astrophysics, microbiology, molecular biology, and biotechnology.

To strengthen communication of research outcomes and their social implications to the public, a strong educational component will also be part of the BE-POLES project. In particular, the Belgian Educational Service of RBINS, PROBIO asbl, the VELEWE and the FEGEPRO will bring their teaching experience to the programme's actions targeted at teenagers.
In addition, the work on better communicating the achievements of Belgian science will benefit from the participation of the "Laboratoire d'Enseignement Multimédia" (LEM, ULg) and the IPF.

Key objectives

  • to stimulate internal communication, multidisciplinary approaches and exchanges within the Belgian polar scientific community
  • to increase visibility of Belgian polar research in European and international organisations and networks
  • to improve external communication with policy advisers, decision-makers, legislators and journalists.
  • to disseminate research data to the general public - in particular through media activities directed towards schools and the educational community

Expected results

1. The Belgian Polar Platform website on Belgian polar research aimed not only at informing scientists, policy makers, media and the public, on polar science issues but also at making polar research attractive and exciting for younger generations. This increased visibility should lead to a better comprehension of the environmental challenges linked to polar regions.
2. A biannual newsletter (electronic and paper) as well as a brochure promoting the web site.
3. A BEPOLES Communication Office will be the entry point to the programme's different partners' labs and the primary instrument for distributing scientific information. It should enhance the attention given to polar research and related environmental issues.
4. Logistic support for the follow-up to Belgian participation to the International Polar Year 2007-2008 within the ad hoc working group of the Academy of Sciences.
5. Fellowships to help young researchers integrate their work within the broader context of polar research.
6. Two national workshops will allow teams of polar scientists to discuss together their results and to present them to a wider audience.
7. Training sessions for secondary school teachers will offer the teaching community an overview of Belgian polar research and its relevance for global environmental issues,
8. A strong presence at the Belgian science weeks will also help convey science outcomes to teenagers and their families through direct contact.
9. The Class@Poles project will bring together two students in Spitzbergen and Brussels via a classroom cyberlink and will give considerable profile to the BE-POLES project.

Complementary resources about this scientific project


  • Delphine Lannuzel goes for a training course in Australia
  • Florence Piette testimonies about her fruitful stay in Naples
  • Anouk De Brauwere in Australia
  • Ann Huyghe tells about her latest training course
  • Call for travel scholar ships for young polar researchers
  • Last BE-POLES travel scholarship awarded
  • BE-POLES cluster provides travel scholarships:
    third call [31-05-2006)
  • BE-POLES cluster provides travel scholarships:
    four new scholarships awarded after second call [04-2006]
  • First BE-POLES fellowship awarded to doctorate student from Ghent University

Project team

Project Coordinator:
Dr Sandra Vanhove, Prof Dr Annick Wilmotte, Prof Dr Claude De Broyer

Involved research groups

Royal Museum for Central Africa, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Université de Liège, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Universiteit Gent, Université Catholique de Louvain, Katholiek Universiteit Leuven, Universiteit Antwerpen RUCA, Université de Mons-Hainaut, International Polar Foundation, Vereniging van Leraars in de Wetenschappen (VELEWE), Fédération des Professeurs de Géographie (FEGEPRO), Association des professeurs de biologie (PROBIO asbl).

Involved partners:

Partner 1: Dr. Annick Wilmotte
Université de Liège
Université de botanique, Centre for protein engineering Institute of Chemistry B6
Sart Tilman
4000 Liège
Tel.: 04/366 38 56
Fax: 04/366 33 64

Partner 2: Dr. Sandra Vanhove
International Polar Foundation
Tweestationssstraat 120A
1070 Brussel
Tel.: +32 (0)2 533 97 36
Fax: +32 (0)2 543 06 99

Partner 3: Dr. Claude De Broyer
Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences
Laboratory of Carcinology, Department of Invertebrates
Rue Vautier 29
1000 Bruxelles
Tel.: 02 627 41 27
Fax: 02 627 42 77

Partner 4: Prof. Dr Hugo Decleir and Prof. Dr. Frank Huybrechts
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Departement of Geography WE-DGGF
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels
Tel.: 02-629 33 82
Fax: 02- 629 33 78

Partner 5: Prof. Dr Christiane Lancelot
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Ecologie des Systèmes Aquatiques
Camus Plaine, CP 221
1050 Bruxelles
Tel.: 32-2-650 59 88
Fax: 32 2 650 59 93

Partner 6: Prof. Luc André,
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Dépt.of Geology
Section Mineralogy and Petrography
Leuvensesteenweg, 13
3080 Tervuren
Tel.: 02-769 54 59
Fax: 02 769 54 32

Partner 7: Prof. Dr. Frank Dehairs
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Analytical Chemistry
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussel
Tel.: 02 629 32 60
Fax: 02 629 32 74

Partner 8: Prof. Dr. Ann Vanreusel
Ghent University – Departement of Biology-Marine Biology
Krijgslaan 281-S8 (Adm St Pietersmieuwsstraat 25)
9000 Gent
Tel.: 09-264 85 21
Fax: 09 264 85 98

Partner 9: Prof. Dr. Chantal De Ridder
Université Libre de Bruxelles
(Laboratoire de Biologie Marine- CP 160/15)
Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 50
1050 Bruxelles
Tel.: 02-650 29 66
Fax: 02 650 27 29

Partner 10: Prof. Jean-Marie Bouquegneau
Université de Liège
Place du XX Août, 7
4000 Liège
Tel.: 04-366 33 21
Fax: 04 366 33 25

Partner 11: Prof. Wim Vyverman
Ghent University – Departement of Biology
Protistology and Aquatic Ecology
Krijgslaan 281 S8
9000 Gent
Tel.: 09-264 85 01
Fax: 09-264 85 99

Partner 12: Prof. Dr. J.P. Henriet and Prof. Dr M. De Batist
Renard Centre of Marine Geology
Krijgslaan, 281, S8
9000 Gent
Tel.: 09 264 4585, 4587
Fax: 09 264 4967

Partner 13: Prof. Dr. Hugues Goosse and Prof. Dr. A. Berger
Université Catholique de Louvain
Institut d’Astronomie et de Géophysique G. Lemaître
Chemin du Cyclotron, 2
1348 Louvain-La-Neuve
Tel.: 010 47 32 98
Fax: 010 47 47 22

Partner 14: Prof. Réginald Lorrain
Laboratoire de Glaciologie CP 160/03
Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l’Environnement
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Tel.: 02 650 22 17
Fax: 02 650 22 26

Partner 15: Dr. Jean-Henri Hecq
Oceanology, Institute of Chemistry B6c
4000 Liège , Sart Tilman
Université de Liège
Tel.: 04 366 36 46
Fax: 04 366 33 25

Partner 16: Prof. Filip Volckaert
Laboratory for Aquatic Ecology
Katholiek Universiteit Leuven
Oude Markt, 13
3000 Leuven
Tel.: 016 32 39 66
Fax: 016 32 45 75

Partner 17: Dr. Bart Van De Vijver, Prof. Dr. Louis Beyens
Dept of Biology
Unit of Polar Ecology, Limnology and Paleobiology
Universiteit Antwerpen
(Groenenborger Campus)
Groenenborgerlaan 171
B-2020 Antwerpen
Tel.: 03 218 04 16
Fax: 03 218 02 95

Partner 18: Dr. Georges Feller
Laboratory of Biochemistry, Institute of Chemistry B6
University of Liège
4000 Liège- Sart Tilman
Tel.: 04 366 33 43
Fax: 4 366 33 64

Partner 19: Prof. Philippe Herquet
University of Mons-Hainaut
Service de Physique Générale et de Physique des Particules Elémentaires
Bâtiment 4, 19 Avenue Maistriau
7000 Mons Belgique
Tel.: 065/373387
Fax: 065/373386

Partner 20: Prof. Dr. Jean-Louis Tison
Université Libre de Bruxelles
50, Av. F.D. Roosevelt
1050 – Bruxelles
Tel.: 02-650 22 25
Fax: 02-650 22 26

Partner 21: Alberto Borges
Université de Liège (ULg)
Unité d’Océanographie Chimique - Geohydrodynamics and Environmental research (GHER)
Institut de Physique, Bat. B5
17, allée du 6 août
Sart Tilman
B-4000 Liège 1
Tel: +32 (0)4 366 31 87
Fax: +32 (0)4 366 23 55

Partner 22: Dr. Pierre Coulon
Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique
Service Educatif
Rue Vautier, 29
1000 Bruxelles
Tel.: 02-627 42 25
Fax: 02- 646 44 66

Partner 23: Dr. Gérard Cobut
PROBIO ASBL, Association des Professeurs de biologie
Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique,
rue Vautier 29
1000 Bruxelles
Tel.: 02 /76 31 685

Partner 24: Brigitte Monfort
Université de Liège
Multimedia Teaching Laboratory B7
4000 Liège, Sart Tilman
Tel.: 04/366 35 99
Fax: 04/366 28 88

Partner 25: Brigitte De Vos
FEGEPRO, Fédération des Professeurs de Géographie
Rue Zola, 38
4100 Seraing
Tel.: 04/337 78 50
Fax: 04/338 11 90

Partner 26: Marc Beddegenoodts
Vereniging Van Leraars In De Wetenschappen-(Velewe)
Mollenveldwijk 30
3271 Zichem
Tel.: 013/771967
Fax: 013/771967

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