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The research projects

This section gives you an overview of all Belgian polar research projects, funded under the different phases of the Antarctic research programme of the Belgian Science Policy, or financed via other resources. Per project you find information about the different project partners and the objectives, methodology and (expected) results.


Antarctica phase VI (2006-2010)

Climate change

HOLANT Holocene climate variability and ecosystem change in coastal East and Maritime Antarctica SD/CA/01A
ASPI Antarctic Subglacial Processes and Interactions: Role of Transition Zones in Ice Sheet Stability SD/CA/02A
BELCANTO 3 Integrated Study of Southern Ocean Biogeochemistry and Climate Interactions in the Anthropocene SD/CA/03A


AMBIO Antarctic Microbial Biodiversity: The importance of geographical and ecological factors SD/BA/01
BIANZO II Biodiversity of three representative groups of the Antarctic Zoobenthos - Coping with Change SD/BA/02


Antarctica phase V (2000-2005)

Climate and atmosphere

LAQUAN Late Quaternary climate history of coastal Antarctic environments: a multi-proxy approach EV/01
AMICS Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics and climatic change: modelling and ice composition study EV/08
BELCANTO 2 Assessing the sensitivity of the Southern Ocean’s biological pump to climate change EV/07

Aquatic biodiversity

BIANZO Biodiversity of 3 representative groups of Antarctic Zoobenthos EV/24
PELAGANT Status, control and role of the pelagic diversity of the Austral Ocean EV/30


BE-POLES The Belgian Polar Research cluster


Antarctica phase IV (1997-2000)

Marine biota and Global Change:

Meiobenthic biodiversity and fluxes within the Antarctic biogeochemical environment A4/B01
Ecofunctional biodiversity of benthic crustacean taxocoenoses in the Southern Ocean A4/B02
An integrated approach to assess carbon dynamics
in the Southern Ocean

I: New and export production
II: Study and modelisation of the planktonic system
III: Barite geochemistry
IV: Air/sea exchanges
V: 1D Modelling of the sea-ice and water column
Response of the Southern Ocean global ecosystem
to physical and trophic constraints
I: Ecosystem functioning and modelling
II: Physical modelling
III: Role of the picophytoplankton

Dynamics of the Southern Ocean:

Study of convective movements in the Southern Ocean A4/H01

Palaeoenvironmental records:

Mass balance of the Antarctic ice cap (a contribution to EPICA) A4/E01
EPICA basal ice - eastern Antarctica A4/H02
Dynamics of the Antarctic ice cap and climate changes (a contribution to EPICA) A4/H03
Antarctic shelf-slope dynamics: an innovative geophysical approach A4/G01


Antarctica phase III (1993-1997)

Marine ecology and biogeochemistry

Spatial and seasonal variability of the transport of biogenic compounds in the Southern Ocean
Role of the meiobenthos in Antarctic ecosystems
Control of the Antarctic pelagic ecosystem by higher trophic levels in relation to variations in environmental conditions
Ecological modelling of the planktonic microbial food web

Protection of Marine Ecosystems

Oil spill modelling for the Antarctic seas (OSMAS)
Preparedness to oil spill pollution: a case study
(in cooperation with BAS)

Ocean-cryosphere-atmosphere interactions

Isotopic and chemical composition of Antarctic shelf ice: implications for global changes
Formation of the Terra Nova Bay polynya and climatic implications
Dynamics of the Antarctic ice cap and climatic changes

Sedementary palaeoenvironment

Belgian contribution to the "Antarctic offshore acoustic stratigraphy project"


Belspo - BCCM

Stimulation Action of the use and collaboration with the Coordinated Belgian Collections of Microorganisms, BCCM


Belspo - Bilaterial agreements

Glacier fluctuations and climatic change in South Siberia


Belspo - SPSD II

MILMO Modelling the evolution of climate and sea level over the third millenium; coupling the Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheet models with a global AOGCM of intermediate complexity (MILMO) (2000-2005)



ARENA Design and construction of two small size telescopes in Antarctica (2006-2008)
CARBOOCEAN Marine carbon sources and sinks assessment (2005-2009)
EUR-OCEANS EUR-OCEANS Network of Excellence; WP on Biogeochemistry with focus on the Southern Ocean system (2005-2008)
Si-WEBS Natural and anthropogenic modifications of the Si cycle along the land-ocean continuum: Worldwide Ecological, biogeochemical and Socio-economical consequences (2002-2006)
- Basal Ice at Lake Vostok (2000-ongoing)
INTERICE Inter disciplinary Ice tank Experiment
BIFTeG Basal Ice Facies of Temperate Glaciers
ISMIce Ice Shelf Marine Ice (1992-ongoing)
- Ecological impacts of petroleum hydrocarbons on the Antarctic microbial loop. Evaluation of the efficiency of psychrophilic microorganisms in bioremediation treatment (2005-2009)
LIMNOPOLAR Study of non-marine aquatic ecosystems in the polar zones (2004-2005)
CAPs Study of the cold acclimation proteins (CAPs) produced by an Antarctic psychrophilic bacterium (Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis) induced by growth at low temperatures.
- Biophysical aspects of protein adaptation to extreme temperatures: activity-stability relationships in psychrophilic and thermophilic enzymes (2004-2007)
- Cold-adapted xylanases and cross-linking enzymes in the food and feed industries
SIBClim Sea Ice Biogeochemistry in a CLimate change perspective
- Selection of a psychrophilic bacterial starter for bioremediation of contaminated soils and waste-waters in winter (2003-2005)
HAUSGARTEN The temporal variation in the meiobenthos along a bathymetrical gradient (‘Hausgarten’, Arctica): impact of climate oscillations (2002-2006)
- Genome sequence of the psychrophilic Antarctic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis
CASES Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES) on the thieme of microbial communities (2002-2006)
AMANDA IceCube neutrinos telescopes (2000-2005)
EUR-OCEANS EUR-OCEANS Network of Excellence; WP on Biogeochemistry with focus on the Southern Ocean system (2000-2005)
VERTIGO Export of organic carbon from the oceanic surface mixed layer and mineralisation in the twilight zone (2000-2005)
IRONAGES Iron Resources and oceanic nutrients-Advancement of Global Environment Simulations (2000-2003)
CARUSO Carbon dioxide uptake by the Southern Ocean (CARUSO) (1998-2001)
EISMINT European Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison (1992-1999)

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