The Environment, Earth Science, Population Science and the Science of Organisms

Preserving biodiversity and fighting the negative effects of climate change are two of the century's major challenges. Free and independent scientific research is essential for tackling the problems and coming up with the right solutions: the critical spirit characteristic of science is concerned with the societal implications, though needs to remain independent of political and business interests.

At the ULB, multidisciplinary teams are working on paleoclimatology issues via the study of old polar ice, on the processes at work in the atmosphere using satellite data, on exchanges between the atmosphere, land cover and oceans, and on the evolution of the Earth and volcanology.

Research into living organisms covers a wide spectrum, ranging from fundamental research in theoretical biology, the molecular biology of plants and animals (including the emergence of living organisms), up to field studies in various regions of the world, looking at such things as insect communities, marine biology, the ecosystem of tropical mangroves, plant biodiversity in Central Africa (with exceptionally well-stocked collections), or the numerous forms of interaction between human beings and the environment. One of the outstanding ULB names in this field is Paul Duvigneaud (1913-1991), an internationally recognised figure in the field of ecology and in particular the urban environment from the 1950's onwards.

The research conducted at the ULB often leads to very concrete projects, looking for instance at the phytoremediation of soils, understanding the migration of plants and animals associated with climate change and human activity, the spread of avian Influenza, or aquaculture in a tropical environment.

Main research projects (since 2010)

Actions de recherche concertée, ARC

Interuniversity Attraction Pole, IAP

ERC Grants

  • Vinciane Debaille, starting grant 2013: Initial Solar System Composition and Early Planetary Differentiation

Main prizes and international recognition (since 1970)

  • Albert Goldbeter, FNRS quinquennial prize 2006-10