Collections

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Research Institute; Museum

Identification
Original name(s)

  • Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique (fr - French)
  • Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen (nl - Dutch; Flemish)
  • Königliches Belgisches Institut für Naturwissenschaften (de - German)
Institution Address

29, rue Vautier
BE-1000  Bruxelles
BE - Belgium
info@naturalsciences.be

Type of organisation

Institution Address

29, rue Vautier
BE-1000 Bruxelles
BE - Belgium
info@naturalsciences.be

Research Institute; Museum (State; Public)

Director Representative

MsPatricia Supply

Contact


direction@naturalsciences.be

Structure Chart

Governing & Executive bodies

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is a Federal scientific establishment governed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO). It is a state Service, managed by 3 independent entities: a Scientific Council; a Nature Focus Management Commission a Management Board.

Staff fields

scientific staff associated: 0.0.scientific staff collections non permanent: 1.0.scientific staff collections permanent: 6.0.scientific staff non permanent: 113.0.scientific staff permanent: 51.0.scientific staff post doc non permanent: 96.0.staff collection managers technicians non permanent: 6.0.staff collection managers technicians permanent: 12.0.staff exhibitions non permanent: 156.0.staff exhibitions permanent: 104.0;staff total: 505.0;staff year of reference: 2016

Membership fields

Full member

General Description

The museum is the showcase for the research that our institute has been carrying out for more than 170 years. Today, our research team comprises 165 scientists and dozens of scientific staff, technicians and volunteers. It is a varied team that includes biologists, ecologists, geologists, mineralogists, palaeontologists, anthropologists, oceanographers, engineers and computer experts. This enables us to carry out multidisciplinary research.

Our research strategy points out the different domains in which our scientists work. Evolution, biodiversity, ecosystems and natural resources are key words. This research sheds light on a complex and diverse world that is billions of years old. Our researchers don’t spend all their time in the lab, far from it; several hundred international expeditions are organised every year.

Our enormous collections, made up of approximately 38 million specimens, form an inexhaustible research resource. These ‘biodiversity archives’ are used to classify existing species and identify new ones, and to study their ecosystems. This research enables us to amend policies in order to protect and preserve biodiversity. And now, with new techniques such as CT scans, isotope analysis and DNA sequencing, researchers are able to glean new information from old material on a daily basis.

Research Fields

  • The OD T&Ph has taxonomic expertise on many animal groups worldwide, and from all ecosystems.
  • Yet, there is a particularly strong expertise with respect to vertebrates, holothurians (sea cucumbers), gastropods, crustaceans, dipterans, hymenopterans, carabid beetles, spiders, oligochaetes, nematodes, and poriferans (sponges).
  • Geographical areas of taxonomical expertise are the fauna of Belgium and of other regions of the world such as Africa (great lakes, fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo), S and SE Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal),
  • South America (Galapagos Islands Brazil), Russia (Lake Baïkal) and Antarctica (Southern Ocean).
  • Researchers of the OD T&Ph are active as legal experts with respect to the implementation of the CITES rules and contribute to several European biodiversity-related initiatives such as SYNTHESYS, CETAF, Fauna Europea and SciColl.
  • The OD T&Ph is also coordinating the “Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST: http://www.taxonomytraining.eu/)”.
  • Together with the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA, Tervuren, Belgium), the OD T&Ph runs the “Joint Experimental Molecular Unit” (JEMU: http://jemu.myspecies.info/), a research team financed by the Belgian Science Policy Department (BELSPO)
  • dedicated to DNA barcoding, molecular systematics and the analysis of DNA from museum samples.
  • As such, JEMU is shared by both institutions and effectively integrates their DNA facilities. In this capacity, JEMU also manages the activities of the FWO research community “Belgian Network for DNA Barcoding” (http://bebol.myspecies.info/).
  • In the same spirit, the OD T&Ph works closely together with RMCA in the context of the “Congo Biodiversity Initiative” (CBI), a research platform financed by BELSPO and the Belgian Development Cooperation,
  • CBI focuses on the conservation, protection, sustainable use, and study of the unique biodiversity of the Congo basin.
  • In this context, the OD T&Ph is strongly involved in the establishment of the “Centre de Surveillance de la Biodiversité” in Kisangani (DRC) and in the organisation of field expeditions in the DR Congo.
  • Many of the research topics of the OD T&Ph are strongly linked to the zoological collections of the RBINS, and as such the OD T&Ph is strongly involved in the enrichment, the management and the exploitation of the collections
  • (in collaboration with the scientific service “Patrimony”).
  • Consequently, the OD T&Ph has a sound expertise in the area of natural history collections

Research Initiative

On-line outreach activitie : : [['No']]
other outreach activitie : : []
Non academic trainings : : [['Yes, the Education service has developed links with various teachers associations, other museums, primary and secondary schools, notably. More specifically, for several years now, the RBINS has taken the lead in training young taxonomists from around the world. The Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) was set up with funding from the European Commission (EDIT, www.e-taxonomy.eu, 2006 –2011). With support of RBINS, and under the auspices of the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF), DEST offers high quality education and prepares students for future taxonomic careers. Since its foundation, DEST has gained a worldwide reputation. Yearly more than one hundred bachelor students, master students, post-doctoral students and early-career researchers take part in the training programme taught by lecturers from renowned European institutions. More info on the training programmes can be found on the official DEST website. (www.taxonomytraining.eu)']]
Academic trainings : : []
General description : : [['Presently the DEST managed by RBINS is involved in the following projects: EU-BON http://www.eubon.eu/ EUColComp eucolcomp.myspecies.info \nSee website: http://www.sciencesnaturelles.be/educa']]

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BE - Belgium

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MrJean-Pierre Test
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jean.pierretest@test.be

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BE - Belgium

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