APECS workshop at SCAR Biology Symposium 2017

The next SCAR Biology Symposium comes to Belgium. Just one day ahead an APECS Early-Career Workshop will take place under the overarching theme of “Communicating with a non-scientific audience – or: how to explain your research to your grandparents?”. Most will agree that communication is key in promoting science and education, but what are characteristics of good communication? We want to tackle this from different perspectives (not only scientific that is) and plan insights given by seniors and hands-on practice. The program is still developing, but make sure to sign up early as it’s first-come-first-serve!

Time: 9 July 2017, 9:30 – 16:30
Location: KU Leuven, Kolenmuseum, room KOL 0.04, Charles Deberiotstraat 32, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium

The workshop is free of charge, but please do register here before 12 May 2017!

Two PhD students are recruited to work in the BRAIN-BE project MICROBIAN at the Universities of Ghent and Liège, Belgium

Project description
In the BelSPO funded MICROBIAN project (Microbiome diversity and function in the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica), coordinated by the Laboratory of Protistology and Aquatic Ecology, remote sensing analysis of soil crusts in a high latitude cold desert will be combined with field experiments and metagenomics studies to map their spatial distribution, community composition and metabolic capabilities. In addition, phylogenetic and physiological studies will be conducted on newly isolated bacteria and cyanobacteria, known to be present and highly abundant in the region from previous metagenomics analyses.

Read more


Accomodation SCAR Biology Symposium

We are happy to announce that there are some budget accomodation options available during the SCAR Biology Symposium via the University of Leuven and APECS:

Low fares accommodations will be provided by KU Leuven to participants of the SCAR Symposium, with availability going from Saturday 8th July to Saturday 15th July.

Booking is only possible for the full week. You can leave earlier if you want but you will still pay the full amount. Key arrangements will be organized by APECS Belgium members.

Number of rooms are limited, so please provide the following information to justify your demand:

1) Are you presenting either a poster or talk at the symposium?  If so please provide the title.

2) Please provide a few sentences on why you require these student rate accommodations.

Write to: apecsbelgium@gmail.com

More information about the available options can be found here.

APECS Online Conference

Have you ever joined an online conference? No? There’s interesting sessions for basically any discipline during the upcoming APECS online conference and registration is open and free! You can follow it literally from anywhere as long as you have internet access. All details here.

Postdoctoral scholarship – Monitoring melt where Ice Meets Ocean (MIMO) Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

The Laboratoire de Glaciologie of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is seeking to fill a 3-year postdoctoral scholarship in ice shelf remote sensing and modelling, starting around June 2017. We seek a person with a background in remote sensing (interferometry) and ice dynamics (modelling). The project is within the framework of a collaboration between ULB, the Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL, Belgium) and the Alfred Wegener Institute (Germany).

Brussels is a lively, well-connected city with a large international community located in the center of Europe. The Laboratoire de Glaciologie has a long-term experience in ice sheet dynamics, especially the Antarctic ice sheet through ice-sheet/ice-shelf modelling, field geophysics and remote sensing. A more detailed project description is given below. For more information about the project, about the Laboratoire de Glaciologie and about living in Brussels please contact Prof. Frank PATTYN (fpattyn@ulb.ac.be).

Project description

Antarctic ice mass loss is governed through ice streams discharging into floating ice shelves. Ice shelves play a crucial role in regulating this ice transfer towards the ocean by ice-shelf buttressing. Thinning of ice shelves largely depends on processes that act from atop (surface melt) and below (bottom melting in contact with the ocean).

The MIMO project aims at quantifying basal melt of ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic ice sheet at high spatial and temporal resolution (monitoring) and at deriving improved parametrizations for use in ice sheet modelling studies. The latter will also be implemented in a large-scale ice-sheet model and compared to currently available datasets. Since basal melting under ice shelves is not only a great unknown, its spatial and temporal change is even more so. Up to now, basal ice-shelf melt has either been determined for small-scale studies or with limiting temporal scale. CSL developed a complete interferometric SAR suite, including a coherence tracking module. This module will be adapted to handle Sentinel TopSAR data.

The successful candidate will ensure the further development of a mass conservation method in which basal melting closes the mass budget calculated from the known variables of surface velocities, ice thickness and surface-mass balance. Ice thickness will be inferred from Tandem-X data (AWI) and corrected for surface density variations (based on existing data, both from remote sensing and geophysics). Surface mass balance stems from atmospheric modelling results. The first part of the project aims at developing the methodology for a given target area (Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, Antarctica), and further apply the methodology to a larger domain of East-Antarctic ice shelves. For the target area, the Laboratoire de Glaciologie is currently monitoring melt rates using phase-sensitive radar and this monitoring will most likely be extended to other ice shelves as well in near future.


Applicants should email a cover letter, full Curriculum Vitae and at least one reference letter at the address below by March 20, 2017 (closing date). The desired qualifications are a PhD in glaciology, geophysics, or an equivalent geoscience, with good programming skills in a Matlab/Python environment.


The postdoctoral scholarship requirements are the following:
  • The candidate should hold a PhD degree for less than 8 years
  • Should respect the conditions of international mobility, i.e., should not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (employment, studies) in Belgium during a period longer than 24 months over the last 3 years that precede the start of the postdoctoral scholarship.

Specialities of the research group

The GEMICE group (Geophysics and Modelling of Ice) is specialized in the development and application of numerical ice sheet and ice shelf models, applied to specific glaciological problems, such as grounding lines, ice streams, ice sheet/ice shelf transitions, subglacial lake interconnection, subglacial polythermal conditions etc.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Frank PATTYN
Laboratoire de Glaciologie CP160/03
Department of Geosciences, Environment and Society (DGES)
Université Libre de Bruxelles
50, Av. F.D. Roosevelt, B-1050 Brussels
Email: fpattyn@ulb.ac.be
Tel : +32 2 650 28 46