[Application deadline: 15 June 2018] Antarctic Biological And Microbial Data Manager (m/f/x)

The Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Science is looking for a master or Postdoc in molecular ecology for a contract of limited duration (October 2018-September 2019) who will join the Antarctic team of the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Data and Information Centre part of OD Nature.

This team is in charge of the management of biodiversity and ecosystem data resulting, for example, from the federal monitoring programmes of the marine environment or from research projects in marine and Antarctic sciences.

AntaBIS (www.biodiversity.aq) is a BelSPO (www.belspo.be)-funded project that aims at constructing a dedicated Antarctic biodiversity virtual Laboratory in the framework of the EU Lifewatch program, providing tools for the discovery and analysis of Antarctic biodiversity data.

Biodiversity.aq creates new ways of exploring and understanding Antarctic biodiversity by linking various online resources. Biodiveristy.aq contributes Antarctic biodiversity Data to global initiates such as the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (www.iobis.org) and the Global biodiversity Information Facility (www.gbif.org). The Register for Antarctic (Marine) species (www.marinespecies/RAMS) provides access to Antarctic taxonomic data and forms the taxonomic backbone for our other portals.

The data portal (data.biodiversity.aq) allows users explore and download Antarctic biodiversity. Our Microbial Antarctic Resource System (mARS.biodiversity.aq) is a unique platform that allows researcher to explore next generation sequencing data and environmental data (http://antabis.bedic.be/mars/).

We seeks an enthusiastic data manager to assist in the construction of this Antarctic biodiversity virtual laboratory. The successful candidate will be responsible for publication of various types of biodiversity data. The main focus will be on enriching the content of the mARS portal and the further development and maintenance of this portal.

The Data Manager Officer will be offered a one-year, full time position starting September 1st, 2018 or as soon as possible, and will be based at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (www.naturalsciences.be). She/he will work under the supervision of the Project Promoter and in close collaboration with the AntaBIS data scientist. There is potential to extend the duration of the position but this will depend on available funding and positive evaluation.

The successful candidate will work for 12 months in the context of one of the Belgian Federal  contributions to EU Lifewatch (www.lifewatch.be) This work will be done in collaboration with a wide variety of international collaborators. The work handles the data management component of this project, and focusses mostly on the microbial Antarctic Resource System (mARS) mARS.biodiversity.aq. 


  • The development, the maintenance and the management of the mARS database (PostgreSQL,…) and of it’s  query interfaces ;
  • Harvesting of data in public repositories (e.g. genbank SRA) , contacting data providers and users; communications in English;
  • Quality control of the data (environmental and DNA sequence information) using relevant data standards (e.g. Darwincore, TDWG) , their archiving, their reporting and their scientific exploitation;
  • Publication of data in mARS, OBIS and GBIF;
  • In collaboration with AntaBIS staff and partners:

– Identify existing tools for the analysis of (microbial) Antarctic biodiversity data;

– Evaluate online workflows using these tools and in particular their benefit to the Antarctic (microbial) research community

– Participation in national and international projects dealing with marine data management.


  • Candidates must hold a PhD or a Master degree in science or applied sciences, with a strong preference for a background bioinformatics or Antarctic Microbial biology.
  • They will demonstrate a wide analytical insight and a strong interest in the technical side of data management.


  • Candidates should have a strong taste for bioinformatics; a good knowledge in data management and relational database, geospatial tools, biodiversity informatics standards.
  • Experience with scientific programming (preferably using R and/or Python) as well as the use of software project hosting and version control systems such as GitHub or Gitlab.


  • Enthusiasm and an outstanding ability to collaborate in a multi-disciplinary and international team ;
  • Good organisational skills ;
  • Strong communication skills ;
  • Can operate independently yet work as part of a distributed team.


  • Having excellent networking and communication skills in English is absolutely required; a good working knowledge of additional European language(s), in particular Dutch and/or French, is an asset;
  • Experience in microbial molecular research ;
  • Experience working in polar research ;
  • Experience with scientific networking on international level, and/or Antarctic research;
  • Experience with relevant biodiversity data standards (TDWG, Darwincore, MiMarks, ….).


  • A contract of limited duration for 12 months ;
  • Remuneration of the wage scale for grade SW1 ;
  • Free public transport between the city and the Institute.

The regular working place is located in 1000 Brussels (Vautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels) , with the possibility of a few foreign missions (project meetings, conferences, …) per year. The wages will granted according to the rules in force for scientific staff of the federal administration. The employment contract has a fixed duration but may be extended condition to available funding and positive evaluation.

How to apply

Send before 15 June 2018 your motivation and CV to:

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Anton Van de Putte

Gulledelle 100

1200 Brussels

Email: Avandeputte<at>naturalsciences.be or antonarctica<at>gmail.com with heading: job application AntaBIS-mARS

Applications, consisting of a motivation letter, a curriculum–vitae and a copy of the relevant diplomas, must be sent to Anton Van de Putte, avandeputte<at>naturalsciences.be (or RBINS, OD Nature, Gulledelle 100, 1200 Brussels), before the 14th June 2018 with heading “job application AntaBIS-mARS”. The candidates who passed the first screening will be invited for an interview. These interview are planned between 9-13 July 2018. The contract should start the First of October or as soon as possible.

A general description of the marine activities of the OD Nature can be found  at https://www.naturalsciences.be/en/science/do/98.