Miscellaneous

We are looking for a highly motivated researcher to apply for a fully funded 4-year PhD Research project: COM-MET-MIX: Ecotoxicity of metal mixtures to aquatic communities: Something from nothing?

On November 16th, the rector, vice-rector and dean officially opened the new building where our new lab facilities are located. The opening included a guided tour through our new lab facilities and offices in which we introduced visitors to our different research themes. We started with an introduction to ecotoxicology and the relevance of the dose-response curve, followed by a presentation on linking oceans and human health and concluded with our molecular research on genomic variation and environmental DNA. You can find some pictures of the opening below and at the ©beeldbank2016 UGent.

GhenToxLab is looking for an enthusiastic young scientist to join our research team as a full-time junior assistant. We are looking for a candidate with a background and interest in at least one of the following research domains: ecotoxicology, ecology, molecular biology and genomics. In addition, an interest in teaching as well as research is essential. As academic assisting staff you assist in teaching activities and perform academic research in preparation of your doctoral dissertation.

Past week, the first SETAC/iEOS joint Focused Topic Meeting on Environmental and (eco)toxicological omics and epigenetics was held in Ghent. Prof. Karel De Schamphelaere and Dr. Jana Asselman co-organized the meeting together with members from academia, government and industry. The four day meeting brought together 120 participants from across the globe. State of the art science, technology and regulatory perspectives were presented in 48 platform presentations and 34 posters. The meeting concluded with a challenging panel debate on how epigenetic effects can be addressed in regulatory frameworks and risk assessment.

The laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Toxicology Unit - GhEnToxLab - is looking for a Full time Scientific Researcher (1-year position). This vacancy is part of the much larger ESFRI-LIFEWATCH project. By means of an interdisciplinary approach combining the research fields of ecotoxicology, ecology and marine biology, we aim to determine the effects of various environmental stressors on marine biodiversity in the Belgian Part of the North Sea. The main tools for this study are a Zooplankton Scanner (ZooScan) and a Video Plankton Recorder (VPR), which provide automated species identification and generate large species abundance datasets for marine systems. The challenge is to link these two data generation systems to data analysis, visualisation and modelling tools in an automated manner. The ultimate goal of all this is to provide the Flemish Marine Observatory with a fast and user-friendly platform for marine biodiversity data analysis and visualisation. Motivated scientists can apply until August 31st 2016.

The job student will collaborate in a recent marine and molecular project comprising several research disciples like sampling campaigns and morphological and microscopic research of marine organisms. The main focus is on molecular research including DNA and RNA extractions, quantitative PCR and next generation sequencing.

De jobstudent zal meewerken binnen een recent opgestart marien en moleculair onderzoeksproject van de onderzoeksgroep milieutoxicologie.  Het project omvat verscheidene onderzoeksdisciplines: staalname campagnes, morfologisch en microscopisch onderzoek van marine organismen met een focus moleculair onderzoek waaronder DNA en RNA extracties, kwantitatieve PCR alsook next generation sequencing.

For the second year in a row, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) organized the PlaneetZee@work competition. As a committed partner of VLIZ, GhEnToxLab hosted an interactive day on marine sciences for high school students. On Tuesday 26 January, 30 fourth-year students of the Barnum school of Roeselare visited our lab to learn - hands on - about the effects of different stressors on the marine environment. After an introductory presentation and a guided tour of our facilities, the students participated in five workshops. Each workshop, organized by five of our PhD students, covered current, high profile issues like: harmful algal blooms, ocean acidification and (micro-)plastic pollution. Additionally workshops on innovative environmental DNA monitoring techniques and basic marine toxicity testing provided insights into new and current ecotoxicological methods. We would like to thank the students for their vibrant enthusiasm and wish them all the best with their further research activities leading to the development and presentation of their scientific posters on these topics.

As part of the lectures marine ecology of Prof. Janssen, students of several master programs went on a field trip to the Opal coast in France. In the shadow of the fortress of Ambleteuse they experienced the forces of tidal action in terms of ecological zonation on rocky shores, sandy beaches and within the salt marshes of the river Slack.

Next to the field trip to Ambleteuse, the bioscience engineering students boarded the research vessel Simon Stevin. A video compilation of this excursion can be found on the Media menu.

Between November 2nd and December 7th, our postdoctoral researcher Gert Everaert performs a research stay at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA). The Niva is a non-profit research foundation which researches, monitors and assesses freshwater, coastal and marine environments and environmental technology. Gert will collaborate closely with the scientific staff of the section ‘Contaminants in the aquatic environment’. The research stay is supported by a travel grant of the ‘Fonds voor wetenschappelijk onderzoek  (FWO)’.

Recently Eng. Gert Everaert successfully defended his PhD and received the title of Doctor of Applied Biological Sciences. His research dealt with the potential risk of organic micropollutants on marine phytoplankton in the greater North Sea: integration of modelling and experimental approaches. The full version of his thesis can be found at Ghent University Academic Bibliography (link). His promotors, Prof. dr. Colin Janssen and Prof. dr. ir. Peter Goethals (aquatic ecology), and the whole GhEnToxLab staff wish him the best in his further (academic) career. Congratulations Gert!

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