MarBiol was founded in 1971. Since then, our main research mission has been assessing and understanding the structure, diversity and functioning of marine ecosystems worldwide. MarBiol has always shown a keen interest in anthropogenic and natural stressor impacts on populations and communities. In the past three decades, there has been a significant shift in the approaches used to elucidate drivers of biodiversity and of relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
Our focus today is process-oriented manipulative laboratory and field experiments, aimed at a better mechanistic understanding of biodiversity and its functional importance. In the last decade, we have increasingly embraced molecular approaches to study population structure and dynamics, as well as micro- and macroevolutionary processes. The impacts of global change have become a prime focus of our work. We have extensive expertise in the culturing and controlled manipulation of a variety of benthic invertebrates, covering a broad range of life-history and functional traits.
MarBiol is the scientific coordinator of the Belgian node of the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (www.embrc.eu). It is also the main coordinator of the International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea), a joint Master's program organised by 11 European universities in the field of marine sciences. Our research is strongly embedded in both national and international research networks.