The CMK has a long-standing collaboration with the Plant and vegetation Ecology - research group (PLECO-Antwerp University).
In brief the research expertise of PLECO-UA focuses on the effects of global changes on plants and vegetations. Within these fields experimental research, modelling and statistical meta-analysis are all performed.
Together with the Systemic Physiological & Ecotoxicological Research - research group (sphere-Antwerp University) they established the Centre of Excellence ECO.
The main theme of the Center of Excellence ECO is the study of the effects of changes in the abiotic (i.e. non-living) environment on ecological systems, on the condition and health of plants and animals - including humans - and on the cultural heritage. With regard to the ecological systems hierarchical levels ranging from the cell and organism, over ecosystems to the landscape and region, are considered. Essentially we examine both causes (abiotic changes, disturbance of the living environment, various stress situations) and their consequences (ecophysiological and chemical respons processes at different levels of organisation). The research has a basic fundamental nature, but has also a methodological aspect. In a number of cases the research will also result in or lead to relevant practical applications.
The wildlife management research group of INBO (Research Institute for Nature and Forest) investigates the sustainable use and management of species in support of stakeholders that use nature and forest and / or participate in its management, which also takes in account damage control.
Wildlife management in relation to humans and biodiversity is central to the research group. Claims management is a first important topic. The group seeks, among other things, to management tools and strategies that allow to reduce the negative impact of native and exotic species. Another important topic is the sustainable use of indigenous populations: what are the potential and preconditions for sustainable use of these populations? Also the possible role of sustainable use in the context of biodiversity conservation is examined. With the acquired knowledge the research group aims to deliver services, products and technical knowledge to target groups and government organizations working on wildlife management.
The Research Unit in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology (URBE) studies aquatic organisms and environments, at all integration levels, from molecules to ecosystems. Rather than focusing on specific molecular and cellular approaches of life, URBE investigates of biochemistry, physiology, evolution and ecology of living organisms.
The main research topics are devoted to the analysis of physiological, biochemical and molecular responses of organisms to environmental disturbances (pollutions, climate warming, …), to molecular ecology and evolutionary genetics, as well as to ecology of microbial, plant and animal communities in lakes and rivers. Fundamental and applied research is also carried out in aquaculture and on management of aquatic environments in temperate and tropical regions.
Within the Department of Biology of University of Namur, URBE is involved in teaching at bachelor level (Biology, Medicine, Pharmacy) and at master level (master in Biology of Organisms and Ecology, co-organised with University of Louvain-la-Neuve). The unit also participates in various activities outside the university, such as development projects, international commissions, environmental policy. Furthermore, URBE is involved in two inter-universities master programs: the master program in Aquaculture in partnership with University of Liège, and the master program in Management of Water Resources, with University of Liège and University of Louvain-la-Neuve.
The Agrosphere Institute analyses transport and conversion processes in soils and surface near groundwater with the aim to contribute to a sustainable use of resources in agro-ecosystems.
Agrosphere, IBG-3, is part of the Institute of Bio-and Geosciences, IBG. At present, research at the Agrosphere is organized in three research areas: 1) Modelling of terrestrial systems, 2) environmental processes and technologies and 3) terrestrial biogeochemistry.
Research at Agrosphere Institute aims at improving our understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial systems with a specific focus on agricultural and soil-groundwater systems.
The core research activities include the study of the fate and behavour of anthropogenic and geogenic substances as well as the quantification of exchange processes and subsurface processes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Sensing technologies, experiments at the lab, field and regional scale and modelling approaches are used to bridge disparities between the different spatial and temporal scales at which processes in terrestrial systems are occurring.
Therefore the links between agricultural land use and fluxes and transformations of matter are being investigated at various scales. The use of the state of the art experimental laboratory-, lysimeter- and field based approaches and the application of experimental platforms form the basis of the development of multi-scale models, which help to predict the influence of changes in land-use and climate on ecosystems.
This knowledge serves as a basis for the development of management strategies for a sustainable use of terrestrial resources such as water and soil and for the quantification of the effect of climate and land use changes on the dynamics and adaptation of terrestrial systems.