CMK - Centre for Environmental Sciences

Environmental problems are complex, have impacts on many fields of society and therefore should be studied and tackled in a multidisciplinary way. Therefore, in 1997, the existing environmental research of several UHasselt research groups was brought together under one roof, the Centre for Environmental Sciences, CMK.

CMK focuses since its inception on issues related to environmental stress in general, and more specifically on effects on organisms, soil, water, and air contamination. Over the years, CMK developed academic leadership in two additional research lines: sustainable, clean technologies, and biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate change.

CMK 41Rand2 CMK 41Rand2
Natuurrapport NPHK

UHasselt collaborates on National Park's Nature Report

26 January 2024
Jumping Spider Wasp

From earthworms to sea anemones and pandas. Which animals are the cutest? UHasselt examines public perception of animals

17 January 2024
Dna Robot Sofie Thijs

Nieuwe DNA-robot “NGSxpress” speurt naar de bodembacteriën in 1000 tuinen voor burgeronderzoek Bodemleven

21 December 2023

CMK in numbers

Research groups
Yearly publications
Active projects
Industrial partnerships

Research Domains

CMK unites top environmental research and industrial collaboration to address challenges of high societal urgency that require analyses that span across the boundaries of different scientific domains and disciplines.

Birth Cohort (1)

How does the environment influence organisms?

Infrastructure14 (2)

How can we mitigate influences of the environment on organisms?

Multidisciplinary Research Ecotron

How can we value and optimize biodiversity and ecosystem services under different stress conditions?


Campus Diepenbeek is the main home of CMK. At this Campus we have elaborate scientific equipment (ranging from Breeding facilities over Equipment for molecular and cellular analyses to Equipment for medical dosimetry). We offer a wide array of assessments (ranging from Risk assessment and toxicity assays to Sustainability assessment of clean technologies), as well as databases (e.g. on health data) and model organisms (e.g. growth promoting bacteria).

Our site in Maasmechelen hosts the Field Research Centre with the Ecotron. The FRC is the scientific home of CMK for top international research on biodiversity and climate in the Hoge Kempen National Park.

The Ecotron is CMK's state of the art research infrastructure that allows to expose large ecosystem samples to highly controlled climate conditions, and monitor their response at a high frequency.

Dierkunde Toxicologie Groep 02

UHasselt Campus Diepenbeek


Field Research Centre

Wp4b Photo White



There are many different ways to work with and at CMK.
  • Vacancies: At CMK, we are hiring profiles ranging from PhD students over lab technicians to high profile business developers.
  • Internships: At CMK, we welcome interns at the master, PhD and postdoc level
  • PhD and postdoc projects: At CMK, we assist international applicants to obtain and come with external funding
  • Joint Research Projects: We are continuously developing research and development projects with stakeholders, funded by FWO, VLAIO, INTERREG, EFRO, EU, ...
  • Technology and Knowledge Transfer: CMK will assist companies in strengthening their market position with our knowledge, technologies, assays, bacteria, ...
  • Scientific Services: At CMK, we offer our expertise in applied and contract research for and with industry
CMK: Research Explained - See
CMK @ media
HBVL Sofie Thijs

Sofie Thijs

Al 3.600 tuinen ingeschreven voor ons groot bodemonderzoek

Foetus Onderzoek Roetdeeltjes Tim Nawrot

Tim Nawrot

Nog voor hun geboorte hebben baby's al roetdeeltjes in hun longen en hersenen

Nadia Soudzlovskaia 09

Nadia Soudzilovskaia

Stikstofuitstoot is heel schadelijk voor de heide


Sofie Thijs

Vervuilde grond zuiveren met behulp van planten? Kan zeker!


Robert Malina


Karen Smeets

Vice Director

Nele Witters

Business & Project Developer

Marijke Jozefczak

Ann Cuypers En Marijke Jozefzcak En Dries Vandamme 22
Business Developer

Patrick De Boever

191025Vito Prtrt109
Business Developer

Marjan Goossens

Finances, Communication, Administration

Our locations

UHasselt Campus Diepenbeek

C Ka9v9xuaao2jw

Agoralaan z/n, Gebouw D, 3590 Diepenbeek

Field Research Centre | Ecotron

Ecotron Juni 2021 07 Kopiëren
Zetellaan 52, 3630 Maasmechelen


CMK has always treated (inter)national partnerships as a priority to support and valorize our research and service activities.

Would you like to discuss partnerships? Do not hesitate to contact us.


The aviation Sustainability Center consists of leading research universities in the USA and Canada, with CMK the only non-North American partner participating. It is the globally leading consortium on research on the environmental impacts of aviation.

PACE (1)

PACE (Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics Consortium). This is a consortium involving 39 studies world- wide with genome-wide DNA methylation data from pregnancy, newborn or childhood samples.


EXPOsOMICS is a collaborative project with a multinational team that aims to predict individual disease risk related to the environment, by developing a new approach to environmental exposure and health assessment during critical periods of life.


EndoAfrica consists of partners from South Africa, Austria and Belgium and aims to determine whether HIV-infection and ART are associated with altered cardiovascular risk and changes in vascular endothelial structure and function in adults living in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Norm4building Logo

NORM4BUILDING: The EU COST Action Norm4building that aims at stimulating the responsible reuse of NORM residues in building materials. It comprises partners from 26 European countries.

Blauwe Cluster

The Blue Cluster aims to be the preferred partner for companies that want to develop innovative activities and roll out their expertise in the sustainable blue economy.


LTER (Long Term Ecological Research Network). LTER-Europe was launched in 2003 as the umbrella network for Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) in Europe. It's members are national networks operating a wide range of research and monitoring sites as well as larger platforms for socio-ecological research.


The Copernicus Alliance is a European Network on Higher Education for Sustainable Development.


BASTA: CMK has initiated the broad and multidisciplinary Flemish consortium on biochar production from numerous biomass feedstocks and suitable applications.


Klankbordgroep Biomassa: The Biomass Sounding Board was founded more than 10 years ago by the Environmental Economics research group within the CMK and is currently jointly lead by UHasselt, VITO and UAntwerp. The Board meets three times a year, with the aim of bringing together supply and demand of local (region Flanders/Wallonia/The Netherlands/Germany) biomass feedstocks in a smart way and strengthening the complementarity between current projects.

Logo Climate Change

This Scientific Research Network funded by FWO FLanders aims to boost and facilitate the development of climate change law as an autonomous field of legal studies in the EU and Flanders (Belgium). Partners are Hasselt University, Gent University, Antwerp University, University of Eastern Finland, University of Copenhagen, Strathclyde University Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, and the Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies

Hoge Gezondheidsraad

In order to guarantee and enhance public health, the Council draws up scientific advisory reports that aim at providing guidance to political decision-makers and health professionals. Thanks to its network of experts and in-house staff, the Council produces impartial and independent advisory reports that are based on a multidisciplinary assessment of the state of the art of science. The Council formulates these advisory reports on request or on its own initiative and publishes them.


Scientists working at field stations and marine laboratories strive to understand natural processes at every scale, from the molecular to the global, from milliseconds to eons. The mission of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) is to help member stations increase their effectiveness in supporting critical research, education, and outreach programs. We pursue this goal in a manner that maximizes diversity, inclusiveness, sustainability, and transparency.

Our Mission

“At CMK, we tackle tomorrows environmental issues with a holistic, multidisciplinary focus. As an internationally renowned institution, we're committed to providing science-driven solutions that transcend academic boundaries, serving both business and society. Join us in shaping a sustainable future through rigorous research and actionable results”

2024 CMKWS Robertmalina