The Ecotron is part of the Field Research Centre, located in the Hoge Kempen National Park. The UHasselt Ecotron is a large scale research infrastructure that allows for sophisticated state-of-the-art controlled climate experiments, to study the effects of climate, and climate change on ecosystem functioning. It provides insight into the impact of climate on a given ecosystem that cannot be gained by field experiments (too complex) neither controlled laboratory experiments (too reductive).
The UHasselt Ecotron consists of 12 closed sun-lit units, where environmental conditions can be separately controlled. Each unit hosts a lysimeter with soil-canopy column of 3.14 m2 and 1.5 m deep, where ecosystem processes can be monitored all in real time.
From these variables, net ecosystem exchange, evapotranspiration, as well as CH4 or N2O emissions can be calculated with high resolution and frequency.
For researchers, companies and other stakeholders, we offer the opportunity to conduct a project in our long-term Ecotron experiments.
Click here to learn about the connection between Ecotron and ICOS.
Visitors can make use of a matching observation tower located next to the Ecotron, the Tronton, which makes it possible to take a look through the domes of the Ecotron. Two outdoor classrooms have been set up in the vicinity of the Ecotron where the educational programs Ecotron Mystery and Ecotron Behind the Scenes take place. In the publicly accessible area of the Ecotron, there is an exhibition, including an experience stand with smartboard (in collaboration with Jo Klaps of the Department of Architecture and Art of Hasselt University).
Would you like to visit the Ecotron? This is possible under the supervision of a Ranger of the Hoge Kempen National Park. Please contact Dr. Hanne Vercampt (hanne.vercampt<at>uhasselt<dot>be)
As a company or individual you can support our research for sustainability. Click here to donate to the Ecotron fond.
Field Research Centre (FRC) - Zetellaan 52, 3630 Maasmechelen (Belgium)
GPS Coordinates: Latitude 51.0000457 Longitude 5.7042895
To reach the FRC, take exit 33 on the E314 highway (Brussels - Aachen) and follow the signs ‘Maasmechelen Leisure Valley’ on a route that follows the canal for some kilometers. Keep following this road across tree roundabouts until the signs 'PARKING EUROSCOOP' and 'TERHILLS' indicate the parking lot. Continue the rest of the way (300m) walking trough the French Garden. You'll find the Field Research Centre on your left side.
Below you can find currently open positions at the Ecotron and field research center. However, we are also open for new ideas for MSc/BSc projects and we welcome PhD and postdoc students interested to obtain own funding.
General Inquiries Contact: CMK
Partners interested in collaborative projects with Ecotron or LTER, including scientists, prospective PhD candidates, BSc and MSc students
Journalists interested in Ecotron Research
Questions related to the Field Research Centre
Support our climate change research
Visiting Ecotron for public (groups and individuals)
Telephone Ecotron Facility: +32 489 34 04 21