Training Course: Integrated approaches to investigate the role of soft and hard substrate benthos in ecosystem functioning: from field observations and experiments to modeling and indicator development.

Warning message

The start date of this training opportunity has already passed

General information

During the last decade, artificial hard substrates have increasingly been installed in coastal areas that generally consisted of sandy sediments. These artificial hard substrates serve different purposes, including coastal defense works, installation of renewable energy installations, nature restoration …These artificial hard substrates are home to a high variety of fouling organisms, occurring in high densities. These new communities locally affect primary production and the pelagic nutrient budget and change properties of the surrounding soft sediments, structural and functional diversity of the benthos, and benthic mineralization rates. In addition, the effects of these introductions need to be addressed in the context of a globally changing marine environment (climate change, ocean acidification). A full understanding of links between the altered biodiversity and the local and regional biogeochemical cycles requires cross-disciplinary approaches where ecologists, biogeochemists and ecosystem and oceanographic modelers join forces.  Within this training course, PhD students and early post-docs will be initiated in experimental methodology to investigate the effect of animal activity on biogeochemical cycling in both sediments and the water column. Class-room lectures will provide participants with an overview on the recent developments in the research field and will be combined with hands-on experiments on both hard- and soft substrate biogeochemical cycling (optode and electrode techniques, nutrient cycling, bio-irrigation) using state-of-the art experimental equipment. Lectures on ecosystem and oceanographic modeling will be combined with hands-on training to showcase how local processes can be scaled up to regional scales. Finally, students will be initiated in the application of obtained results in a managerial context by means of ecosystem indicators. 

Contact Person: Jan Vanaverbeke (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.


Venue: STARESO Research Station
Calvi, France

STARESO is a scientific station dedicated to marine research, located very remotely in Calvi Bay on the North-Western coast of Corsica (France) in the Mediterranean Sea. More information and pictures:


Open from
1 Jan 2019 to 15 Aug 2019


Subscription fee: 350 euro
Lodging 89 euro per night: on-site lodging (dormitories), breakfast, lunch, dinner. This needs to be paid at the STARESO Research Station

Application Procedure:

Registration can be done by fully completing the registration form available at Registration will only be valid after paying the registration fee of 350 euro (IBAN: BE09 6792 0058 2357 – BIC: PCHQ BE BB – BPost, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels), mentioning ‘Your Name - Registration Training Course Calvi’.

Spotted a mistake in this page? Click here to request a change.