Member of the

Freshwater Information Platform


Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)  has a long (more than 150 years) and outstanding track record of integrated investigations in different biogeographical regions. The main expertise of its more than 100 pre- and postdoctoral researchers (40 permanent scientific staff) lies in animal taxonomy, biodiversity and ecology. The group’s research focuses on evolutionary ecology of freshwater meiobenthic organisms and has extensive expertise in classical limnological work on meiobenthos.

The BioFresh team at RBINS closely collaborates with the Belgian Biodiversity Platform, which ensures the hosting of the BioFresh data portal and offers support in terms of IT and networking expertise. The Belgian Biodiversity Platform is a distributed biodiversity information and communication initiative by the Belgian Science Policy (BelSPO). It serves as Belgian node to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the European Platform on Biodiversity Science Policy (EPBRS), DIVERSITAS and is involved in the ERA-net BiodivERsA. It develops a database on Belgian biodiversity research resources (BioBel, and coordinates the Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment project. The BBPF also implements SCAR-MarBIN, the Antarctic marine biodiversity portal of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. It organizes a yearly call supporting the digitisation of biodiversity information.

Koen Martens

Koen Martens (PhD) has published 11 books, 140+ ISI papers and 310 other contributions on taxonomy, ecology and evolution of non-marine invertebrates. He has successfully co-ordinated a TMR research network and is presently coordinator of a MC-RTN network. He was scientist in charge of previous individual Marie Curie grants. He was co-PI of an EU-INCO project on Lake Malawi, and is promoter of the Belgian Biodiversity at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Martens is visiting professor at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and full professor in animal systematics and zoogeography at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands, 2003-2004).
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Aaike De Wever

Aaike De Wever (PhD) is Science Officer for the BioFresh project at the RBINS and will coordinate the data workflow and creation of the public data portal. He is the central contact for data providers and will closely collaborate with the teams at BOKU and WorldFish for technical quality control and digitalization of data. Aaike has a background on aquatic microbial ecology in freshwater environments. For his PhD, he studied the microbial food web in Lake Tanganyika and has experience with challenging experimental field work, molecular ecology and data management. After his PhD, he worked on microbial ecology of Antarctic lakes and teledection of benthic micro-algae on intertidal mudflats.
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Hendrik Segers

Hendrik Segers (PhD) coordinates the biodiversity-data related initiatives of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPF) and as such bears responsibility for the SCAR-MarBIN and FADA projects, the BBPF digitisation project call, and for the strategy of the data module of the BBPF. Recently, he was elected to the council of the Society for the Management of Electronic Biodiversity Data (SMEBD). As a scientist, he published more than 130 contributions, including 70+ in ISI journals, on taxonomy, biogeography and biodiversity of freshwater organism.
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Bos Debusscher

Bos Debusscher (Ir) is IT developer for the BioFresh project at RBINS focusing among others on the user functionalities and mapping interface. He has a particular interest in Geographic Infomation Systems (GIS), visualisation of data and open source projects.
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