Belgian ULB researchers set sail for Antarctica to study ecosystems and climate change

Nine Belgian researchers will depart for Antarctica on February 15 on a mission to understand ecosystem responses to ongoing environmental changes in the Southern Ocean. The researchers will use a sailboat as a research platform and will depart from Ushuaïa (Argentina). The Belgians are expected to reach the Antarctic Peninsula (in the Grandidier Channel) in March.

The "TANGO1" mission, led by Bruno Danis, a researcher at the Laboratory of Marine Biology at the Faculty of Sciences at ULB, aims to contribute to the understanding of the responses of Antarctic marine ecosystems to climate change, especially at shallow depths.

Using a sailboat as a research platform should lessen the environmental impact of the research. "And allow, thanks to its agility, to reach areas little studied and adapt to the conditions imposed by the environment in which it will operate", explains Danis.

The Southern Ocean acts as a connector between all oceans, the researchers explain. As climate changes are large and intensify in the polar regions, drastic changes in the structure and function of ecosystems are expected.

They will carry out detailed work on biodiversity and oceanography in different areas, combining a variety of traditional and more modern techniques such as scuba diving, aerial and underwater drone mapping or 3D imaging and modeling.

The Belgian researchers still don't know to what extent the transition points will lead to changes. "This knowledge is crucial in managing ecosystems to maintain long-term habitability in a context of global change and for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of the natural environment", they point out.





Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels