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The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is recruiting one Satellite Data Analyst/Scientist for a contract of fixed duration until December 2022 


The person will work in the REMSEM (Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Monitoring) team in the Operational Directorate Natural Environment (OD Nature) of RBINS. He/she will work on projects in the field of operational ocean colour satellite data services including the development of processing chains, cloud processing, data cube systems, product quality control and ocean colour algorithm development. The REMSEM team uses satellite data to measure parameters of environmental relevance such as the concentrations of chlorophyll a (phytoplankton) and suspended sediments in marine environments. A description of our remote sensing activities can be found at


The main tasks include:

SW1 level (Master level):

  • Development of ocean colour satellite applications that enable data access, data visualisation and data processing.
  • Development of new algorithms and implementation of data cube systems ( for efficient data analysis.
  • Investigate potential of Machine Learning techniques in ocean colour applications.
  • Work in a small productive team in cooperation with partners from other European countries.
  • Writing technical documentation and scientific publications
  • Presentation of results in English

SW2 level (PhD level):

  • SW1 level tasks
  • Work Package Management in ongoing European projects


SW1: Master of Science, Master of Bioscience Engineering or equivalent.

SW2: PhD in Science, PhD in Bioscience Engineering or equivalent.

  • Experience with Unix is required
  • Experience in Python coding for image processing is required

Technical competence

  • Good knowledge of software design and software development, with a focus on Python and its data science and image processing modules (numpy, xarray, pandas,…)
  • Ideally experience, but at least great interest in ocean colour remote sensing and oceanography.
  • Understanding of big data ecosystems: cloud processing
  • Understanding of geospatial data-analysis: data science, GIS and algorithm development in Python are a plus

Generic competence

  • Enthusiasm for data science
  • Ability to work flexibly in a team on multiple projects and interact with end-users
  • Good communication skills (orally and by videoconference, web and social media content, written scientific reporting, etc.)
  • Good knowledge of English is necessary; A basic knowledge of either French or Dutch is desirable and a willingness to improve is essential.
  • Thirst for knowledge and the will to find elegant solutions to complex questions

We offer

The employment contract will start as soon as possible and be of fixed duration, ending December 2022 with possible extension if funding permits.

The salary is defined according to the standard scale for federal government scientists as published in the Moniteur Belge/Belgisch Staatsblad ( A.R./K.B. 2.6.2010 (publication 10.6.2010), for grade SW1 or SW2 with index = 1.7069 (September 2020).

The nominal workplace is Brussels 1000 (29 rue Vautierstraat), with typically 5-20 days per year abroad for workshops, conferences and other meetings. The place of work is currently subject to Covid-19 constraints with significant homeworking possibilities.

Free public transport is offered from home to workplace as well as a bicycle bonus.

How to apply

Application letter and curriculum vitæ should be addressed to Dimitry Van der Zande, and should be sent before 12:00 9th of August 2021 (by email to Selected candidates will be invited for an oral interview by videoconference in August.

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is recruiting a Scientific collaborator for a contract of definite duration (01/10/2021-31/12/2023).


The area of the northern East African rift-valley lakes Kivu, Edward and Albert (KEA) is a hotspot of terrestrial biodiversity. For fishes, it is one of the most enigmatic regions in terms of biogeography as it is situated at the intersection of three major ichthyo-geographic provinces (Nilo-Sudan, East Coast and Congo), and as it featured a turbulent tectonic history. Although the region is much poorer in species than the neighbouring basins, it has high levels of species endemicity, especially for lacustrine cichlids. It was speculated that the region, and especially the three deep-water lakes, acted as a refuge during recent climatic changes, such as the dry periods that led to the desiccation of Lake Victoria (ca. 15 000 years ago). In the KEAFish project, we will test this by studying the entire ichthyofauna of the region using classical taxonomy, standard sequencing methods, and state-of-the-art genomic techniques. This will allow us to characterise how the region’s fish fauna emerged, and how it shaped or influenced the current fish faunas of the rest of the continent.


The candidate will be part of a team that includes experts in fish taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography and genomics. She/he will use next generation sequencing (NGS) technology to investigate the role of the KEA region as the cradle of wide-spread fish species that are currently found throughout Africa. Additionally, she/he will use a combination of genetic, genomic and taxonomic approaches to investigate the evolutionary history of species and species complexes whose distribution is restricted to the region.


Diploma: PhD or MSc in Biology or Bioinformatics

Technical competence

  • experience with NGS data analysis

Generic competence

  • Eager to learn
  • Team player


  • Knowledge of biogeography and evolutionary processes
  • Knowledge of ichthyology
  • Experience in genetic lab work
  • Good English proficiency

We offer

  • Depending on seniority, a fixed-term contract of two or three years
  • Salary according to the standard scale for an assistant (SW1)
  • Free public transport
  • A dynamic and interesting working environment
  • If the candidate would be MSc, this research would be expected to lead towards a PhD thesis

How to apply

E-mail your motivation letter, 2 references and CV before 01/09/2021 to : Maarten Van Steenberge via:

For more info, contact Maarten Van Steenberge

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