The Society for Tropical Ecology promotes and communicates new and emerging knowledge among tropical ecologists to advance the understanding of tropical ecosystems and their protection. It is currently Europe’s largest scientific association in this field of research with about 500 members. The aim of the Society for Tropical Ecology, which was founded in 1987, is to further improve our understanding of all the aspects of tropical ecology.
A primary means toward this scope is through the organization of annual international congresses, usually one week in February in Europe. Invited international plenary speakers contribute papers and discussions on selected themes of either outstanding universal topicality or of special relevance to up-to-date issues in tropical ecology in order to promote scientific exchange with the participants, many of which usually are students. The conferences provide an international platform for the exchange of scientific ideas and the establishment of collaborations between members and their guests. The gtö is especially dedicated to fostering junior research and equitable cooperation projects.
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Since its foundation in 1834, the Université Libre de Bruxelles has been closely involved in the ongoing debate on critical thinking and freedom. Promoting free enquiry and independent reasoning, the University is firmly engaged in the defence of democratic and human values. In the heart of Europe, the ULB is a multicultural university with one third of students and researchers from abroad. International relations are a daily reality just like the city of Brussels itself, one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities. With 26,000 students, the ULB has 13 faculties that cover all the disciplines, closely combining academic input and research. It offers almost 40 undergraduate programs and 235 graduate programs. It also partners 20 Doctoral schools, with almost 1,600 PhD in progress.
The ULB is located on several campuses in Brussels: Solbosch, La Plaine, Erasme teaching hospital. Several research units working in the Tropics are part of the Department of Organism Biology. Their research includes genetics, ecology, biogeochemistry, behavioural ecology…
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The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a dynamic and modern university with two parkland campuses in the Brussels Capital Region: the main campus in Etterbeek is home to seven faculties. In Jette you can find the medical campus and the University Hospital. The VUB is the only Flemish university that has incorporated the principle of 'free inquiry' in its statutes.
Centrally situated in the capital of Europe, the university takes up its role as an ambassador for Flanders and Brussels, in a spirit of active pluralism and open mindness. Quality education is offered to more than 9,000 students. Add to that the almost 4,500 students of our partner, the Erasmus Hogeschool Brussels; the 400 students at the English-speaking Vesalius College; the 5,000 students at the Centre for Adult Education that shares our campus, and the more than 150 research teams working on both our campuses, and you get one of the biggest centres of knowledge in the capital of Europe.
High quality education and research are central issues. The research teams are internationally recognised in many disciplines of fundamental and applied research.
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Integrated at the University of Ličge since 2009, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech is a faculty of human size, open to the world and whose quality of teaching and research has been internationally renowned for more than 150 years.
Faculty at the forefront of the sustainable development, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech trains bioengineers. Four distinct study programs allow the students to specialize in key areas of life sciences, including forest and natural area management.
In tropical regions, the University of Ličge has established numerous collaborative agreements with research and training institutions as well as with the private sector. It has also created a permanent structure in the Democratic Republic of Congo, aiming at developing research, teaching, training and expertise projects in Central Africa.
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Older than Belgium, the earliest roots of Botanic Garden Meise can be traced to 1796. The Garden comprises 92 ha and includes a castle that dates back to the 12th century. The Garden has a large herbarium housing about 4 million specimens and containing the largest Rosa herbarium of the world and important historical collections from Brazil and Central Africa. It also has a botanical library holding over 200,000 volumes, comprising publications from the 15th century to modern day. The Garden holds a collection of about 18,000 different kinds of living plants, among which several are threatened, such as the Laurent cycad (Encephalartos laurentianus). The Garden also houses an internationally recognised seed bank including inter alia the seeds of numerous wild bean species.
Activities of our scientists to inventory and study plant, fungal and algal diversity span the globe; from Antarctica to the rainforests of Congo. The scientific work focuses on the correct and scientific identification of plant species. On a yearly basis approximately 100,000 people explore the glasshouses and the gardens, to spread knowledge about plants and conservation.
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The RMCA was established in 1897 and, as a multidisciplinary institution focusing on conservation, education and research. It holds the largest biodiversity collection anywhere in the world on Central Africa. Furthermore, the majority of the specimens originate from the relatively poorly studied megadiversity belt in the equatorial Africa.
RMCA is a leading multidisciplinary research institute and knowledge centre on the cultural and natural heritage in Africa, particularly in Central Africa. It develops interest and understanding for African heritage in the scientific communities and the public. The researchers carry out studies in the natural and urban environments, including historical-socio-economical aspects. Natural History manages about 10 million specimens of animals, 60,000 wood specimens, 16,000 minerals, 300,000 rocks and 21,500 fossils. The institution has about 1.2 km of archives of unique interest like the Stanley collection, 200,000 cultural objects, more than one million of photographs, 700 movies and more than 6000 hours of traditional music and voice recordings and 8000 musical instruments. Scientific staff masters ten languages; consequently, the library and reprints are unusually multilingual.
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The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences deals with most fields of natural sciences: geology, zoology, palaeontology, molecular biology, oceanography and ecosystem studies. With approximately 37 million of specimens, the collections serve as reference and research tools.
The Natural History Museum is the visible part for the public. Its permanent galleries, temporary exhibition rooms and educational workshops welcome more than 300,000 visitors each year. Its Dinosaur Gallery is the largest in Europe and exhibit a large group of Iguanodon, a dinosaur found in Bernissart, Belgium. The research institute has a long tradition of tropical exploration worldwide and possesses large collections originating from central Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania.