Our crew

Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Henriet
Geologist/Geophysicist, professor UGent, head of RCMG
Welcome on board of Belgica's "HERMES-Geo" cruise, host of the Class@Oceans 2006. My name is Jean-Pierre Henriet, and I am professor in Marine Geology and Geophysics at Ghent University. When I was 14, I saw a film sponsored by BP in the framework of the International Geophysical Year, at the end of the fifties. It showed a bold transantarctic expedition surveying the ice continent with rugged vehicles and seismics. So I dreamt of rugged explorations and remote horizons, and wrote to BP asking how you could become a seismic explorer, and how you get to the Antarctic. I received a detailed, two-page long personal reply, tracing the way to careers in the exploration of our planet with geophysics, in particular in the upcoming offshore industry. Preferring basic science, I became a 'science exploration geophysicist', went to the ocean and to the Antarctic, hunting for provocating questions. Now I am the proud 'boss' of a scientific dream team - RCMG - a nest of young sea eagles stretching their wings over the seven oceans. They are eager to share their passion. So don't be shy, just write if you want to know more about the exploration of the ocean (but do not expect two pages automatically, times have changed…), and share our action through Class@Oceans.
Dr. David Van Rooij
Marine Geologist, post-doctoral fellow FWO, UGent, RCMG
"Hi, I'm David. At the RCMG, I am a "post-doc" scientist studying deep-water sedimentation processes. For this particular Belgica campaign, I will be mainly taking care of the organisation of the scientific activities and I will be keeping a report of all these activities. This will be later on compiled in a cruise report. And, evidently, together with all other participants, I will be taking part in the "watches" during acoustic profiling."
Dr. Ir. Veerle Huvenne
Marine Geologist, Marie Curie post-doctoral
Research Fellow, National Oceanography Centre, UK; post-doctoral fellow FWO, UGent, RCMG 'My research activities are mainly focussed on the sedimentary environment of cold-water corals, especially when they form (small) mounds which could be the initiation of bigger structures. For these studies, I generally use a variety of techniques, including (habitat) mapping with multibeam, sidescan sonar or video, and studies of sediment grainsize to get an idea of how strong the currents around the corals would be. During this cruise on board of the Belgica I will mainly be responsible for mapping the bathymetry of any new study areas, using the multibeam system, and I will assist in planning and carrying out any other work during the watches. This may include seismic acquisition, sampling or ROV monitoring (from the scientific point of view, of course: I don't have the technical experience to "fly" such systems!). Overall I will be very interested in any work we will do around small coral mounds.'
Anneleen Foubert
Marine Geologist, PhD student FWO, UGent, RCMG
"Hello, I'm Anneleen. For the moment, I'm doing a PhD at the Renard Centre of Marine Geology. I'm studying cold-water corals and their sedimentological environments. Cold-water corals are able to build up huge cold-water coral mounds, which are appearing in particular regions along the North-Atlantic continental margins. During the Belgica expedition we will visualize one of these mound structures with a ROV (Remoted Operated Vehicle), a kind of robot mounted with digital cameras and sampling gear. On board, I will be responsible for the mapping of these cold-water coral environments (multibeam, ROV, …) and particular sampling of these regions."
Peter Staelens
Geologist RCMG, scientific personnel
Wim Versteeg
Geophysicist RCMG, scientific personnel
Koen De Rijcker
Seismic engineer RCMG, technical personnel
Jeroen Vercruysse
Electronic engineer ROV, technical personnel
Katja Guilini
Biologist, Student Marelac (Marine and Lacustrine Sciences)
"Ahoi. I'm Katja. I am a biologist with great interest in marine sciences and therefore I decided to do this one year study on marine and lacustrine sciences. I am going on the Belgica campaign in function of a course on margin ecosystems of Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Henriet. Together with Frederik, I have the job to collect sponges, living on cold water corals, which will be brought up during sampling with the ROV or boxcore. Beside that I will obviously be very busy helping wherever I can, observing and collecting as much as possible experience"
Frederik Roose
Bio-engineer, Master student Marelac (Marine and Lacustrine Sciences)
"Hi, my name is Frederik. I am a master student in Marine and Lacustrine Sciences. This is an advanced, one-year education with the focus on aquatic systems (oceans and lakes). My interests cover the interactions between the biosphere, the geosphere and the hydrosphere and especially how models, in addition to field observations, can be used to study these processes. This Belgica campaign will be my first time on board of a scientific cruise and I am really looking forward to it! On board, I will participate in the research activities wherever I can."
Dr. Andy Wheeler
Sedimentologist, UCC, Ireland
"My research interests include marine and coastal geology with an emphasis on remote seabed mapping techniques and benthic sedimentary processes. Seabed mapping is based on the application of side-scan sonar, multibeam echosounder data and GIS-based integration with video imagery and sample data. Sedimentary processes orientated research is based on the analysis of bedforms and derived analytical core data e.g. applied particle size analysis. Coastal geological studies focus on sediment exchange and temporal patterns and processes related to coastal forcing as well as palaeoenvironmental reconstructions in coastal (and associated) wetlands."
Erwan Le Guilloux
Marine Biologist, Ifremer, France