VLIZ recruits: Researcher / Data scientist Coastbusters 2.0 | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

VLIZ recruits: Researcher / Data scientist Coastbusters 2.0

Strengthen an exciting organization in expansion with your expertise. Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) is looking for a Researcher/Data Scientist to evaluate boundary conditions for marine biogenic reef development to join its Research division as from 1 November/December.

VLIZ aims to increase the understanding of processes and interactions in changing marine and coastal environments. It has a multidisciplinary team of passionate researchers, moving the boundaries of scientific knowledge and addressing societal challenges through excellent marine research.

We are hiring a marine researcher/data scientist, in the framework of the project Coastbusters 2.0. This VLAIO-project in collaboration with companies and ILVO and funded through the Blue Cluster, deploys several reef-facilitating systems to induce the early stages of mussel biogenic reef formation in different dynamic nearshore coastal environments as a basis for the development of a nature-inspired coastal protection (https://www.blauwecluster.be/project/coastbusters-20). Together with ILVO, VLIZ is involved in the (innovative) monitoring of these biogenic reefs, applying its state of the art infrastructure and the technological expertise in its marine robotics centre. Another important project task is to determine the environmental boundary conditions for reef development. As researcher/data scientist, you will apply data from literature and from the in situ monitoring of the mussel reefs, to establish a link between environmental conditions and reef growth, taking into account potential hysteresis. Also, you will apply a fuzzy logic approach as a first step towards a habitat suitability model for mussel reefs, combining data from literature, monitoring and data systems such as EMODnet. You will be working in the Nature Changes and Solutions research unit, supported by VLIZ’ data science manager and collaborating with colleagues in VLIZ and partners of the Coastbusters 2.0 project.

Our offer

  • A challenging job in a dynamic environment at the VLIZ Research division at the InnovOcean site in Ostend.
  • Full-time, fixed term position for 12 to 18 months(depending on the level of diploma and seniority) with starting date in the period 1 November – 1 December 2021 and a salary scale according to qualifications and experience, following the salary scales of the Flemish Government.  
  • Fringe benefits: holiday pay, end-of-year bonus, meal vouchers, bike allowance, free public transport for home-work-commuting and 35 days of leave per year.

Your tasks

  • Perform a literature review on boundary conditions of naturally occurring mussel reefs or analogue bivalve reefs
  • Compile and analyse data, both from in situ monitoring of the mussel reefs as from literature or other existing data sources to establish the aforementioned boundary conditions
  • Reconstruct a hysteresis curve for the project sites, to link changes in environmental parameters with reef evolution
  • Apply a fuzzy logic analysis to assess environmental boundary conditions from where mussel reef growth is possible, based on monitoring results, other available data and parameters from the literature review
  • Collaborate with project partners (ILVO, DEME International, Jan de Nul and Sioen Industries)
  • Write a high quality research manuscript for submitting to peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • Participate in and represent VLIZ at project meetings, follow up and deliver milestones and deliverables (e.g. reports and model scripts)
  • Discuss planning and report progress within the VLIZ-project team, to the head of the research unit and external partners;
  • Supervise BSc and MSc students for student jobs, internship or thesis work;
  • Collaborate with colleagues at VLIZ to increase interdisciplinarity in various research projects;
  • Present research at national and international conferences.
For each function, VLIZ considers enthusiastic involvement, open servitude, excellent professionalism and integrity as important characteristics.

Your profile

  • MSc in Exact Sciences or Applied Sciences e.g. (bioscience) engineering, with an interest in ecology;
  • Willing to work in an international context;
  • Knowledge of statistics;
  • Demonstrated expertise in modelling with R open software;
  • Knowledge of handling and analyzing large data sets is a plus;
  • Knowledge of marine ecology and experience with marine research are a plus;
  • Good oral and written English communication skills;
  • Academic writing skills are a plus;
  • Critical and creative;
  • Scientifically integer;
  • Open minded and taking initiative;
  • Passionate scientist, willing to learn new skills and develop excellent research;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, a motivated team player.

About us

Over the last 20 years, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) has become a knowledge institution indispensable to the marine research landscape. What started as an institute focusing on science support, has evolved into a national and international point of contact for marine research. VLIZ initiates and carries out multidisciplinary research and supports marine experts by providing research infrastructure, data, information and knowledge. VLIZ supports the blue economy and reaches out to a broad public. VLIZ further broadens its marine horizons and aims at becoming a world player in the field of marine and coastal research. A stimulating working environment forms the base of our flourishing knowledge institute. The well-being of our employees comes first. VLIZ is looking for colleagues who, with their passion and knowledge, want to strengthen our growing institute and face the blue challenges of the future.

Additional information

For more information concerning this vacancy, please contact Pascal Hablützel by mail to

Does this vacancy appeal to you?

Send in your cover letter and CV no later than Sunday 19 September:

You can contact us by telephone on +32 (0)59 34 21 30.

VLIZ promotes equality and diversity in the workplace. You will be recruited based on competencies. Qualities of people are decisive, regardless of gender, religion, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation or any disability.


Based on the received motivation letters and CV’s; a select group of candidates will be invited for a job interview. You will be notified by email before 30 September. The job interviews take place at the offices of VLIZ or online, depending on the application, on Tuesday 12 October.