VLIZ recruits: Researcher marine geosciences: offshore paleo-reconstruction Flemish seascape | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

VLIZ recruits: Researcher marine geosciences: offshore paleo-reconstruction Flemish seascape

Join our Research team as a geologist or geophysicist for the FWO SBO project ‘TESTEREP’ (TEsterep REconstructed for Policy making and Public engagement), which aims to reconstruct and map the evolution of part of the Flemish Seascape since c. 5000 BP.

You will perform research on the offshore paleo-geomorphological change off the Flemish coastline, in an area where once a peninsula (Testerep) was located. Within the larger project, offshore geophysical and sedimentological data will be combined with other intertidal and terrestrial geological and archaeological data to extend our spatio-temporal understanding of the evolution and demise of this former Testerep peninsula. Results of these data will be communicated to various stakeholders, including the wider public.

Researcher nearshore palaeolandscape exploration

In recent years, there has been a rapidly growing interest in the study of drowned landscapes and maritime geo-archaeology. This challenging research field integrates the study of climate and sea-level change, paleogeography, marine geology, oceanography and archaeology to study human presence and landscapes that were once located on dry land, but are now preserved in the intertidal or marine environment. VLIZ is one of the pioneers in Belgium of this challenging interdisciplinary research field, exploring the submerged landscapes of the North Sea.

The FWO SBO project TESTEREP is a 4-year scientific research project, led by the Free University of Brussels (VUB), in close collaboration with the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), KU Leuven and HoWest. This consortium brings together archaeologists, marine geoscientists, hydraulic engineers and virtual reality specialists. They will study the evolution and eventual demise of the Testerep peninsula over the past 5000 years from an archaeological, geological and hydrodynamical viewpoint. The resulting reconstructions and models will be used to raise public awareness on coastal dynamics and current threats, to stimulate blue tourism, to support heritage management, and to inspire sustainable coastal management strategies for the future. As such, the project will have a large stakeholder engagement and outreach component to it.

The main task of VLIZ in the TESTEREP project concerns the collation and analysis of existing offshore data, the collection and analysis of new geophysical and sedimentological offshore data, assisting in the development of a GIS database and providing the necessary seabed parameters for input in morphological/hydrodynamic models which will test hypothesis of the past evolution of the coastal landscape. Input will also be provided for the envisaged visualization outputs aimed at public engagement. VLIZ will also take a leading role in the stakeholder interaction and outreach component.  A close collaboration with the other project partners will be essential to the success of the project.

Our offer

  • We offer a challenging job in the dynamic environment of VLIZ.
  • A contract of definite duration (42 to 48 months, depending on experience, seniority and start date) as a (post-doctoral) researcher. The salary follows the salary scales of scientific personnel in the Flemish Government.
  • Fringe benefits: holiday pay, end-of-year bonus, meal vouchers, bike allowance, free public transport for home-work commuting and an attractive holiday arrangement.

Your main responsibilities

  • To create a (GIS) database of exiting offshore data and offshore natural and manmade landscape features within the Testerep region;
  • To process, interpret and visualize existing and new acoustic sub-bottom data (mostly 2D/3D parametric echosounder);
  • To plan, perform and develop strategies for the data acquisition at sea;
  • To assist with the collection, analysis and interpretation of sedimentological core data;
  • To construct paleogeographic maps;
  • To assist with the integration of offshore, intertidal and terrestrial data;
  • To extract and provide the necessary parameters needed for morphological/hydrodynamic modeling and digital art outputs;
  • To provide general support to the project including preparation of (public) presentations, developing information for publication and media, and organization of consortium and stakeholder meetings.
  • To actively participate in project meetings and provide project deliverables (e.g. reports);
  • To maintain research output in the form of high-quality peer reviewed publications;
  • To present research findings at public events and national and/or international scientific conferences;
  • To provide support and assistance to other (VLIZ) staff members in the completion of duties and programs of work;
  • To undertake the duties in such a way as to promote the project and enhance the reputation and public profile of VLIZ;
  • To undertake any other relevant duties appropriate to the grade and nature of the post.
For each function, VLIZ considers enthusiastic involvement, open servitude, excellent professionalism and integrity as important characteristics.

Your profile

Educational and professional qualifications


  • PhD in (marine) geology, geophysics, or earth/marine sciences or equivalent research experience.

Previous experience


  • Experience in the use of GIS software and specific software packages for the interpretation of multibeam and seismic data.
  • Experience in the acquisition and interpretation of high-resolution seismic data.
  • Evidence of participation in field surveys, using seabed mapping techniques.


  • Experience in processing of geophysical data.
  • Experience in the acquisition and interpretation of core data.

Inter-personal skills


  • Good communication skills in written and oral English.
  • Ability to work as an individual and as part of a group.


  • Evidence of working as part of a larger research project.
  • Evidence of experience with stakeholder engagement and public outreach.

Research and analogous activities


  • Evidence of presentation of research at academic conferences.
  • Publication of papers in peer reviewed scientific journals.


  • Record of submission of research proposals for external funding.
  • Evidence of collaborative research activities.

Other factors


  • Willingness to assist in group research including fieldwork and external seminar delivery.
  • Evidence of critical and creative thinking.


  • Willingness to learn new skills
  • Full current driving licence, valid in Belgium.

About us

For over 20 years, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) has been strengthening the accumulation of marine knowledge and the excellence of marine scientific research in Flanders. VLIZ is a coordination and information platform, a focal point for marine and coastal research, which also serves as an international contact point for marine science. Important activities are national and international networking, information and data management, scientific communication for policy and industry, education and the general public, and logistical support of marine research. Since 2017, the institute also initiates, promotes and executes innovative and multidisciplinary marine research, and this at the service of, in collaboration with or complementary to Flemish and international marine research groups. You will work in a unique institute in which your science will be supported by state-of-the-art data systems and services, research infrastructure, science communication and an extensive marine library. Moreover, VLIZ is part of a wide network of Belgian and international marine research groups, offering many opportunities for scientific collaboration

Additional information

For more information concerning this vacancy, please contact:

Does this vacancy appeal to you?

Send in your cover letter and CV by 20 August 2021 (23:00 CEST):

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 CVs, a select group of candidates will be invited for a job interview. You will be informed by email. The job interviews take place in the offices of VLIZ or online, subject to COVID-19 regulations and restrictions. Interviews are provisionally booked for 2 or 3 September 2021. Employment will ideally start on 1 October 2021.