VLIZ recruits: Researcher Water Column Imaging | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

VLIZ recruits: Researcher Water Column Imaging

Join us as a data scientist working on water column imaging.

Your input will mainly be put to use in two fields:

  • Multibeam echosouding is typically used to map the seafloor using acoustic signals. These signals are influenced by particles in the water column. This interference of the acoustic backscatter is usually filtered out by the operator but can be put to use to study the water column. The resulting 3D datasets contain a plethora of information, such as turbidity. One of the tasks will be to automatically detect objects in the water column and determine their dimensions (volume, length, density, …).
  • At VLIZ, several methods exist to image plankton in the water column, both in situ (Video Plankton Recorder) and in the lab (FlowCam and ZooScan). These methods can also be used to obtain characteristics of the other particles in the water column, such as sediment (minerals and flocs). A second task will be to develop (Python) scripts to extract size info from 2D images of SPM in the water column. This will allow to optimize existing scripts on plankton detection and extend them to other types of particles in the water column.

Our offer

  • A fixed-term contract for a period of 1 year in a vibrant and international environment at Innovocean Campus.
  • A salary according to diploma/experience (salary scales of the Flemish Government); Relevant experience can be considered.
  • Additional benefits: holiday allowance, end of year allowance, meal vouchers, bicycle allowance, free public transport between home.
  • A good work-life balance including 35 days off, flexible working hours within a 38-hour working week and the possibility to work partly from home;
  • Opportunities for personal development (training).

Your tasks

  • Automatic detection and classification (through self-developed Python scripts) of objects in 3D point cloud data;
  • Automatic description of size parameters (through self-developed Python scripts) of suspended particulate matter in 2D images;
  • Take initiative to report progress to colleagues and external project partners;
  • Conceptualize and develop research projects based on the newly found insights;
  • Present research at national (e.g. VLIZ Marine Science Day) and/or international conferences;
  • Draft manuscripts to publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
For each function, VLIZ considers enthusiastic involvement, service minded, excellent professionalism and integrity as important characteristics.

Your profile

  • MSc in earth, biological or computer sciences or equivalent through experience;
  • Experience with the Python and/or R;
  • Experience with multibeam (acquisition and/or processing) is a plus
  • Experience with extensive image datasets analysis is a plus
  • Critical and creative;
  • Accurate and orderly;
  • Scientifically integer;
  • Open minded and taking initiative;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, a motivated team player;
  • Willing to work in an international context;
  • Good knowledge of English.

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 Thomas Vandorpe by mail to thomas.vandorpe@vliz.be or by telephone +32 (0)498 06 97 77

Does this vacancy appeal to you?

Send in your cover letter and CV no later than Sunday 18 June 2023

by mail to jobs@vliz.be with subject “2023-011 Vacancy researcher water column imaging”.

You can contact us by telephone on +32 (0)59 33 60 00.

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.
Do you have a disability? Please attach a document to your application so that we can adapt our selection procedure where necessary. This information will be handled with discretion.


Based on the received cover letters and CV; 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 on 6 July 2023.