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BE-TAF comprises of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS); the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA); and Meise Botanic Garden (MBG). These insitutions represent the best Belgium has to offer in collections and related research expertise and analytical facilities.

BE TAF research highlights

The research community at BE TAF is highly productive. Over 730 peer-reviewed papers were generated in 2006/2007. BE TAF research highlights include:

  • Collaboration in the development of a new methodology in ancient DNA sequencing of mammoths
  • The life history and cause of death of the famous Iguanodon dinosaurs of Bernissart finally resolved
  • Evolution of global warming through the Paleogene (65 to 23 million years ago) and its impact on the marine biosphere
  • Geochemical atlas of Europe (part 2) with interpretation of geochemical maps and related papers
  • Confirmation of the impact of mangroves in Southeast Asia as refugia for terrestrial Diptera during arid spells during the glaciations
  • Taxonomic expertise of selected taxonomic groups of plants, fungi, lichens, and algae (including diatoms), with a focus on Europe, tropical Africa and polar regions
  • Systematic and evolutionary research, combining classic methods, such as morphology, histology, and anatomy, with modern techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, digital imaging, and molecular techniques
  • Development of tools for the conservation of plants
  • Applied biodiversity research, including diversity of crop wild relatives and ethnomycology
  • Revision of all the spider families of the world
  • Website of IBISCA and database on the distribution in space and time of 500.000 arthropods in a tropical forest in Panama

BE-TAF Member Institutions

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)

Founded in 1846, RBINS houses a diverse and exceptionally rich zoological collection, palaeoanthropological and mineralogical collections and prehistoric items involving about 37,000,000 specimens with around 100,000 primary types.

Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA)

The RMCA was established in 1897 and, as a multidisciplinary institution focussing on conservation, education and research, it holds the largest biodiversity collection anywhere in the world on Central Africa, offering a complete cross-section of reference material from many central African taxa.

Meise Botanic Garden (MBG)

Meise Botanic Garden (MeiseBG)’s history goes back to 1796 and is one of the 10 largest botanic gardens and 15 largest herbarium  in the world, with a domain of 92 hectares and holding 4 million preserved specimens, a rich botanical library, a seedbank and a living plant collection with 18000 different taxa from all around the around the world.


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