HISTORY

Palaeontologica Belgica was founded in the autumn of 2020 with the aim of erecting a scientific organisation dedicated to Belgian paleontology.

 

The idea of setting up a new organisation had already matured four years prior, following-up on the good and constructive cooperation of the founders within the framework of other paleontological and geo-scientific associations.

 

It was our initial intention not to use this organisation to organise activities for members, but rather to carry out project-based scientific research, without losing sight of popularisation or public outreach.

 

These previously mentioned projects are very diverse, but always maintain a Belgian tie. As described in the statutes, these projects are based on cooperation with different organisations.

 

Because deontology and ethical interests are of paramount importance, Palaeontologica Belgica decided to join the Belgian Council for Earth Sciences (RAW-CST). In order to participate in the forum between various geoscientific organisations.  

 

The aim is to promote the interests of Belgian paleontology in the future, Either by personal research and otherwise by supporting paleontological initiatives by third parties.

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ABOUT US

Board and Executive Committee

Anthonie Hellemond

(President)

Studied geology at the university of Leuven and held management positions in the board of various geo-scientific organisations. In recent years he published numerous paleontological articles for (inter)national journals and organised countless lectures, symposia, meetings and field schools. Outside of his research and lectures in Belgium and abroad, you can find him working in the field. His passion for the Belgian underground is aimed specifically towards vascular land plants from the Devonian, regional geology and the paleo-ecology of the Belgian Paleozoic in general.

Kevin Nolis

(Secretary)

 

Became fascinated by paleontology at a young age. His passion deepened as a result of studying Cretaceous deposits in the region around Liège and Limburg. As former secretary of the Belgian Paleontological Society and board member of the Belgian Council for Earth Sciences, he has gained a lot of field experience in Belgium and abroad. As a scientific collaborator and board member for the marble museum in Rance, he is committed to the preservation and appreciation of Belgium’s geo-scientific heritage.

Sven Van Uytfanghe

(Treasurer)

 

Sven Van Uytfange is a passionate citizen scientist, studying fossil Lycopods from the Carboniferous period for many years. In recent years he explored the evolutionary origins of these large floral groups from the coal forests. This resulted in a study of the first forests, found in the Upper Devonian of the Belgian Condroz. On a regular basis he gives (inter)national lectures and contributes to various publications. Palaeobotany remains his field of research par excellence.

François De Bock

(Chief Editor)


A few years ago, the vertebrate fauna of the Cretaceous Quarry of Eben-Emael rekindled François' passion for paleontology, after which he decided to devote himself to the earth sciences. Some time later, he took on the difficult task of editor-in-chief of the "Spirifer" journal within the framework of the Belgian Association for Paleontology (from 2016 to 2019). His graphic design talents and experience with literature as a lecturer, make him the ideal editor and reviewer for various articles.

Natalie Tolisz

(Curator-Preparator)

 

Started her paleontological adventure in Harelbeke (West Flanders), as a member of the 'Lithos' association. Through this organisation she got acquainted with various outcrops and digsites. During this time she developed her passion for marine reptiles from the Mesozoic. Afterwards she also discovered her natural talent for the preparation of various fossils. She does not shy away from the application of mechanical and chemical techniques and is eager to learn at all times. Her passion for fieldwork in Belgium and abroad forms her personal outlet.

Kevin Houben

(Curator-Preparator)

 

Kevin is passionate about fossil cephalopods from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic. For many years he has been active in paleontology either independently or as a member of different associations. He often uses his analytical mindset as a technical draughtsman in the field. This results in his ability to be a valuable observer. Kevin's enthusiasm and openness act as a catalyst to get others interested in paleontological research. He regularly writes articles in various magazines and is always willing to collaborate with everyone.

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Ayla Debraekeleer

(Scientific Collaborator)

With a passion for graphic design and a scientific mindset as bio-engineer in her professional life, Ayla is a wonderful addition to our organisation. First introduced to paleontology during a symposium on mammoths and mammoth ecology, she contributed to various articles as a valued reviewer or graphic designer. She is eager to indulge in fieldwork, preparation and research.  

 

Tim Wolterbeek

(Scientific Collaborator)

As an experimental geologist at Utrecht University, Tim studies the impact of reactive transport and chemical-mechanical processes on crystal growth and fluid flow in subsurface rock formations and constructions. Bordering on his professional pursuits, Tim is interested in the role of mineralisation processes in fossilisation. He further has a true passion for palaeobotany, specifically the palaeozoic floras of Belgium and surrounding  countries of Western Europe.

Project staff & Scientific collaborators

Iris Lenaers

(Public Relations)

Iris joined the organisation in support of our outreach activities and to establish a good and healthy relation with various representatives of (non)governmental organisations. As a pro-active young professional with an interest in paleontology, she is a welcome addition to our team. Within the framework of the Louis De Pauw and Palaeontologica Belgica Award she keeps track of all the logistical and administrative duties.  

Aurélie Wawrzyniak

(Prepteam - Logistic Support)

Aurélie joined our organisation as logistics manager and member of the preparation team to contribute to Belgian palaeontology. She helps us to achieve our mission of popularising palaeontology by actively participating in educational and pedagogical activities as well as those aimed at the general public and especially at young people. Her positive mentality and pragmatic approach are important assets in the realisation of our various projects. Aurélie helps us with the restoration project of the Pleistocene mammal collection of Berlare. She is part of the preparation team responsible for the restoration and preservation of palaeontological heritage.


Jef Segers

(Preparation - Restoration Team)

With countless years of paleontological experience, Jef has been a welcome addition to current and previous projects over the years. His skills on the field and in the lab are an indispensable asset while working on various restoration projects or excavations in the field. His passion is aimed towards fossils cetaceans from the Antwerp area, but he has a broad interest in general paleontology. As a citizen scientist he enables scientific research in the most modest way possible.  

Marc Spolspoel

(Preparation - Restoration Team)

Marc has been a volunteer at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) for more than 14 years. As a preparator and conservator of the Iguanodons of Bernissart he monitors pyrite decay and treats various paleontological collections who suffer from it. His passion for paleontology goes back to his early childhood and after several decades he is no stranger to different aspects of the science. He has a broad knowledge and practical mindset to treat collections and is eager to share his passion with everyone who shows an interest.