Integrated unit. The Joint Experimental Molecular Unit (JEMU) is an integrated research infrastructure funded by the Belgian Science Policy and supported by the Royal Belgian Insitute of Natural Sciences (RBINS, Brussels) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA, Tervuren). JEMU is aimed at supporting scientific investigation using natural history collections in the fields of molecular systematics, phylogeny reconstruction, DNA barcoding, population genetics. JEMU also assists in archiving biological specimens.
Collaborative research projects. The activities of JEMU are driven by ongoing research topics as it provides the opportunity to scientists of both institutes to apply for JEMU support by submitting project proposals. Hitherto JEMU supported 30 research projects, including large scale flagship projects and smaller pilot projects. Read more about the 30 JEMU research projects.
Resources. In practice, the integrated activities of JEMU involve joint research programmes, project applications and publications, shared lab facilities, weekly exchanges of researchers, joint research meetings, joint purchases of products and heavy equipment, joint organization of (inter)national meetings and congresses, sharing financial benefits, sharing databases and DNA/tissue collections with standardization and implementation in DaRWIN, establishing joint websites, sharing coordination activities (e.g. the joint coordination of the Belgian Network for DNA Barcoding), joint editing of collective book volumes, joint personnel hiring policy. Lab protocols, guidelines and other shared documents are available here.
Members (see contact for more information)
- Promotor and Co-promotor: Thierry Backeljau (RBINS) ; Marc De Meyer (RMCA)
- Steering Committee: Camille Pisani (President, RBINS) ; Guido Gryseels (Vice-President, RMCA) ; Aline Van der Werf (external member, BELSPO) ; Filip Volckaert (external member, KULeuven) ; Patrick Mardulyn (external member, ULBruxelles)
- The JEMU team: Carl Vangestel, PhD; Massimiliano Virgilio, PhD ; Gontran Sonet, MSc and Yannick De Smet, MSc.
- Former members of JEMU: Zoltan T. Nagy, PhD; Kurt Jordaens, PhD ; Jeroen Van Houdt, PhD ; Nathalie Smitz, PhD.; Floris Breman, MSc and Johan De Gruyter, MSc.
Collaborations. JEMU contributes to the International Barcode of Life (ibol) initiative and is acting as a coordinating “liaison office” linking external partnerships in the Belgian Network for DNA Barcoding (BeBoL). It also shares expertise with BopCo (Barcoding of Organisms and tissues of Policy Concern) and assists with the iImplementation of tissue and DNA collections in natural history collections (e.g. AGORA-MOLCOL project)
Other collaborations involve more than 30 researchers of Belgium and more than 20 abroad. Read more about the collaborations of JEMU.