External projects

JEMU contributes to the European Horizon project TETTRIs (Jan. 2024):

The European Horizon project TETTRIs "Transforming European Taxonomy through Training, Research, and Innovations" is a project aiming to build and sustain taxonomic research capacity by increasing available knowledge and developing innovative systems. JEMU assist in the implementation of state-of-the-art molecular tools that allow the delimitation and identification of species-rich and cryptic species complexes that are otherwise difficult to identify with standard identification tools.

Museum epigenomics as a Toolbox in Evolutionary Research (MUTER), financed by the Belgian Science Policy (Belspo), BRAIN-be 2.0 project

This project explores the epigenomic landscape of both historical collections and contemporary specimens and will illustrate how museum epigenomics can aid in unravelling the role of methylation in ecological and evolutionary adaptation. In this project we will use two study systems, an adaptive radiation of caterpillar hunters (Calosoma beetles) at the Galápagos and a shell adaptation in response to differential wave-exposure in Tectarius striata at the Azores. Research questions will explore i) the epigenetic contribution to the early stages of adaptive evolution, ii) the relative importance of genetic determinism versus phenotypic plasticity underlying morphological variation, and iii) best-practices in quantifying variation of the methylome in museum collections. We will here focus on two different methylation profiling methods: reduced representation bisulphite sequencing (RRBS) and whole genome bisulphite sequencing (WGBS).

Supporting researchers with Global Taxonomic Initiative (GTI) scholarships

JEMU hosts and collaborates with researchers from Benin and Marocco on various DNA barcoding projects. These projects are realized under the scientific supervision of Patrick Martin (RBINS) and in the framework of the Global Taxonomic Initiative (GTI), with scholarship grants managed by CeBioS (Capacities for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development) (Apr. 2022).

Phylogenomics of wild bees for a Belgian Research Action Through Interdisciplinary Networks - BRAIN-BE 2.0

Insect Service and Biodiversity in Agroecological Farming (ISeBAF) is a project coordinated by Massimiliano Virgilio (JEMU - RMCA) and funded by Belspo (BRAIN-BE 2.0 – Belgian Research Action Through Interdisciplinary Networks, 2018 - 2023). It aims at providing a reference test-case with a first quantitative description of relationships between agroecological farming, biodiversity of insect pollinators and pests, and cucurbit crop production in sub-Saharan Africa.

This project is articulated with other projects for a more global initiative: The quest for sustainable farming methods: agroecology in Tanzania (Feb. 2022).

International Joint Research activity (SYNTHESYS+)

The role of JEMU in the European project SYNTHESYS+, joint research activity 2 (of work package 7): "Towards cost-effective protocols for DNA sequencing from preserved museum specimens" (Dec. 2021).

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith