University of Hasselt | EMBRC

University of Hasselt


The University of Hasselt research group, which is a partner of EMBRC, has been performing research on morphology, taxonomy and phylogeny of free-living flatworms since its foundation in 1976. The toxicological and stem cell component of the research was started in 2005. The research group became member of the Centre of Environmental Sciences (CMK) of the University of Hasselt in 2001. 

Mission and research:

The Centre of Environmental Sciences focuses on a well-considered combination of high quality, fundamental environment-related research and applied research. One of the objectives of the CMK as an institute is to concentrate the research of its different research groups on a limited number of common topics. At the moment, the CMK research has three core competence fields:

  • Effects of (a)biotic stress factors at different biological organisation levels: from molecular to ecosystem level;
  • Remediation and management of contaminated soils – Renewable energy production;
  • Policy supporting environmental research.

Marine facilities:

Climate rooms, fully equipped for keeping permanent cultures of marine and limnic flatworm model systems. Histology and microscopy lab (light microscopy, fluorescence and confocal microscopy, TEM) and facilities to work with non-volatile toxic compounds.


Research Group Zoology: Biodiversity and Toxicology.


A well-equipped molecular biological platform. A fully operational histological unit for the preparation of samples for light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and SEM (including EDAX).

Main marine models: interstitial microturbellarian Macrostomum lignano.

Research topics: 

Invertebrates; especially free living flatworms are subject of several research topics:

1. Biodiversity, taxonomy

2. Phylogeny and phylogeography

3. Stem cell dynamics, regeneration and cancer