Characterization and Management of Natural Resources

Only the responsible use of natural resources guarantees their supply for future generations.
Non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels or raw materials from the subsoil are exploited much faster than they can be replaced. Soil elements are found in a large variety of objects we use every day. Smartphones, solar panels etc. contain rare-earth metals or minerals. If not done responsibly, the extraction and processing of such elements cause heavy environmental problems.

By prospecting these geological resources (water, metals and raw materials) and integrating human utilisation over centuries, from antiquity to the electronic age today, ILEE contributes to the understanding of the relationships between natural resources, architecture and art. This is a first step to improve their sustainable management. The sustainable, environmentally friendly and economically efficient cultivation is equally desired for renewable resources, for example in aquaculture and aquatic ecosystems.

Photo credit: UNamur / Geoffroy Libert

ILEE focusses on petrography, mineralogy and geochemistry of supergene ores, as well as the mapping and modelling of aquifer and karstic flow processes. Research further opts for the sensible productivity of cultured freshwater species but also for the restoration of aquatic ecosystems including the conservation of endangered species (salmon and eel). The quality of surface water is traced with ecological indicators such as diatoms and macro-invertebrates.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
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