Characterization and Management of Natural Resources

Responsible use of natural resources is essential to guarantee their supply for future generations.
Today, raw materials from the subsoil are found in a large variety of objects we use every day. Smartphones, solar panels or lithium batteries contain rare-earth metals or minerals. These are considered non-renewable resources since their exploitation is much faster than their replacement.

If not done responsibly, the extraction and processing of such elements causes 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, we aim at a better understanding of the relationships between natural resources, architecture and art. This is a first step to improve their enduring management.

Research focus is put on petrography, mineralogy and geochemistry of supergene ores, as well as the mapping and modelling of aquifer and karstic flow processes.
Beyond that, another objective of ILEE is the sustainable use of renewable resources.

Research opts for the sensible productivity of cultured freshwater species but also 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.

Photo credit: UNamur / Geoffroy Libert

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