Le laboratoire

The Laboratory of Climatology gathers two professors-researchers, six active researchers and about ten scientific collaborators. The laboratory is part of the Physical and Quaternary Geography Unit of the Geography Department (Faculty of Science) and of the research unit SPHERES of the University of Liege.

  • The Laboratory provides numerous teachings (including climatology and meteorology) for several study sections at the bachelor, master and complementary master levels. It is more specifically concerned with the particular specialised training in topoclimatology, zonal climatology, applied climatology, programming and remote sensing applied to climatology, regional climate modelling, etc., in the framework of the Master in Climatology that it coordinates with the help of the AGO Department and that gives access to applied research and to the professions of Meteorologist and Climatologist-Expert
  • Climate science plays a significant role in the laboratory's activities, through numerous research projects and publications. The fields covered are essentially climatology applied to the spatial and temporal variability of local and regional climates, the realisation of up-to-date meteorological data campaigns and the modelling of regional and stationary climates.
  • The Laboratory enjoys strong international recognition. It plays an important role in consortia and research networks, as well as in Belgian public and private organizations concerned with climate variability. It has an efficient internal computer network.
  • The Laboratory produces continuous weather forecasts for Belgium.


The teaching of climatology appeared at the University of Liege in the Geography program from 1949, the year of the restructuring of the courses of Professor Paul FOURMARIER, in charge of the Geology and Physical Geography courses.

  • At this date, Professor Paul MACAR - in charge of the Physical Geography course-integrated an important chapter of climatology independently of the meteorology course assigned to Professor PAUWEN, Professor of Astronomy.
  • When Professor PAUWEN became emeritus in 1963, Professor MACAR was entrusted with the meteorology course that he taught from 1963 to 1968. André HUFTY, who was an assistant at that time, was the author of the first doctoral thesis in climatology at the Faculty of Sciences: "Local climates in the Liège region". This thesis was defended in 1966.
  • In 1968, upon his return from Lubumbashi, Jean ALEXANDRE, Professor at the University of Lubumbashi from 1957 to 1968, was appointed Associate Professor in the department of Professor MACAR. Professor MACAR entrusted him with his courses in climatology and meteorology. Since 1967, three assistants have succeeded each other in the climatology laboratory: Adrien LAURANT until 1976, Dimitri BELAYEW from 1977 to 1978 and then Michel ERPICUM until 1985.
  • In 1976, Professor ALEXANDRE took over from Professor MACAR as head of the climatology and meteorology courses. The laboratory then operated under his direction until October 1991 with the realization of numerous theses and several dissertations in climatology and geomorphology. It is in 1974 that the first thesis in climatology was presented by Michel ERPICUM to the Department of Geography.
  • Since 1992, Michel ERPICUM has taken over the direction of the Laboratory by specializing in the field of topoclimatology with 4 researchers. Since September 2007, the Laboratory has been strengthened in the field of modelling by the recruitment of Xavier FETTWEIS, a graduate in mathematics (ULg) and doctor in climatology (UCL).
  • As of January 1, 2012, the Laboratory had 8 researchers (4 in topoclimatology and applied climatology and 4 in regional modelling mainly of Greenland and Western Europe).
  • On October 1, 2013, Xavier FETTWEIS was promoted to FNRS researcher-qualified and has been leading the lab since the departure of Prof. Michel ERPICUM promoted to Emeritus on October 1, 2017.

Share this page