Junior research scientist on plant litter recycling in agroecosystems and its impacts on biogeochemical cycles

51100 REIMS

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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

The Fractionation of AgroResources and Environment (FARE) joint research unit conducts interdisciplinary research on plant biomass from diverse agroecosystems, and on the mechanisms and hurdles of their physical, chemical and biological deconstruction for chemistry, agriculture, the environment and bio-based materials. Much of the research is dedicated to the use of plant litter in agroecosystems and the impacts on the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen in the context of the bioeconomy and agroecology.
You will contribute to the development of the sustainable management of plant litter in agroecosystems, especially in innovative cropping systems, and in a context of competition for the use of such lignocellulosic resources. In this field, you will focus on the effects of heterogeneities in litter quality and spatial distribution on biogeochemical cycles and carbon sequestration in soils. You will combine experimental approaches under controlled and field conditions using existing research facilities such as the long-term observation and experimentation system for environmental research (SOERE) facility or real-life agricultural situations. You will develop conceptual approaches to improve, through collaborations, the functions and decomposition models and the most relevant indicators to be quantified to allow their calibration.
Your research will benefit from the in-depth knowledge of the FARE joint research unit on the characterization of plant biomass and biodegradation processes, the functioning of decomposer communities in soils, and coupled carbon and nitrogen cycles. The FARE laboratories group strong technical skills in agronomy, microbiology, microscopy and physicochemistry, and have a stable isotope analysis laboratory.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
In-depth skills in soil biogeochemistry would be highly recommended and, if possible, some experience in one or several biogeochemical cycles. Knowledge of cropping practices, more generally agroecology, as well as the physical processes influencing the environment in which soil organisms evolve, would be desirable. An interest in conducting experiments both under controlled and field conditions is essential. Knowledge related to the properties of plant litter, image analysis and process modelling can be progressively acquired through collaboration with FARE researchers.
Candidates should have a good command of English, and long-term international experience would also be desirable. Successful candidates who have not yet acquired this experience abroad will be required to do so after their probationary period (1st year).

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2021-AGROECOSYS-3
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 4

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