Junior Research scientist for the analysis and use of grassland species diversity for agroecology in a changing climate context


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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 INRAE research unit P3F (pluridisciplinary research about grasslands and forage crops) in Lusignan includes 11 permanent scientists in genetics and plant breeding and in plant ecophysiology and 24 permanent technical and administrative employees.
The unit leads researches in these two research fields in order to improve ecosystemic services of sown grassland stands and their resilience against climate change. Ongoing research aims to (i) identify the features of plants, cultivars and species mixtures (including grasses and legumes) that best meet the objectives: species diversity and genetic diversity within species, key traits/genomic regions of plants, (ii) analyse and model complex interactions between individuals of an heterogeneous stand growing in a variable environment, as well as (iii) identify and recombine original genetic resources and (iv) create novel selection methods to deliver innovative cultivar mixtures.
The hired scientist will investigate how the genetic variability of the main grassland species contributes to their adaptation to pedo-climatic constraints and to the production of ecosystemic services by complex plant communities (forage production, reduction of chemical inputs, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, …). This issue will be investigated at the level of phenotypic variability as well as at the one of associated genomic diversity. Investigations will use as genetic material the genebank collections available at INRAE and at other partner research institutes as well as additional genetic resources if necessary. Research will be based on intense phenotyping and high-throughput genotyping of genetic resources documented with precise information about their origin. Data analyses will include the implementation of selection signal detection methods, genome-wide-association-studies and genomic prediction of genetic value. This approach will be completed by an analysis of phenotypic variability based on plant ecophysiology and functional ecology concepts.
The hired scientist will use the results of preceding investigations to conceive selection projects (introgression, pre-breeding) to deliver innovative genetic material and will contribute to their implementation in collaboration with other scientists from the P3F research unit or with socio-economic partners.
This recruitement is planned in the frame of a major research axis of the P3F research unit in which it has gained leadership by coordinating international projects during the last years.

Travels in France and abroad

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
The hired scientist will need to have a sound background in quantitative genetics and population genetics. Sound theoretical knowledge and practical experience are expected about mixed linear models (GWAS, genomic prediction, genome x environment associations) and methods of detection of selection signal (notably those based on multivariate analyses).
Good background in population and evolutionary genetics would be welcome. The principles of high-throughput genotyping should be known as well as the bio-informatic processes to deliver allelic variants from sequence data.
A motivation for pluridisciplinary research opened towards ecophysiology and ecology, as well as some knowledge about agriculture issues will be appreciated.
Being fluent in English is necessary and a long duration international experience is required: hired scientists who will not have such previous experience will have to do a stay abroad after their intership 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-BAP-4
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 13

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