Junior Research Scientist in macro-ecological study of global forest ecosystems


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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 "Soil Plant Atmosphere Interactions" laboratory is a joint research unit (UMR) comprising technicians, researchers and lecturer-researchers from INRAE and Bordeaux Sciences Agro. The unit is spread across three campuses in the Bordeaux region. The ISPA joint research unit is interested in understanding and modelling the flows and cycles of materials (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, water, particles, contaminants) and energy in human, agricultural, and forest ecosystems. The unit's work aims to assess the sustainability of agro-ecosystems and forest ecosystems in a changing environment under climatic and anthropogenic constraints to ensure sustainable crop production in quantity and quality, and to preserve the environment.
Global warming is a major factor affecting forest ecosystems. The increase in atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen deposits also deeply modifies the biogeochemical cycles of the world's forests. Although the observation networks are essential to quantify these changes and their impacts in situ, they are limited in terms of spatial extension and monitoring over time. The recruited scientist will conduct research in macro-ecology to monitor the impact of global changes on the ecology and biogeochemical functioning of forests. Such approaches coupling modelling and remote sensing, essential to address the future of the world's forests, require dual skills. Expertise in modelling forest functioning and remote sensing is well represented in the host laboratory (ISPA) and will assist the research carried out by the research scientist.
Your mission will be to develop a macro-ecology research programme based on the coupling of modelling and remote sensing observation approaches for monitoring the impact of global changes on forests, at regional and continental level. You will launch a new innovative research theme focusing on the spatial modelling of the functioning and productivity of the world's forests. This research programme will combine, if required, a wider panel of skills present at ISPA such as ecophysiology or biogeochemistry. The programme initially planned will also be articulated around other research teams at INRAE and within other research organisations.
You will join the multidisciplinary joint research unit within which you will develop collaborations to broaden and complement your experience. The initial project will focus on studying the phenological signatures of the forests as ecological indicators of the impact of climate and environmental change on forests, in particular in terms of productivity and sensitivity to abiotic and biotic stress.
You will exploit the remote sensing series to reveal the forest signatures and you will compare them with the outputs of the functional models. You will fine-tune the models by developing specific modules to improve the analysis of the remote sensing signals (such as those linked to leaf pigments (chlorophyll, carotenoids, tannins)). Through the comparison of the observed and simulated data, you will lead the interpretation and understanding of the forest signatures in terms of ecological impact.
You will benefit from the ISPA's large network of international collaborations in remote sensing and modelling of forests, and the unit's skills in micro-meteorology.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
The position concerns models of forest ecosystem functioning and remote sensing. A PhD or equivalent in the fields connected to this research project such as ecology, forestry science, forest ecophysiology, forest biogeochemistry, and remote sensing is highly recommended.
Sound experience in using statistical and mathematical methods to analyse large data sets such as time series of remote sensing data would be highly desirable. Skills in modellnig would also be appreciated. 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-ECODIV-4
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 15

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