Junior Research Scientist in animal genetics applied to management of animals and herd health


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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

You will join the Animal Genetics and Integrative Biology research unit (GABI, 115 permanent agents), which conduct research aimedaunderstand and exploit the genetic variability of domestic animals to facilitate the agro-ecological transition of livestock farming. Within this unit, you will develop your activity with the Aquaculture Genetics and Bovine Genetics teams, which both develop, in different biological contexts, work on the genetic improvement of populations and the selection of genetically robust and efficient animals in varied environments.

You will strengthen the skills of the research unit on the theme of "population management in selection" to address a major challenge, the genetic improvement of animal health, in a context of increasing pressure from pathogens and the emergence of new diseases. The scientific challenge that you will contribute to overcome concerns the design of innovative genetic improvement strategies integrating the concepts of epidemiology in order to overcome the limits of current selective breeding programs which use, as the sole measure of health, the individual resistance of animals to a target pathogen. However, the evolution of a disease depends on other components such as the incubation time or the capacity to infect congeners. The current approach therefore makes it possible neither to assess the real genetic potential for improving animal health, nor to propose integrated management exploiting the full potential of genetic diversity. The complementarity of the two animal models, cattle and fish (numerous field data in cattle, controlled experimental infections on large numbers in fish), will allow you to address a diversity of biological situations and move towards results of generic scope. Depending on your personal interests, you will invest in a first model and carry out work on the other model in the medium term, in collaboration with the teams concerned.

Using epidemiological-genetic modeling approaches, your work will help answer the following questions : what proportion of resistant animals is necessary in herds to eradicate an infectious disease presenting a zoonotic risk or a major economic impact? How to achieve rapid eradication without focusing all the selection effort on the choice of resistant breeders? Should we better select based on the resistance, the tolerance or the resilience of animals? How to fight against several concomitant diseases? Your work will contribute to an actual evolution of selective breeding programs to improve the health of farmed animals. They will primarily concern (i) the integration, into the overall modeling of the program, of epidemiological-genetic evaluation models of health characteristics already described in the literature; (ii) the improvement of these models by taking into account the dynamics of disease progression; (iii) the definition of optimal selection strategies combining resistance, tolerance and resilience at the population level.

You will rely on the collaboration networks already established by the host teams with academic partners in mathematics, animal health and selection methodology, and with industry partners in the sectors and you will develop these networks at the regional, national and international levels.

Our research team tells you more about your future job

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

With a PhD degree (or equivalent) in epidemiology, quantitative genetics or applied mathematics, you have a strong interest in the modeling and optimization of epidemiological or genetic processes at the population scale.

Experience in mathematical epidemiology or design of selection plans is a plus.

A good ability to develop a diverse network is recommended.

Fluent English speaking and writing is recommended, as well as a long-term international experience.
The selected candidates who have not already such experience will be required to spend a period abroad at the end of the internship 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.

For international scientists: please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2024-GA-1
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 25
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