The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment. 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 post will take place in the ecotoxicology team of the mixed research unit “EcoSys” in Versailles. The intern will work under the supervision of the scientific personnel in charge of the project. The ecotoxicology team aims at characterizing the exposure to contaminants by studying the interactions of chemicals with soil organisms at different levels of biological organization. Particularly, the long term mixture effects of environmentally relevant contamination doses represent a prominent research line of the ecotoxicology team, whose broad aim is to develop an validate indicators of soil ecosystem health.
The scientific framework of the proposed internship is the European project Life-Adsorb. The project deals with the realization and use of a planted filter prototype in the Bois de Boulogne park in Paris, for the treatment of rainwater drained from the an heavily trafficked section of the western Parisian highway. Within the project, the EcoSys unit is in charge of the C.2 work package, dealing with the effects that the realization and operation of the filter has on the surrounding ecosystem. In this context, one of the main aims of the team is to study the response of a model organism in terrestrial ecotoxicology, the enchytraeid Enchytraeus albidus, to chemical stressors at the organism and sub-cellular levels. The main tasks of the intern will be to investigate the bioaccumulation kinetic of organic contaminants and the toxic response of E. albidus using different techniques. The successful candidate will expose the organisms to contaminated soils and measure different parameters such as the bioavailability of the contaminants, the survival, reproduction and allocation of energy reserves in exposed organisms. Moreover, these parameters will be compared to biomolecular responses, such as the expression of genes involved in the detoxification pathways of organic contaminants, which the intern will help to develop. This will allow a deeper understanding of the sensitivity of E. albidus to chemical stresses and to evaluate the suitability of such biomolecular tools to assess ecotoxicological risks.
The main tasks that the intern will carry out will be :
- To perform literature searches of the biological model and its use in terrestrial ecotoxicology and to set up an experimental plan
- To in all the aspects of experimental phase, from the set up to of exposures to sample preparation for chemical and biomolecular analyses
- To statistically analyze and critically interpret the obtained data
- To communicate both in written form and orally the obtained results
Training and skills
- Master 2 level in ecotoxicology, ecology, environmental toxicology, molecular biology applied to environmental sciences; statistical knowledge is a plus
- Good spoken and written English
- Attitude for field work
- Attitude for team work in a multidisciplinary environment
Organizational skills and work ethics
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.