Postdoctoral position OT-14629

Postdoc position in 3D forest fuel structure from HD Airborne LiDAR for fire hazard assessment


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INRAE presentation

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

Characterizing forest fuel structure is critical for estimating forest fire hazard, as an important factor of fire activity, along with meteorology and fuel moisture content. Fire behavior depends on the quantity and distribution of fine fuel (leaves, needles, fine twigs<6mm) which actively participates in the spread of the fire front. The vertical and horizontal continuity facilitates the transition from surface to crown and increases the rate of spread. However, characterizing 3D fuel structure remains challenging. Point clouds derived from LiDAR data can be very useful to measure and sample this structure, including its mid- and understorey, thank to relative point-density metrics such as NRD. However, recent progresses in voxelization and Plant Area Density estimation suggest that more appropriate metrics could be used, especially in the context of high-resolution Airborne LiDAR. Such data becomes available for wall-to-wall France and regions of Spain such as Catalonia, as well as field data for evaluation collected by INRAE, French Forest service, ICGC and CTCF.

The goal of the post-doctoral project is to develop and evaluate a fuel typology and fuel mapping accounting for fuel structure based on these datasets, in combination with additional geoinformation such as species-based fuel maps. This includes the wildland urban interface, in which fuel can be highly heterogeneous because of fuel-reduction legal obligations. Such a fuel map -among other applications- will be integrated as explanatory variable in existing probabilistic fire-activity models.

The post-doctoral fellow will join a group specialized in forest fire science (including François Pimont and Jean-Luc Dupuy), who contributed to the development of voxelization approaches applied to LiDAR point clouds at INRAE URFM (Ecologie des Forêts Méditerranéennes, Avignon, France ; The work will be done in collaboration with scientific partners of the team related to remote sensing and fuel mapping in France (INRAE TETIS, INRAE RECOVER, CIRAD AMAP, ONF RDI & DFCI) and in Europe (FIRE-RES consortium; Agresta).


The post-doctoral position is funded in the frame of the four-year FIRE-RES project (dec.2021-dec 2025) supported by the European Commission (H2020). Funding is currently available for 30 months. Position open from September 1, 2022. Gross salary: €2500-3000 per month depending on experience.

Training and skills

  • Scientific analyses based of Airborne LiDAR data
  • Skills in fire or forest ecology appreciated
  • R language; Experience with Cloud Compare, Computree or AMAPVox appreciated
  • programming languages such as Java or C++ appreciated
  • Excellent writing skills in English

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):

- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer 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.

How to apply

I send my CV and my motivation letter
Post-doc_Position_INRAE_URFM_FIRE_RES_WP2.docxdocx - 18.93 KB

Offer reference

  • Contract: Postdoctoral position
  • Duration: Up to 30 months
  • Beginning: 01/09/2022
  • Remuneration: 2500-3000€ per month depending on experience
  • Reference: OT-14629
  • Dealine: 31/05/2022


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