Postdoctoral position OT-14993

Combined plant hydraulics and xylem growth in a global dynamic vegetation model

54000 Nancy

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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

Background The project PHydrauCC researches the interactions between tree growth and hydraulic traits under ambient and elevated CO2, using data from Free-Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE) facilities. To determine the resilience of trees under changing climatic conditions, it is imperative to know whether elevated CO2 will affect the structure of wood and the physiological traits conferring drought- and heat-tolerance. Plant hydraulic traits describe the efficiency and safety of xylem water transport through roots, stems, branches, and leaves. It is unknown how growth variations under rising CO2 and a changing climate will affect those traits.

Aim This postdoc of PHydrauCC will assess forest resilience to future climate change on continental scale under the dichotomy of the very different hydraulic strategies of conifers and broadleaved trees. A hydraulic and tree-ring formation model, developed in another workpackage, will be adapted and incorporated in a dynamic global vegetation model.

We expect that the new combined model of tree-ring formation and plant hydraulics will display hysteresis and legacy effects in plant growth for several years after major drought and heat wave events. Drought-related risks under climate change in temperate and boreal forests will be evaluated, with a special interest in the different hydraulic strategies of broadleaved angiosperms compared to needle-leaved gymnosperms.

We are looking for an enthusiastic researcher able to work with and develop large-scale vegetation models based on partial differential equations, who is motivated to study legacy effects in forests in response to major drought events.

The successful candidate will work closely with Matthias Cuntz and Emilie Joetzjer (UMR Silva) located in Nancy, France, and with the other members of the project PHydrauCC such as Jean-Christophe DomecJérôme Ogée (UMR ISBA), and Cyrille Rathgeber (UMR Silva), another postdoc, and several students.

Training and skills


PhD in suitable fields (physics, ecophysiology, global change biology)
Strong programming skills (e.g. Fortran, Python)

Good spoken and written English language skills
Ability to carry out independent and well-organised research, as well as work as part of a team
Interest in ecophysiology, forest functioning and/or biogeochemical cycles

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

Applicants should submit a complete application package by email to the contact above. The application package should include (1) a curriculum vitae including a publication record, (2) statement of motivation, (3) names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.

Postdoc PHydrauCC WP3 Nancy Francepdf - 146.37 KB

Offer reference

  • Contract: Postdoctoral position
  • Duration: 12 + 36 months
  • Beginning: 01/10/2022
  • Remuneration: 2500 à 2900 € depending on experience
  • Reference: OT-14993
  • Dealine: 30/09/2022
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