Postdoctoral position OT-21983

Post-doctoral position on Assessment of the impact of zootechnical and agronomic levers for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from dairy cattle farming and their consistency with agroecological principles

35000 RENNES

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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) is a major player in research and innovation. It is a community of 12,000 people with 272 research, experimental research, and support units located in 18 regional centres throughout France. Internationally, INRAE is among the top research organisations in the agricultural and food sciences, plant and animal sciences, as well as in ecology and environmental science. It is the world’s leading research organisation specialising in agriculture, food and the environment. INRAE’s goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. Faced with a growing world population, climate change, resource scarcity, and declining biodiversity, the Institute has a major role to play in building solutions and supporting the necessary acceleration of agricultural, food and environmental transitions.

Work environment, missions and activities

Work environment, missions and activities

You will be based at the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment and hosted in Rennes within the UMR SAS located on Rennes campus of the Institut Agro Rennes-Angers. UMR SAS studies the interactions between agriculture and environment through an integrative approach of rural territories. Our research contributes to develop sustainable agricultural production systems, to improve rural areas planning, and to preserve the quality of water, soil, air and landscapes. We pay particular attention to the challenges of the agroecological transition, particularly in territories with livestock farming, in connection with the acceleration of societal and environmental changes. UMR SAS offers a good scientific and technical environment ( You will collaborate closely with the UMR PEGASE ( which conducts research on animal biology and breeding systems with the aim of improving the sustainability and competitiveness of livestock farming, as well as with various INRAE experimental farms.


Considering the necessary reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and 2050, agriculture, responsible for 18% of France's territorial emissions, and more particularly cattle breeding are set to evolve (Rapport du Haut conseil pour le climat 2024[1]; FAO 2023[2]). In this context, additional knowledge on the impact of the different zootechnical and agronomic levers for reducing GHGs and on their adequacy with the agroecological transition is necessary. This knowledge is also required for national and international forecasts and strategies (National Low Carbon Strategy, European Farm to Fork Strategy, etc.). The objective of this project is to evaluate by modelling the impact of levers for reducing GHG emissions from dairy cattle farms while considering their consistency with the agroecological transition.



You will be more specifically in charge of:

  • Define & describe different types of dairy cattle farms in France, based firstly on INRAE experimental facilities.
  • Carry out bibliographic work on (1) zootechnical and agronomic levers for reducing GHG emissions applicable to dairy cattle breeding and (2) on models for quantifying GHG emissions from agricultural production.
  • Collect data on INRAE experimental facilities as well as in technical and scientific literature.
  • Build a conceptual framework for evaluating the compatibility of the different levers with the objectives of agroecological transition of production systems.
  • Build or adapt a model for quantifying GHG flows.
  • Evaluate the levers with regard to their potential for reducing GHG emissions.
  • Participate in the writing of scientific articles based on the results obtained.

[1] Rapport du Haut conseil pour le climat. Accélérer la transition climatique avec un système alimentaire bas carbone, résilient et juste. Janvier 2024,

[2] FAO. 2023. Pathways towards lower emissions – A global assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation options from livestock agrifood systems. Rome.

This work will be supervised by a multidisciplinary steering committee. It will include travel to visit experimental facilities and collect data and information, requiring a car driving licence.

Training and skills


PhD in system agronomy or system zootechnics

  • Required knowledge: agronomy, breeding systems, system modelling, statistical tools and methods, data processing, analysis and assessment of agricultural systems.
  • Experience: previous experience in the fields cited above, scientific publications.
  • Skills: organization, autonomy, good writing skills in English and French, rigor, interest for working in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Good practice of French and English languages desired

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

Offer reference

  • Contract: Postdoctoral position
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Beginning: 01/09/2024
  • Remuneration: According to INRAE (Approximately €2,100 gross monthly)
  • Reference: OT-21983
  • Deadline: 15/06/2024
Centre Brittany-Normandy

UMR SAS 35000 RENNES Website


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