Postdoctoral position OT-22090

Agroecological and landscape determinants of legume bruchid populations and their biological control

78150 - Palaiseau

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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

We offer a one-year post-doctoral position to study the interactions between legume bruchids (Bruchus spp.) populations, their natural enemies and their agroecological context.
Seed legumes have many nutritional, agronomic and environmental advantages, but they are susceptible to bruchids pests (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), whose larval development in the seeds severely compromises their nutritional quality and germination capacity. To date, there is no effective means of controlling lentil and faba bean bruchids. An agroecological management of bruchids pest requires a systemic and preventive approach based on a better understanding of complex interactions between pest dynamics, natural pest control, agricultural practices and landscape determinants. Elucidating these interactions is a prerequisite for developing an appropriate strategy that incorporates all the relevant spatial and temporal scales, in order to reduce the risk of damage from these pests. Using an original exploratory approach on the scale of France, the aim of the proposed post-doctorate is to determine how biodiversity at different scales (in the field, its surroundings and the landscape), in interaction with local practices, affect bruchid populations, their damage and their regulation by parasitoids. A previous project has already collected a large amount of data from farmers' fields in three production basins in France over three successive seasons.  
The aim of the post-doctorate is therefore to analyse and exploit the data already obtained. Based on the case study of grain legume bruchids, the post-doctorate will address the following research question: how does biodiversity at different scales (in the field, its surroundings and the landscape), in interaction with local practices and landscape dynamics, affect pest populations, their damage and their regulation by parasitoids? 

More specifically, the person recruited will be responsible of:

●    Calculating multi-scale landscape variables and functional variables describing resources and habitats for bruchids and for parasitoids;
●    Exploring the data using multivariate analyses to select the most relevant explanatory variables;
●    Carrying out statistical modelling using linear mixed models to link the three main variables to be explained (abundance of bruchids, amount of damage and rate of parasitism) to all the explanatory variables selected;
●    Conceptual modelling (using structural equation models or PLS-PM) of the relationships between pest pressure, damage, regulation by parasitism and agronomic, ecological and landscape components;
●    Publishing these results in one or two scientific articles.
The successful candidate will be based in INRAE ‘Agronomy’ laboratory in Palaiseau (near Paris, France) and will interact closely with the AGIR (Toulouse) and IGEPP (Angers) laboratories.
The aim of the 'Agronomy' laboratory is to produce and mobilise scientific and expert methods and knowledge, from local to global scales, to (i) assess the environmental impacts and ecosystem services provided by current and alternative cropping systems, and (ii) support stakeholders involved in changing agricultural techniques by working with them to develop resources (knowledge, tools and methods).

Training and skills


Knowledge required :

●    A research experience in systemic agronomy, agroecology, landscape ecology or biodiversity research;
●    Fluency in R and understanding of advanced statistical techniques, including analysis of multi-relational datasets and variables with multifactorial determinants;
●    Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to collaborate effectively within a diverse team of researchers;
●    A good publication record and the ambition and capacity to publish in peer-reviewed journals.

Appreciated experience :

●    Experience in the use of GIS software;
●    Knowledge in entomology, in plant functional ecology.


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: 12 mois
  • Beginning: 01/10/2024
  • Remuneration: 2600 to 3200€ depending on previous experience
  • Reference: OT-22090
  • Deadline: 30/06/2024


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