Animal ecology and epidemiology of emerging diseases


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research. 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

Nature and purpose of the research project to be developed and related activities :
The person recruited will be capable of combining quantitative animal ecology approaches (population, behavioural or functional ecology) with epidemiological approaches (analytical epidemiology, epidemiological modelling) to identify factors of emergence of zoonotic diseases at the interface between wild animal pathogen reservoirs, domestic animals, and humans to design prevention and control strategies for these diseases.
Based in Montpellier, the person recruited will work in collaboration with health ecologists within the ASTRE unit in privileged areas in South-East Asia, Southern Africa, and Central Africa but also with eco-epidemiologists on-site in Montpellier (CNRS, IRD, INRAE) and within the EPIA unit. By drawing on the results obtained within the framework of research projects within the ASTRE unit (Prezode, BCOMING, AfriCAM), the research theme will be the understanding of the ecological factors at the interface between wild fauna and humans that will help limit emergent zoonotic diseases.
The originality of the research project is based on the integration of eco-epidemiological data collected in a standardized way in various emergence hotspots to thus test generic hypotheses and implement tools to fight emergence adapted to different contexts (Annex 1).

Nature and purpose of the teaching project :
The heart of the teaching project will be in partnership with Montpellier University (UM) at Master’s and Degree level. Depending on the skills of the person recruited, most of the teaching in connection with the UM will be for year 1 undergraduate studies in biology of animal and plant organisms (HAV107B: from cells to organisms, and HAV210B: Life cycles) and year 2 undergraduate studies in statistics (HAV312B: Description of variability 1 and 2), and in evolution (HAV416B: Introduction to evolution). Lessons will also be possible in the teaching units specialising in year 3 undergraduate studies in genetics (HAV504: Genetic bases of evolution) and in health ecology (HAV642B: Health, environment and global changes). Finally, supervision of projects and a few hours targeting the research activity of the person recruited could be possible within the framework of the eco-epidemiology and biodiversity, ecology, evolution options of the Master’s at the UM, or the integrative biology of interactions course.
Additionally, lessons on-site in Montpellier in health ecology will be possible for the Master’s co-coordinated by the ASTRE unit in collaboration with the University of Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (Master’s course in Integrated management of zoonotic diseases and tropical animal diseases, GIZMAT) and Paris-Saclay University (Master’s 2 in epidemiology and monitoring of infectious human and animal diseases).

Funding and related resources :
Package ANR : 200 000€
Package INRAE : 107 000€
Total : 307 000€

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

PhD or equivalent

Researcher with initial university training in ecology (MSc or equivalent) or medicine (DM, DVM) with a PhD in ecology (quantitative ecology or population and community ecology)
Postdoctoral experience in quantitative ecology, population and community ecology or eco-epidemiology
Command of quantitative approaches in animal ecology, in particular population and community ecology.
Experience or strong interest in the study and comparison of socio-ecosystems at the interface between humans, wild animals, and domestic animals.
Experience abroad would be desirable.

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.

International scientists, please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE.

Type of contract

Tenure-Track Junior Professor Chair enables recruitment of scientists based on a research and teaching project that lasts three years. At the end of this period, and following an assessment of your scientific achievements and professional capabilities, you may obtain a full-tenure position as Research Director (DR2).

A research and teaching agreement will specify the path you will follow towards full-tenure and enable you to acquire the qualifications necessary to become a full-tenure Research Director in your field.

You have until April 12, 2024 to submit your application. Only candidates previously selected on file by the selection committee will be invited to the hearing.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CPJ24-SA-1
  • Corps: Chaire de Professeur Junior
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 3


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