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Postdoctoral Position in Marine Ecosystem Modelling

Description of the position: The postdoctoral researcher will investigate the implications of fishing for carbon sequestration, and what improvement could be attained with changes in fisheries management. In a first step, the Celtic Sea will be considered as a case study, adapting the preexisting EwE model (Hernvann et al. 2020, Potier et al. in prep) to better represent carbon flows between trophic boxes and towards detritus and sediments. A new version of the EcoTroph modelling framework (Gascuel et al. 2008, du Pontavice et al. 2021) will be developed. Elaborating on the PhD. thesis of du Pontavice (2020) and recent research advancement (du Pontavice et al., under review),
this version will quantify the two interlinked pathways of trophic flow (pelagic and demersal) surging up the food web from low to high trophic levels. A specific flow to detritus, from feces or dead animals, and remineralization will be added to the model. In this approach, the initial EwE model should be used to adequately specified and calibrate the various flow represented in the EcoTroph model and to analyze the impacts of fishing on the processes of carbon storage (pelagic-benthic linkages, flow to
detritus …). In a second step, the EcoTroph Celtic Sea model will be forced by a regional high resolution coupled hydrodynamic-ecosystem model (POLCOMS-ERSEM), in order to investigate the effect of various fishing scenarios on carbon storage, in the context of climate change. Finally, the same model should be applied at the global scale, forced by outputs of available ESMs. In parallel, the postdoc will
participate to the Fish-MIP international network dedicated the projection of climate change effects on marine biomass and catch, at global scale (Tittensor et al. 2021).

Working environment: The postdoctoral researcher will be in close interaction with Didier Gascuel, who developed the EcoTroph model and supervised recent PhD on the topic (P-Y. Hernvann 2020 H. du Pontavice 2020, Potier in prep.). He/she will by part of the DECOD laboratory, a join research unit which aggregate almost one hundred scientists from Ifremer, Inrae and Institut Agro, working on the Dynamics and sustainability of ecosystems: from source to sea ( The successful
candidate will be fully involved in the Ocean-ICU project and will especially collaborate with partners of the WP5 (led by David Reid from the Marine Institute) who are working on the impacts of fishing on carbon sequestration in the on-shelf ecosystem (Strathclyde University, Natural England) and in the off-shelf ecosystem (DTU-Aqua, Mercator Ocean). He/she will also collaborate with Hubert du Pontavice (Princeton university/NOAA) and with the members of the international Fish-MIP network. hus, he/she will be in close interaction with world recognized researchers in marine ecology, fisheries
sciences and ecosystem modelling.

Duration and salary: The successful applicant will be hired in mid-2023 (ideally in May depending on the candidate availability) for a period of 12 months with secured funding for 2 extensions of 12 months, for a total of 36 months. Gross monthly salary will depend on the experience and should vary
between 2800 and 3000€. By joining Institut Agro, he/she will benefit from 45 days annual leave or equivalent, parenting support (can apply for specific daycare spots) and sponsored collective catering

  • Job Type: Post-doc
  • Application deadline: 03/20/2023
  • Organization: Institut Agro
  • Qualifications: A doctoral degree is required with a preference in ecosystem modelling, quantitative ecology, fisheries sciences or a related field. A strong interest for marine ecology and numerical modeling is necessary, and programming skills is a prerequisite. We seek a specialist in marine ecosystem modelling (MEM) with good theoretical basis in trophic ecology, climate change and ocean physics. Excellent programming skills, especially in R, are required. Experience in using EwE and in coupling MEMs and global or regional ocean models (e.g., Earth System Model) would be appreciated, as well as knowledge on European marine ecosystems and fisheries.
  • How to apply: Send before the 20th of March 2023 a motivation letter and a CV to:
  • Location: Rennes, France
  • Web address:

Contact Information

Didier Gascuel
Institut Agro

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