Open position: Researcher in spatial population dynamics interacting with human activities and climate – Deadline 31 May 2023

A pioneer in ocean science, IFREMER’s cutting-edge research is grounded in sustainable development and open science. Our vision is to advance science, expertise and innovation to:

  • Protect and restore the ocean
  • Sustainably use marine resources to benefit society
  • Create and share ocean data, information & knowledge.

With more than 1,500 personnel spread along the French coastline in more than 20 sites, the Institute explores the 3 great oceans: the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A leader in ocean science, IFREMER is managing the French Oceanographic Fleet and its dedicated scientists create ground-breaking technology to push the boundaries of ocean exploration and knowledge, from the abyss to the atmosphere-ocean interface.

Well-established in the international scientific community, our scientists, engineers and technicians are committed to advance knowledge about our planet’s last unexplored frontiers. They provide the science we need for informed decision-making and public policy and they transfer this knowledge and technology to businesses to fulfill public and private needs. Core to our mission is also to strengthen public awareness about the importance of understanding the ocean and its resources, and empowering future generations of leaders through education and outreach national campaigns.

Founded in 1984, IFREMER is a French public organization and its budget approximates 240 million euros. It is operating under the joint authority of the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the french Ministry of the Sea, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

General areas of responsibility

The joint research unit (UMR) “Dynamics and Sustainability of Ecosystems: from the Source to the Ocean” (DECOD) brings together researchers, engineers and technicians from Ifremer, INRAe and Institut Agro Rennes-Angers with laboratories in Brest, Lorient, Nantes and Rennes. DECOD activities focus on the analysis of ecological and evolutionary processes at work in aquatic environments and their interfaces, from the source to the ocean, on the assessment of the state of ecosystems, and on the construction of scenarios for these ecosystems. To address these issues, the Laboratory of Fisheries Biology (LBH) acquires knowledge on marine exploited organisms from the individual to the population scale and implements models and quantitative approaches based on empirical and experimental data, in the context of an ecosystem approach to fisheries.

The recent development of movement ecology research enabled the acquisition of knowledge on the movement of individuals of many marine species. Integrating this knowledge into conservation and management measures is a challenge, but meeting this challenge should allow managers to implement spatially and temporally appropriate actions to improve the effectiveness of management.

You will study the behaviour of exploited species in response to different human activities and environmental changes, focusing on the processes and determinants (genetic, phenotypic, and physiological) that govern movements at different spatial and temporal scales. Measuring behavioural responses to anthropogenic pressures will provide insights into how marine species respond to these pressures and to environmental changes.

You will contribute to the skills in ecology and fisheries of the LBH laboratory. You will conduct research on the movements and behaviours of exploited fish species (e.g. pollock, seabass, spiny lobster) and on the impact of natural and anthropic factors explaining and/or modifying these processes. You will contribute to the collection of movement data through the development of tagging operations and acoustic telemetry networks, and more generally through a multi-marker approach. You will also contribute to the expertise provided by Ifremer to the French administration, in particular via the stock assessment of pollock and whiting, and in the context of the deployment of MREs.

General areas of responsibility

  • Study of the fine scale behaviours, movements, migration strategies, and connectivity patterns at different life stages between essential habitats for exploited fish species.
  • Study of the link between the movement of individuals and their life history traits (growth, survival, reproduction). Study of the physiological and genetic determinants of individual movements, and responses to environmental changes (e.g. contaminants cocktail, hypoxia and warming).
  • Application of the approaches and knowledge obtained for case studies of fisheries interest to improve stock assessment and management in a context of environmental changes and other human activities (e.g. MREs).

Principal activities

  • Analysis and integrated modelling of the data collected by different electronic (biologging) or natural (sclerochronology, genetics) individual markers. Monitor the biologging literature, identify technological barriers and initiate projects that could lead to innovation.
  • Set up experiments in natural environments in order to study behavioural, physiological and phenotypic processes associated to individual movements
  • Contribute to the development of mechanistic models to extrapolate to the population scale the connectivity patterns between essential habitats, integrating heterogeneous data and knowledge from different individual markers and experiments.
  • Participate in the ICES Working Group WGBIE (Working Group for the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian waters Ecoregion), and carry out the stock assessment of pollack and whiting in the Bay of Biscay.
  • Participate in the national expertise on MREs, and in the international expertise on stock identification methods, and on the impact of environmental changes on spatial distributions.
  • Actively participate in the unit’s scientific production and development
  • Collaborate with other researchers and engineers, and supervise technicians, trainees, doctoral students and post-doctoral students

Collaborative work environment

  • Internal collaborative relationship

UMR DECOD, Fisheries Units, HISSEO Service Unit. Collaboration with other Ifremer laboratories/units on experimental aspects (PHYTNESS), biologging (LHM), sclerochronology (HMMN), genetics (LHM) and observatory (ODE/LOPS, ODE/DYNECO) and technological innovation (RDT).

  • External collaborative relationship

UMR MARBEC, UMR LEMAR, European institutes, ICES, France Energies Marines.

Required Knowledge, skills, and characteristics

Required education and experience

  • Doctorate in quantitative marine ecology or fisheries science
  • Postdoctoral experience

Required knowledge, skills and characteristics

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Ecology and biology of marine organisms
  • Fisheries and stock assessment
  • Biologging (acoustic telemetry, electronic tagging)
  • Statistics and mechanistic modelling
  • Fluent english and french
  • Writing skills (articles, reports)
  • Ability to set up and coordinate projects
  • Motivation for supervising young researchers (master and doctoral students, post doctoral researchers)
  • Programing (e.g. R, Python)

Human qualities

  • Autonomy, rigour, curiosity
  • Capacity for scientific leadership and multidisciplinary networking
  • Ability for team working
  • Interest in and aptitude for working at sea

Specific working conditions

  • Full time
  • Work at sea

Deadline for applications: 31/05/2023

All applications are processed exclusively via our website. Interested candidates can apply by clicking the “Apply” button. 

For  further information about this opportunity, click here.

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