Post-doctoral fellow in ecological modelling of agroforestry systems

Post-doctoral DM-TropAFS project funded by Agropolis Foundation



Post-doctoral fellow in ecological modelling of agroforestry systems
Location Eco&Sols research unit, Montpellier (France)
Contract duration 24 months
Start July 1st 2022 at the latest
Following a multitude of local experiments, agroforestry (AF) has been identified as one of the
nature-based solutions to help mitigating the climate crisis. Yet, little is known on the large-
scale potential of AF to tackle climate change. The main reason for this is the gap between AF
ecosystems’ complexity and variability, and the surface homogeneity hypotheses relied upon
by Land Surface Models (LSM).
The DM-TropAFS project funded by Agropolis Foundation aims at a first evaluation of a land
surface model applied to a tropical AF system (as a proof of concept). More specifically, we
will focus on a semi-arid ecosystem in Senegalese Faidherbia parklands as a proof-of-concept
tropical AF system and evaluate the potential for LSM of accounting for vertical heterogeneity
in plant canopy energy budget.
For this, we are looking for a candidate with a background in ecological modeling and data
processing as well as a keen interest in agroforestry systems.
Work duties
The successful candidate will work with the ORCHIDEE land surface model to evaluate the
potential of recent multi-layer energy budget developments to simulate competition for light in
a semi-arid tree/crop ecosystem. The developments will be tested at site level based on carbon,
water and energy data collected at the experimental Faidherbia-flux platform before taking the
simulations up to the regional scale. In parallel, the candidate will work on developing a global
database of agroforestry system types at a level of detail usable by the global land surface model
ORCHIDEE, that is including main ecophysiological parameters, locations, and available
evaluation datasets.
The work will be conducted in close collaboration with LSCE and HORSTSYS project
partners for model development and data analysis respectively, as well as 2 PhD students
already working on complementary topics, thus providing an active research team. The
successful candidate is expected to present results at international conferences, produce high
quality scientific papers, and drive the disseminating of the results.
- PhD in ecology, environmental science, mathematics or other natural sciences
- Documented skills in mechanistic modelling
- Proficiency in spoken and written English
- Demonstrated skills to work in a team
Work environment
The successful candidate will be hired by CIRAD and hosted at Eco&Sols research unit with
visits to Horstsys and LSCE laboratories.
CIRAD is the French agricultural research and cooperation organization working for the
sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions. CIRAD works with its
partners in southern countries to generate and pass on new knowledge to support agricultural
development. It puts its scientific and institutional expertise at the disposal of policymakers in
those countries and global debates on the main issues concerning agriculture. It also supports
French scientific diplomacy operations.
The Eco&Sol research unit focuses on understanding the functioning of agro-ecosystems in
particular with respect to soil-plant interactions.
Please send in a single pdf your CV, motivation letter, one meaningful publication and contact
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