Postdoctoral fellowship ‘Ecophysiology of marine bivalves and effects of climate change and microplastics’ (M/F) - Plouzané, France

Job title : Postdoctoral fellowship ‘Ecophysiology of marine bivalves and effects of climate change and microplastics’ (M/F)

Reference: PV-2021-1031/1

Duration of contract:18 mois

Deadline for applications:23/11/2021

The Institute and the recruiting departement

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

Within Ifremer, the Functional Physiology of Marine Organisms (PFOM) unit focuses its research work on an in-depth knowledge of the major physiological functions (e.g. feeding, growth, reproduction) of exploited marine animals (bivalves, fish), and on the impact of environmental changes and anthropogenic pressures on these functions. The PFOM unit is part of the UMR 6539 LEMAR (Laboratoire des sciences de l'Environnement MARin CNRS/UBO/IRD/Ifremer) which brings together biologists, chemists and bio-geochemists to understand and model marine ecosystems, define the characteristics of organisms and their living environment, and specify their interactions.

Within the PFOM unit, under the responsibility of the head of the Laboratory of Invertebrate Physiology (LPI) and in the scientific context of the UMR LEMAR, he/she ensures the development of research on the impacts of global warming and microplastics on marine organisms in experimental system through an experiment carried out at Océanopolis (National Centre for Scientific Culture dedicated to the Ocean).

General areas of responsibility 

He/she will work on the combined effects of climate change (temperature, pH) and microplastics. These effects will be examined experimentally through mesocosms on a benthic coastal micro-ecosystem constituted from flat oysters Ostrea edulis and its biocenosis. The effects will be analysed on the physiology of the oyster (growth, reproduction, immune function) and on progeny (number, viability, recruitment), as well as on the abundance and diversity of associated benthic communities. The second main objective is to develop and run science communication via the partnership with Océanopolis to raise awareness to the general public and stakeholders of the anthropic and environmental pressures threatening temperate marine ecosystems through.

Principal activities

  1. Conduct a one-year experiment (design, monitoring, sampling)

  2. Analyses that will cover a wide spectrum of living scale: macroscopic, imaging, histological, ecophysiological, molecular and chemical analyses

  3. Statistical processing of the data, possibly including energy modelling

  4. Scientific production: conferences, writing and publication submission.

  5. Interact with the general public and stakeholders through science communication

  6. Participate in exchanges and collaborations between partners within the project.

Collaborative work environment

  • In-house: LPG2M and LERBN laboratories

  • External: Since this fixed-term contract will work within a scientific project, all the partners will be interlocutors and especially Océanopolis as the main interlocutor since the work will take place on at Océanopolis.

Required Knowledge, skills, and characteristics

  • PhD in ecophysiology

  • Experience on marine organisms required

  • Experience in the study of microplastics and/or oceanic warming and acidification appreciated

  • Experience in energy modelling (e.g. DEB) appreciated

The candidate should have a strong affinity for experimental biology and zootechnical skills to carry out the experiment over at least one year in a controlled multi-stress environment.

He/she should have experience in the study of environmental stressors on the ecophysiology and ecology of marine organisms.

Required knowledge, skills and characteristics

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Specialist in physiology, ecophysiology or ecotoxicology

  • Animal experimentation on marine organisms, animal husbandry science

  • Skills in statistics

  • Laboratory skills

  • Experience in public communication, scientific mediation

  • English language skills

Human qualities

  • Rigour

  • Autonomy

  • Organizational skills and initiative

  • Intellectual curiosity

  • Teamwork in a team

  • Strong communication skills

Eligibility criteria

Part of the funding is obtained from “Région Bretagne SAD” aimed at hosting post-doctoral researchers who have spent at least 18 months abroad between May 2018 and early 2022.

Specific working conditions

  • Full-time position

  • 18-month fixed-term contract

How to apply for this position

Deadline for applications: 23/11/2021

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