Researcher in pelagic ecology

Application deadline: Tue 30 Nov 2021

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 objective of the unit Halgo is to develop knowledge and  methods for the ecosystem approach to fisheries, in particular for the  integrated assessment of ecosystems. Starting in 2022 Halgo will be part  of the UMR DECOD (Dynamics and sustainability of ecosystems: from the  spring to the ocean; Institut Agro/Inrae/Ifremer). The unit thus  contributes to the definition of the conditions for a sustainable  exploitation of fisheries resources and ecosystems. Its research project  includes two thematic axes: 'Ecosystem dynamics, from source to ocean'  and 'Integrated assessment and sustainability of ecosystems'. More  specifically, the EMH laboratory contributes to the acquisition of  knowledge and the development of observation and data analysis methods  as well as models of different complexity.

The EMH laboratory specialises in integrated observation and  assessment of marine ecosystems, particularly in the Bay of Biscay. It  implements various sampling tools (active acoustics, nets, video,  environmental DNA, trophic tracers, etc.) on a variety of platforms  (research vessels, ships of opportunity, drones, fixed stations, etc.),  and develops methods for analysing observation and model data. The  combined analysis of acoustic data and other observational or model data  allows a rapid quantitative characterisation of pelagic ecosystems, and  in particular of their still little explored components (e.g.  zooplankton, mesopelagics, ...).

The researcher will strengthen the skills in pelagic ecology of the  unit. He/she will conduct and participate in research on the multi-scale  interactions between the biological components of marine ecosystems and  the impact of anthropogenic activities (climate change, fishing, marine  renewable energy - MRE, etc.). He/she will develop methods for the  integrated collection and analysis of data (acoustic, fishing, video,  environmental DNA, models, etc.) to characterise the multi-scale spatial  and temporal variability of pelagic ecosystems and to study the impacts  of anthropogenic activities. He/she contributes to the provision of  observations for research and in support of regulatory frameworks of  fisheries and marine ecosystem management.

Main tasks

  • To study ecological interactions between pelagic components  (plankton, micronekton, fish, megafauna) at multiples scales (from the  micro to the mesoscale) and their links with environmental conditions,  local anthropogenic activities, and global change.
  • To study the intensity and variability of ecological interactions between the pelagic domain and the benthic-demersal domain.
  • To develop innovative methods for observing pelagic ecosystems to  characterise lesser-known compartments (e.g. zooplankton, mesopelagic)  and the impact of anthropogenic activities (MRE, fishing/megafauna  interactions, etc.) at high frequency.
  • To contribute to the expertise on good ecological status of pelagic  ecosystems in the context of global change, through the provision of  status indices of intermediate trophic levels and pelagic fish stocks.

Main activities

  • Study of ecological interactions within the pelagic environment  (match/mismatch, predation, spatial distributions and migrations) and in  interaction with the benthic habitat (vertical migrations...).  Integration of various data types (acoustic, biological, optical,  environmental DNA, models, etc.) at different scales to identify the  main energy transfer pathways and study their variability under  anthropogenic and natural pressures.
  • Application and development of statistical methods (artificial  intelligence, etc.) for the analysis of acoustic data, particularly  broadband acoustics and other types of data (imagery, fisheries,  environmental DNA, models, etc.), for the characterisation and  monitoring of the state of ecosystems, in collaboration with the  national and international scientific community. Contribution to  integrated ecosystem assessments.
  • Design, organise and participate in the collection of acoustic (and  other) data from different platforms (ships, observatories,  submersibles, drones, gliders, etc.). Enabling technological  developments could be the subject of partnership research (within the  framework of the Carnot MERS institute) and lead to innovation  transfers, particularly in the field of autonomous monitoring of the  impact of MRE on the pelagic environment.
  • Co-referent in fisheries and ecosystem acoustics at Ifremer and (co-) leader of the national fisheries acoustics network.
  • Development of research projects with national and international partners.
  • Publication of scientific articles
  • Supervision of trainees, doctoral and post-doctoral students.

Relational field

  • Within Ifremer: UMR DECOD, fisheries science units, NSE, RDT, DFO, GM, units involved in MFSD
  • Outside Ifremer:International: ICES working groups (WGFAST, WGACEGG, WGISUR, WGMLEARN), IMR, NOAA
    National : national fisheries acoustics network (IRD, INRAE ...), UMS Pelagis, Université La Rochelle, GDR Ecologie Statistique
    Local : Centrale Nantes, Nantes University

Required Knowledge, skills, and characteristics

  • PhD and postdoctoral experience, ideally in active acoustics applied to pelagic ecology

Implemented skills

Technical / professional skills:

  • Pelagic ecology
  • Active acoustics
  • Quantitative ecology
  • Machine learning
  • Written and oral communication in English and French
  • Project development and management
  • Supervision (master and PhD students, post-doctoral fellows)

Personal qualities:

  • Autonomy, rigour, curiosity
  • Scientific leadership and networking skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Interest in and aptitude for working at sea

Specific working conditions

  • Full time position
  • Work at sea (3-4 weeks per year)

Apply online