Doctoral and postdoctoral positions in Ecology

There are no current funding for postdoctoral positions, but good candidates are encourages to apply for funding and propose research projects. Our research themes are described in our previous pages.

Our group has applied to two PhD thesis fellowships to the Research Minister. The probability that we get one depends highly on the quality of the candidate. Foreign candidates are encouraged to apply.

Proposal one (with Marc Girondot) :

Marine turtles lay eggs on sandy tropical beaches and incubation takes place into substrate during 2 months. During this period, eggs are exposed to various risks including predators and sub-optimal physico-chemical conditions. In French Guiana, hatchling success (proportion of eggs that produce juveniles) is around 30% for 100 000 eggs per km per year deposited on the beach. The aborted 70 000 eggs per km contribute to N and C deposition on this “beach” ecosystem which will be very poor without. These elements are the beginning of a trophic network, probably very simple, that has not been studied in this context until now. The knowledge of this trophic network will bring many information on the population dynamics of marine turtles because it influences both the juvenile recruitment and the sex ratio (all marine turtles possess temperature-dependent sex determination).

Proposal two (with Franck Courchamp):

Biologic invasions are considered to be the second largest threat to biodiversity, the first one in many ecosystems. Our research focuses on the processes implicated in community invasions, and especially on the dynamics of trophic relationships between indigenous and exotic species. These questions are considered through a combination of three complementary approaches: empirical and experimental field-based studies, lab-based analyses and mathematical modeling. The selected study site for this project (which started in 2001) is the Entrecasteau Reef, North of New Caledonia, a site of major biodiversity importance. One of the four islands of this Reef, Surprise Island, has been invaded by black rats. We study on this island the plant and animal communities, both indigenous and introduced, as well as the relationships between them. The PhD Thesis project deals more specifically with the ecological study of the ant community of Surprise Island. This community is formed by 7 species, 6 of which have been introduced. The goal of the thesis is to characterize the interspecific relationships within this community, especially with regards to the plant communities forming their habitat and with their common predator, the introduced rat. As rats there have a direct impact on both insects and plants, we aim to determine the possible consequences of rat eradication for these communities. Previous studies have shown demographic outburst of ant species following rat eradication programs, which turned out to be catastrophic for the ecosystem. We aim at identifying the possibilities of such chain reactions and avoiding them. The study will be based on mathematical modeling, field data collection and analysis, stable isotope analyses, and statistical analyses of these data and of data collected during the field missions since 2001.

Interested candidates should contact the researcher in charge of the proposal if interested for further information and if interested send a curriculum vitae, a brief summary of research experience and interests, and names of two references (three for postdoctoral candidates).

How to apply to join our group

     We welcome applications to join our young group from postdocs, students and possibly for permanent researcher positions. We have a number of ongoing projects in which you will certainely find your own corner, and new directions can be explored, so it is very unlikely we can't establish mutually interesting research projects. Prospective candidates should initially write, enclosing a CV and emails of two references (three for postdocs), telling us where their research interests lie. We will reply to all correspondance and let you know the possibilities.

Post-docs are obviously welcome at any time. There are a great number of financial support types on the market, and it is generally considered that good candidates will be those able to rise funds themselves. We are however glad to help you to do so, in particular by indicating alternative research fellowships or accessing information in France.

Ph. D. or undergraduate students are also welcome, and here again we can be of help with the fellowships, where applicable. Please contact us on time so that your start is not delayed.

Researchers have a privileged status in France, as they are working for the Government. The recruitment for full time researchers, by the CNRS or other Institutions, takes the form of a yearly national contest where a pool of research positions are announced all together, for no particular candidate or Institute, and to which all can apply, with a project and a proposed lab. The candidates are listed by merit by a National Committee and the n available positions go to the n first ranked of the candidates. The French system does not discriminate against foreign researchers, but it can be difficult for them to go successfully throughout the administrative pathway, and to fulfil, on time, the different required steps. If you have a solid research project and CV, and are interested in working with us, please contact us so that we can plan things ahead.
There are also possibilities of one year research project, called "Poste Rouge" (Red Position), paid for one year by the CNRS and which constitutes an excellent opportunity to prepare for a full time position at the CNRS.

     Our Department is headed by an American researcher, and is characterised by an unusually high proportion of foreign researchers, by French standards. If you are a foreigner, your start here shouldn't be too tough. Most of our group members speak English currently, although with a heavy French accent you'll undoubtedly learn to like. The campus of our University is half an hour from Paris center, in a very pleasant and green area.