36 month doctoral position in France
Aix Marseille University

o JOB TITLE : Research study on Ecosystem services, ecological dynamics and resilience in pastoral commons of Andalusia’s North-Eastern Mountains

Contract: temporary doctoral position (36 months) starting in November 2021
Employer: Aix-Marseille Université
Gross salary: 1768 €/month

Rangeland Ecology, Social Ecological Systems

Aix Marseille University (France): Campus Centre (St-Charles)
Castril, Andalusia, Spain

Didier Genin (Research scientist IRD, France, Ecologist)
Ana Belèn Robles (Research scientist CISC Granada, Spain, Rangeland scientist)

Other person such as Elise Buisson (Associate Professor, AU) will be part of a the doctoral student’s supervisory team

o PI of the project
Didier Genin (didier.genin@univ-amu.fr)

This 36-month doctoral fellowship is funded by the new Mediterranean Institute for Environmental Transition (A*Midex), an interdisciplinary initiative aiming to tackle the challenges of the ongoing climate nexus, and will begin in November 2021

Description of the position:
This PhD fellowship is part of the research project ICCA-RE (Indigenous and Communitary Conserved Areas and social-ecological REsilience) whose main objective is to contribute, based on empirical data, to the current debates on the interests, limits and potentialities of the commons / ICCAs for the governance of resources in the contemporary context of global change and the necessary ecological transitions around the notion of natural and cultural heritage and multi-sectoral dynamics. Particularly, we aim at finding possible differentiated socio-ecological trajectories between three types of contiguous commons located in the North-Eastern Mountains of Andalusia, with differentiated collective governance (lower commonality to higher commonality) and two types of transhumant practices (long distance vs. short distance transhumance), in order to evaluate their potential for conservation and resilience.
Our hypotheses are 1) that social organization and governance, as a result of local history and contemporaneous socio-economical dynamics, conform specific ecological dynamics, and 2) that collective management, a millenary practice, can be rich of sense for undertaking contemporaneous social ecological resilience of Mediterranean mountain rangelands.
The object of this project, the “pastoral commons”, is on its own a holistic concept between Nature and Culture. It can only be undertaken by crossing disciplines, with mandatory focuses on interactions and feedbacks between human actions, ecosystems, resources, and socio-economical and governance dynamics (Robinson 2009). From the biogeographic perspective, the three commons have similar characteristics in flora and vegetation (oromediterranean bioclimatic level). The processes and variables that determine the composition and structure of the vegetation will be able to be identified (Yang et al. 2020).

The Doctorate Candidate will pay a particular attention to:

1) Characterization of the functioning of the ecological systems and Ecosystem services
– Floristic composition, functional traits and structure of the vegetation
– Pastoral phytomass production
– Livestock impact on the pastures
– Soil quality
– Multifunctionality of landscapes

2) A holistic approach of the dynamics of the social ecological systems
– Modalities of interactions between human practices and ecosystem, and their consequences on ecological and social dynamics. For that, the methodology used will follow the diagnostic procedure for applying SES framework proposed by Hinkel et al. (2015), in closed interaction with the work of the other PhD candidate in social sciences
– In order to undertake possible trajectories, balancing both vulnerability, resilience and plasticity of the systems, following insights proposed by Gallopin (2006)

Gallopin G. 2016. Linkages between vulnerability, resilience, and adaptative capacity. Global Env. Change, 16:293-303
Hinkel J., Cox M., Schluter M., Bonder C., Falk T., 2015. A diagnostic procedure for applying the social ecological system framework in diverse cases. Ecol.&Soc., 20(1):online
Robinson L., 2009.A Complex Systems Approach to Pastoral Commons. Human Ecology, 37:441-451.
Yang J., El-Kassaby Y.A., Guan W. 2020. Multiple Ecological Drivers Determining Vegetation Attributes across Scales in a Mountainous Dry Valley, Southwest China. Forests, 11:1140 doi:10.3390/f11111140

The doctorate will be hired for 36 months with the following preferred skills:
* Distinguished skills in functional and/or range and/or landscape ecology with Master degree in environmental sciences or similar. Special interest for candidates with experience in evaluating pastures.
* Aptitudes and interest for fieldwork and collaborative research
* Autonomy
* Proficiency in French, Spanish and English
* Intellectual openness to other disciplines
* Competency in image treatment (GIS, remote sensing) would be appreciated

The doctorate should show strictness and interest with great autonomy and enthusiasm and should become quickly part of the team. This PhD project is based on several collaborations, partly already established through the ICCA-RE project.

Applications must be submitted by July 7, 2021. For selected candidates, interviews will be held on July 15, 2021.


A motivation letter, a CV, available M1 and M2 grades (with mention and ranking in the
student group; note that at least an ABmention in M2 is required) and a previous internship pdf report (e.g. the one from the last master’s degree) should be sent to Didier Genin (didier.genin@univ-amu.fr).

Le contenu de cette offre est la responsabilité de ses auteurs. Pour toute question relative à cette offre en particulier (date, lieu, mode de candidature, etc.), merci de les contacter directement. Un email de contact est disponible: didier.genin@univ-amu.fr

Pout toute autre question, vous pouvez contacter sfecodiff@sfecologie.org.