Context

Global changes are threatening biodiversity, and warming has already led to poleward or higher-elevation range shifts in many taxonomic groups. New thermal niches offered by warming make these cold environments more suitable to less stress-adapted non-native species, and intensify the redistribution of biodiversity with unpredictable consequences for ecosystem functioning. To evaluate and predict the responses of organisms and communities to global changes, and forecast the distribution of biodiversity under future climates, the computation of up-to-date species distribution modelling (SDM) approaches incorporating biological and physiological parameters is required. At the same time, current SDMs are not completely appropriate to tackle the distributions of alien species, thus begging for sophisticating these models in order to predict the future fate of cold habitats subjected to species invasions, such as subantarctic islands.

In the context of a European BiodivERsA -funded collaborative project (ASsessing and mitigating the effects of climate change and biological Invasions on the spatial redistribution of biodiversity in Cold environmentS, ASICS project) and based on existing data on subantarctic, polar and mountain species in the consortium, we aim at recruiting two post-doctoral fellows who will develop SDMs aimed at answering important questions on the future of polar species. These two post-docs will be able to choose their topics of inquiry among the following:
– development of mechanistic, process-based models using data on ecophysiological traits for a variety of native and invasive species;
– development and setup of SDMs for native species incorporating phenotypic plasticity and variation of traits between populations;
– development of methods to improve classic SDMs and jSDMs to account for the non-equilibrium distribution of alien species;
– setup, training and validation of jSDMs for native species.

The successful candidates of these postdoctoral positions in spatial modelling of biodiversity, statistical ecology and functional diversity will join the research teams in Rennes and Lille of the ASICS project. The ASICS project is also strongly connected to other funded projects (SCO-CNES ‘CARTOVEGE’ https://www.spaceclimateobservatory.org/fr/cartovege) and project IPEV 136 (SubAntEco).

Objectives and qualifications
The successful candidates will have strong skills in statistical ecology and spatial modeling, with experience in linking spatio-temporal data on the abundance and distribution of species and community composition to data on habitat structure, life-history traits, fragmentation, and climate change. Within the framework of the BiodivERsa ASICS project, we are particularly interested in studying the role of environmental changes on biodiversity distribution in a variety of polar habitats. The research questions concern terrestrial ecosystems, and datasets have been obtained since the 90s for some taxa. We are looking for candidates highly skilled in species distribution models, in particular joint Species Distribution Models and/or hybrid or process-based Species Distribution Models. The models will be used to predict the impact of climate and environmental changes on the distribution of organisms, and define biodiversity conservation planning.

– Statistical tools (we are not expecting that the successful candidates have experience with all of them) : Statistical (GWR model) and mechanistic interpolation and prediction of topoclimate, ENFA & Bioclim, GLMs & GLMMs, GAMs & GAMMs, MaxEnt, Mahalanobis distances, Regression Trees, Artificial Neural Networks, Random Forests, Boosted Regression Trees, Structural Equation Modelling, Hybrid Models, Process-based SDMs, Joint Species Distribution Models, Time-Series version of joint Species Distribution Models.

Place of employment, salary, expected starting date
The two recruited post-doc will join the two ASICS-associated lab in Rennes and Lille. Based on ranking after interviews, successful candidates will be able to pick their topic(s) and working place.
The working place in Rennes is in the UMR CNRS 6553 EcoBio laboratory (University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France, https://ecobio.univ-rennes1.fr/).
The working place in Lille is in the UMR CNRS 9017 CIIL laboratory (University of Lille, Lille, France, https://www.ciil.fr/).

Positions are funded for one or two years by the H2020 BiodivERsA project ASICS, depending on satisfactory annual reports. The gross salary is 2300-2700 euros / month and depends on candidate experience. Applications will be considered until the position is filled, but the desired starting date is February 1st 2022. Applications must include a cover letter with a statement of research experience and interests, curriculum vitae, and have three researchers you collaborated with that send us reference letters.

Please send all files to Pr. David RENAULT at david.renault@univ-rennes1.fr
(https://sites.google.com/view/david-renault) and Dr. François MASSOL at francois.massol@univ-lille.fr (https://sites.google.com/a/polytechnique.org/francoismassol/home).

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: david.renault@univ-rennes1.fr

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