We are seeking a motivated and enthusiastic researcher to join our group as a post-doctoral fellow in Agrocampus Ouest (Rennes, France, http://halieutique.agrocampus-ouest.fr/). The research will be developed in the context of the French National AMPHORE program, devoted to the analysis of MPAs effects of fish populations and ecosystems. This program is based on five MPAs case studies, located on the French coast and in West Africa.
Within the AMPHORE programme, the team from Agrocampus is in charge to build Ecopath models of the MPA trophic network functioning. The model of the Port Cros MPA (on the French Mediterranean cost) shows for instance that even if still fished the underlying ecosystems is very close to a virgin state ; potential exports have been estimated and tend to demonstrate that only a very local effects can be expected from the reserve (results from Audrey Valls Master thesis, currently submitted). The model of the Bamboung Bolung MPA (in Senegal) shows that the fishing closure implemented in 2003 only has limited effects on fish stocks abundance ; the EcoTroph model (a derivative of Ecopath developed by Didier Gascuel) have been used to simulate various fishing scenarios and to analyse the MPA effects (results from Mathieu Colléter Master thesis, currently submitted). These two case studies refer to small protected areas and due to data availability, only models representing the inside MPA network were developed.
The “Parc National du Banc d’Arguin” is a much larger MPA (around 1000 km2), implemented on the Mauritanian coast. It is suspected to have strong effects on the current status of major fish stocks off Mauritania. An Ecopath model of the northern part of the Mauritanian continental shelf (including the Banc d’Arguin area) is currently under construction, involving Dr Sylvie Guénette (who has been recently hosted in Rennes, working within the Amphore program) and scientists from IMROP (the Mauritanian Research Institute). The post doctoral work will be devoted to this model, improving it as necessary, fitting the model to time series using Ecosim, and analysing the ecosystem functioning and the contribution of the Banc d’Arguin production to ecosystem dynamics. Various scenarios, related to fishing and/or ecosystem changes, will be simulated, based on Ecopath and EcoTroph. Results should be quickly submitted for publication.
Full-time 8-months position, to start as early as possible (ideally the 1st of April).
The researcher will be located at the Aquatic and Fisheries Centre of Agrocampus and will work in close collaboration with S. Guénette and with the Amphore project research community.
PhD with backgrounds in ecology and ecosystem modelling are encouraged to apply. There is a preference for candidates with significant experience in using Ecopath with Ecosim, and with demonstrated capacity in writing scientific papers.
Net salary ~ 1800 euros per month.
Didier GASCUEL: Didier.Gascuel@agrocampus-ouest.fr