OT-Med call for projects 2014 has been recently closed (see "Results"). Several PhD and postdoctoral fellowships are available.

General information

For the PhD theses, the fellowship is attributed for three years (not extension possible). The candidate must have an excellent record in their studies especially in the master degree. The thesis is expected to start in October 2014. For the post-docs, the fellowship is attributed for one year, starting 1st September or later. An extension of 6 or 12 months will be possible if the first year results are positively evaluated, the minimum requirements being results of high level in agreement with the scientific themes of OT-Med and ready for publication. The extension decision will be done on the basis of an interview conducted by the management board of OT-Med in the summer 2015.

Please find the descriptions of the available positons here below:

PhD fellowships

-Impact of atmospheric input on the stoichiometry of dissolved organic matter in the surface Mediterranean Sea (CLOSED)
PhD advisors: Elvira Pulido and France Van Wambeke (Mediterranean Institut of Oceanography, MIO, France). Details

-Carbon cycle and biodiversity in Mediterranean oak forest: impact of climate change
PhD advisors: Virginie Baldy, Catherine Fernandez (IMBE) Details (CLOSED)

-Understanding ecological functioning of coralligenous habitats, and building new indicators based on genetic tools to assess their GES (good environmental status)
PhD advisor: Anne Chenuil (IMBE) Details (CLOSED)

Postdoctoral fellowships

-Adaptation to environmental change: a social learning process
Postdoctoral advisor: Alan Kirman (GREQAM) Details (CLOSED)

-Remineralization of organic particles in presence of ballast minerals (ROBIN)
Postdoctoral advisor: Christian Tamburini (MIO) Details

-Dynamics of heterotrophic microorganisms determined by in situ automated flow cytometry
Postdoctoral advisor: Michel Denis (MIO) Details (CLOSED)

-Modelling wildfire activity in Mediterranean areas and its climatic drivers
Postdoctoral advisors: Thomas Curt, Irstea-EMAX, France (thomas.curt@irstea.fr); Vincent Moron, AMU-Cerege, France (moron@cerege.fr); Ricardo Trigo, IDL Lisboa, Portugal (rmtrigo@fc.ul.pt) Details


PhD fellowship: Impact of atmospheric input on the stoichiometry of dissolved organic matter in the surface Mediterranean Sea: details

The Mediterranean Sea, a mostly oligotrophic oceanic environment, is submitted to numerous atmospheric inputs. Compared to the atmospheric flux of mineral nutrients, atmospheric deposition of organic matter to the Mediterranean surface ecosystem remains poorly explored.

In the ocean, carbon export to depth (and therefore, its long term storage with presumed consequences on climate) occurs both through particle sedimentation and through the transfer of dissolved organic matter (DOM) via diffusion or convection. Such export of DOM can reach up to 50% of total C export in the Mediterranean Sea. The fate of surface DOM, mineralized or exported, depends to a high extent on its biodegradability, particularly its C:N:P stoichiometry. Acquiring a more accurate picture of the factors controlling the DOM stoichiometry is a crucial step in for our comprehension of carbon export in the Mediterranean Sea.

The proposed PhD topic is based on the hypothesis that atmospheric deposition may modify the stoichiometric rations of DOM in the surface Mediterranean Sea and that through two main mechanisms: a ‘direct' effect, through the input of new OM to the existing pool, and an ‘indirect' effect, that is, through the stimulation of bacterial activity. The main goal of the PhD project is to assess the contribution of atmospheric input to the C:N:P stoichiometry of surface DOM in the Mediterranean Sea. In order to address this question, the student will combine an ‘observation' and an ‘experimental' approach. A modelling task is also proposed.

More information and application: CV and motivation letter should be sent by e- mail directly to Elvira Pulido (supervisor of the PhD, elvira.pulido [@] mio.osupytheas.fr) and France Van Wambeke (co-supervisor of the PhD, france.van-wambeke [@] mio.osupytheas.fr) before the 10th of July 2014.

PhD fellowship: Understanding ecological functioning of coralligenous habitats, and building new indicators based on genetic tools to assess their GES (good environmental status)

We seek a highly motivated and ranked PhD student to study the biodiversity of coralligenous habitats, at both the community and intraspecific levels, from data that will be mostly obtained using genetic tools including Next-Generation Sequencing, and analyzed taking into account ecological factors and marine currents (at both the local and Mediterranean scales).
The “implicated goal” is to gain knowledge on these habitats, which provide important services and are very species rich, in order to propose new, efficient and cost-effective indicators of their ecological status, based on intra-specific and/or inter-specific diversity (to be tested).
The scientific interest relies in comparing diversity at the community level, assessed by metabarcoding and compared with traditional taxonomical methods, and diversity at the intraspecific level (population genetics or genomics), providing ways of testing hypotheses such as the neutral biodiversity one, for instance.
The team working on this topic, financed by two European projects is locally composed of a post-doctoral fellow (2 years starting in autumn 2014), a PhD student on coralligenous Socio-ecosystem (starting autumn 2014) and an engineer to help with meta-barcoding (to be hired before the end of 2014) for about 18 months, a last-year PhD student (diving, ecology, indicators), and several permanent researchers plus the diving team.

Brief description of the research project
The coralligenous is a typical Mediterranean marine habitat and hosts the highest concentration of biodiversity of this sea. Paradoxically, unlike Posidonia meadows, it is poorly studied. Like the famous tropical coral reefs, it is a complex biogenic habitat, based on encrusting red algae (numerous metazoan phyla also participate to bio-construction). The PhD will significantly improve our understanding of its functioning and resilience capacity, and establish biodiversity and connectivity patterns among localities and ecological profiles, providing information for rationalizing the design of Marine Protected Area networks and monitoring methods. To reach this goal, he will use the synergy of interdisciplinarity, combining population genetics, community ecology, microbial ecology and physical oceanography. The scientific originality relies on testing hypotheses related to the niche and neutral biodiversity theories that include both inter- and intra-specific levels of biodiversity. The societal interest relies on the setup of innovative, cost-effective and accurate methods for biodiversity characterization and monitoring, based on genetic tools rigorously inter- calibrated with traditional taxonomy and photo-quadrate approaches. This requests four tasks, partly using the same data, but different analysis methods.
1- Establishment of the taxonomic composition of the engineer corallinale algae. Several cryptic species in red algae were revealed by genetic markers (cf. B-4). Molecular tools (IMBE) and classical taxonomy (Dr Marc Verlaque, MIO) will be used. Algal composition will be related to ecological profiles (depth, orientation, light exposition, rugosity, etc.) which are being thoroughly mapped and sampled in CIGESMED, a European ERANET project.
2- Establishment of the species composition for numerous small quadrates of coralligenous using meta-barcoding in different ecological profiles x sites (same as for 2-). Statistical analysis of the possible role of ecological factors.
3- Population structure and phylogeography of two selected taxa: a red alga Lithophyllum spp. and a bryozoan Myriapora truncata, on the CIGESMED sampling network, contextualized by ecological factors (cf above). Available data from other species will be included in the comparisons. Connectivity patterns will be established, from the local to the whole Mediterranean scale, and related to explanatory factors such as the present ecological context, paleo-environments, and physical connectivity (depending on the region and comparison scale).
4- Synthesis and Comparisons:
- Compare intra-specific diversity among species (determine site-effects vs species-effects).
- Compare species assemblages assessed by meta-barcoding/ traditional taxonomy/quadrate photography methods. Deduce some rules of inter-calibration among methods.
- Compare intra- and inter-specific diversity (including microbial), trying to distinguish the part due to connectivity from that of local demography (perturbation regime), and ecological factors using genetic and demographic models and hydrological models.
- Compare how these coralligenous data support niche vs neutral biodiversity theories.
- Propose new GES (good environmental status) indicators for the coralligenous and biodiversity management rules.

CV and motivation letter, as well as additional information request, should be sent to anne.chenuil [@] imbe.fr before the 18th of July 2014.

Postdoctoral fellowship: Adaptation to Environmental Change: A Social Learning Process

We are looking for a candidate for a post doctoral fellowship who will be part of a project (AMENOPHYS) devoted to analysing the adaptation of societies and economies to their changing environment particularly with reference to the Mediterranean and North African areas. The candidate would be expected to collaborate in the development of models to explain how societies arrive at their collective “decisions” to change their activities, particularly those which are directly related to the environment such as agriculture. An approach that interests the researchers in our group is that of agent-based computational modelling (ABM). Ideally, we would like someone who also has some background in archaeology and who is familiar with the treatment of archaeological evidence. The type of approach which is of particular interest of us is that employed by Axtell and his co-authors in analysing the population growth and subsequent collapse of the Kenta Anastasia in the Long House Valley in the West of the U.S.A. Among the specific questions we wish to analyse are:

(i) The way in which change emerges both in terms of the nature of the activities and their location. In particular how are the collective decision reached to achieve these changes? How does a society comes to the collective decision that it is no longer possible to remain in a particular location?
(ii) Is there a relationship between the hierarchical organization of societies and their capacity to adapt?
(iii) What can we learn from the archaeological evidence showing that drought generated by climate change may explain both the decline of palace economies shifting to isolated villages and the emergence of state level societies from nomadic populations?
(iv) To what extent can trade with other regions offset the losses suffered in the production of certain crops as a result of climatic change?

The project will be undertaken in collaboration with the scientists who make up the OT-Med group and some of the external collaborators in the AMENOPHYS project such as David Kaniewski from Toulouse and archaeologists from the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme in Aix-en-Provence.

This will be essentially an interdisciplinary project, since economists and researchers from other disciplines, climatologists, paleo-ecologists and archeologists will be involved.

On the empirical side there will be cooperation with the economics laboratory at the Scuola Superiore Sant Anna in Pisa who have specialists working on social adaptation to major changes in the environment and in particular with Giorgio Fagiolo and with the Catastrophic Risk group at Columbia where Graciela Chichilnisky one of the architccts of the Kyoto agrreements has accepted to collaborate.

CV and motivation letter have to be sent to alan.kirman [@] univ-amu.fr, as well as additional information request before the 31st of August 2014.

Postdoctoral fellowship: Remineralization of organic particles in presence of ballast minerals (ROBIN)

About the role
We seek a biogeochemist to join a project that draws together field and laboratory controlled experiements aiming to better understand the complex interaction between mineral and sinking organic carbon in the context of the biological carbon pump (BCP).
The BCP is a major term in the global carbon cycle which annually transfers 5-15 GT C yr-1 from the atmosphere to the ocean's interior in the form of sinking particles with an organic component. As these particles sink they are remineralised with the constituent elements returning to solution. The controls on remineralisation rate of sinking organic matter (OM) is an important issue with far wider implications than achieving greater understanding of a major flux in the global carbon cycle. If a link between OM remineralisation depth and presence of mineral concentration (calcite, opal or dust) exists, we can expect changes in air-sea CO2 partitioning resulting from ocean acidification and/or change in aerosol deposition. It is therefore critical to understand the factors regulating remineralisation depth if one wants to assess how ocean biological processes contribute to regulate the global climate. To date no direct in situ observations of OM remineralisation depth combined with assessment of the of mineral content of sinking particles have been performed.
Two field experiments (Mediterranean Sea and Porucupine Abyssal Plain, North Atlantic) will be undertaken to evaluate the role of ballast minerals in regulating particle decomposition in the mesopelagic zone using pressurized incubation chambers (PArticles Sinking Simulator or PASS system, http://www.com.univ-mrs.fr/LMGEM/sinpas/) and modified sediment traps (Marine snow catcher, lent by the National Oceanography Centre).
The ROBIN project is structured around two objectives: (i) Determine whether organic carbon mineralization rate is a function of mineral to organic carbon ratios in sinking particles and (ii) Assessing whether or not bacteria and/or ectoenzymes are excluded from within mineral associated particles.

Relevant references
- Engel, A., L. Abramson, J. Szlosek, L. Zanfei, G. Stewart, D. Hirschberg, and C. Lee (2009), Investigating the effect of ballasting by CaCO3 in Emiliania huxleyi: II. Decomposition of particulate organic matter, Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 56(18), 1408-1419.
Hedges, J. I., J. A. Baldock, Y. Gelinas, C. Lee, M. Peterson, and S. G. Wakeham (2000), Evidence for non-selective preservation of organic matter in sinking marine particles., Nature, 409, 801-804.
- Kwon, J. G., S. J. Hwang, G. W. Hennig, Y. Bayguinov, C. McCann, H. Chen, F. Rossi, P. Besmer, K. M. Sanders, and S. M. Ward (2009), Changes in the Structure and Function of ICC Networks in ICC Hyperplasia and Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors, Gastroenterology, 136(2), 630-639.
- Le Moigne, F. A. C., M. Gallinari, E. Laurenceau, and C. L. De La Rocha (2013), Enhanced rates of particulate organic matter degradation by microzooplankton are diminished by added ballast minerals, Biogeosciences 10, 5755-5765.
- Tamburini, C., J. Garcin, G. Gregori, K. Leblanc, P. Rimmelin, and D. L. Kirchman (2006), Pressure effects on surface mediterranean prokaryotes and biogenic silica dissolution during a diatom sinking experiment, Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 43, 267-276.
- Tamburini C., Goutx M., Guigue C., Garel M., Lefèvre D., Charrière B., Sempéré R., Pepa S., Peterson M. L., Wakeham S., Lee C. (2009). Effects of hydrostatic pressure on microbial alteration of sinking fecal pellets. Deep-Sea Research II 56 (18): 1533-1546.

About you
Candidates are expected to have experience in carbon biogeochemistry and/or microbial ecology, a PhD in oceanography, a MASTER (or equivalent) in marine or environmental sciences. Previous experience in field experiments and measurments is desirable. You will be expected to publish in the relevant peer reviewed literature and to present your work at international conferences. This is a 1 year Fixed Term Appointment position with the possible extension for the second year, offered on Aix Marseille University terms and conditions in the framework of the OT-Med labex (http://www.otmed.fr).

About us
The Robin project will be lead by C. Tamburini (MIO, Marseille, France) in collaboration with Kazuyo Tachikawa (CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France) and Frédéric Le Moigne (GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany).
The Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO, http://mio.pytheas.univ-amu.fr/). It is composed of members of several organizations: the CNRS, IRD, Aix Marseille University, and Toulon Var University. It MIO employs about 200 permanent staffs and 60 contrated staffs (including students). The research themes are marine ecosystems functioning, including biodiversity, elemental fluxes, hydrodynamics, all in the context of global change. Our research is performed in close interaction with teaching through internships of students, from undergraduate to post graduate levels. MIO includes scientists specialized in many different disciplines, including Oceanography: Biology, Microbiology, Marine Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Geochemistry, Physics, Teledetection, and Mathematics. OT-Med (Objectif Terre: Bassin Méditerranéen) is a “Laboratoire d'excellence” (LABEX) selected by the French program Investissements d'Avenir. Its was founded in 2012 for the duration of 8 years. It brings together 9 research laboratories and 1 research federation specialised in different fields : environmental sciences, law, economy and social sciences.
Elemental analyis will be performed at CEREGE (https://www.cerege.fr/spip.php?arti...) using an ICP-QMS for measurment of element like Ca and Al.
PArticles Sinking Simulation using the PASS system will be performed at the MIO (http://www.com.univ-mrs.fr/LMGEM/po...).

How to apply
Informal enquiries, curriculum vitae, motivation letter, names and contact information of two academic referees have to be sent to christian.tamburini@mio.osupytheas.fr.
Application deadline : 30 September 2014
Job details
Employer : Aix Marseille University
Location : Marseille, France
Job type : Postdoctoral
Net salary : 1960€ or 2300€ (less or more than 3-years of post experience after PhD, respectively)
Qualification : PhD in oceanography
Employement type : full time from December 2014

Postdoctoral fellowship: Dynamics of heterotrophic microorganisms determined by in situ automated flow cytometry (DHEMISA): details

This project aims to investigate the dynamics of aquatic hetrotrophic microorganisms, from heterotrophic prokaryotes to microzooplankton, with a new automated flow cytometer (Cytopro) specially designed for this purpose by both an EU SME (Cytobuoy bv, NL) and the AMU (Aix-Marseille University) host team belonging to the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO). Indeed, if the host team is an internationally recognized expert in high frequency observation of phytoplankton by automated flow cytometry (Cytosub and Cytosense), the observation of aquatic heterotrophic microorganisms requires the development of a new dedicated flow cytometer.

It is a joint project between MIO and IRSTEA (Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l' environnement et l'agriculture), both members of the OT-Med consortium, which will lead to applications in both marine and fresh waters.

The successful candidate will have first to validate the new instrument by conducting lab experiments and comparing results with those from conventional flow cytometry made available at PRECYM (https://precym.mio.univ-amu.fr/), the MIO flow cytometry platform. The next step will be to develop some applications in marine and fresh waters. The position is open for one year and could be renewed. Candidates are expected to have proved competences in flow cytometry, fluorescent dyes and microbial ecology, real skills in field experiments and instrumentation tuning as well as in large datasets statistics and some knowledge in R software. CV and motivation letter, as well as additional information request have to be sent to michel.denis [@] mio.osupytheas.fr. Position is open until filled.

Postdoctoral fellowship: Modelling wildfire activity in Mediterranean areas and its climatic drivers

Laboratory: Irstea (Aix-en-Provence, France)
Duration: 12 months (possible extension of 12 months)
Net salary: 1960 or 2300 euros per month (according to professional experience < or > 3 years after PhD)
Advisors: Thomas Curt, Irstea-EMAX, France (thomas.curt@irstea.fr); Vincent Moron, AMU-Cerege, France (moron@cerege.fr); Ricardo Trigo, IDL Lisboa, Portugal (rmtrigo@fc.ul.pt)
Contact: Thomas Curt, Irstea-EMAX, France (thomas.curt@irstea.fr)

Wildfires are major disturbances in Mediterranean ecosystems worldwide. Every year, over 60.000 fires are recorded in Europe, mainly in the South, burning more than 0.6 MHa (JRC 2012). Predictions from almost all models indicate that fire risk is predicted to increase in some areas of the globe, but to decreases in others (Scholze et al., 2006; Krawchuk et al., 2009; Pechony & Shindell, 2010) due to climatic change and changes in land uses and land covers.

The post-doc aims to assess the main drivers of fire activity in Mediterranean areas, with a special focus on relationships between weather and climate. This issue has strong implication for action since wildfires are a main threat to humans and ecosystems in Mediterranean areas, and because the forecasted changes will challenge the policy-makers and the land managers. This postdoc is part of a joint research project between Irstea (France), Cerege (France), and the University of Lisbon (Portugal). The postdoc will work on recent databases on fires, vegetation, human pressure, and climatic data (past decades and regional climate change models). We expect that the postdoc may enhance the possibility of extrapolating the results and information gained in Provence (France) and Portugal to other countries having similar climate, ecosystems, and human footprint such as Spain or Greece.

The post-doc will have to address the following issues: (i) Assessing which local meteorological and synoptic conditions, and which weather types drive the fire activity, with special focus on atmospheric conditions associated with largest fires (as those during the summer of 2003) and interannual and decadal climatic variability; (ii) Estimating the future of fire-related climatic conditions (as frequency of the weather types related to large fires) till 2100 using CMIP5 runs.

Require profile, skills and abilities
PhD in meteorology/climatology, or ecology
Knowledge in fire risk, or climate modelling
Programming skill in R or Matlab, and in GIS (ArcGis, QGIS or others)

Location Postdoc will be held at Irstea (Aix-en-Provence, France)

Krawchuk, M. A., M. A. Moritz, M.-A. Parisien, J. Van Dorn and K. Hayhoe (2009). "Global Pyrogeography: the Current and Future Distribution of Wildfire." PLoS ONE 4(4): e5102.
Pechony, O. and D. T. Shindell (2009). "Fire parameterization on a global scale." Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 114.
Scholze, M., W. Knorr, N. W. Arnell and I. C. Prentice (2006). "A climate-change risk analysis for world ecosystems." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103(35): 13116-13120.

CV and motivation letter, as well as additional information request have to be sent to thomas.curt [@] irstea.fr before the 14th of September 2014.