Researcher in pelagic ecology (M/F) in Nantes, Pays de la Loire, FR at IFREMER - ENGLISH

Date Posted: 11/19/2021

Job Snapshot

Job Description

Job title : Researcher in pelagic ecology (M/F)

Reference:  PV-2021-077

Department/Office :  Département des Ressources Biologiques et Environnement

Unité Halieutique Grand Ouest

Laboratoire Ecologie et Modèles pour l'Halieutique

Duty station:  Nantes, Pays de la Loire, FR , France

Starting date on the job :

Deadline for applications : 30/11/2021



The Institute and the recruiting departement

A pioneer in ocean science, IFREMER’s cutting-edge research is grounded in sustainable development and open science. Our vision is to advance science, expertise and innovation to:

  • Protect and restore the ocean
  • Sustainably use marine resources to benefit society
  • Create and share ocean data, information & knowledge.

With more than 1,500 personnel spread along the French coastline in more than 20 sites, the Institute explores the 3 great oceans: the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A leader in ocean science, IFREMER is managing the French Oceanographic Fleet and its dedicated scientists create ground-breaking technology to push the boundaries of ocean exploration and knowledge, from the abyss to the atmosphere-ocean interface.

Well-established in the international scientific community, our scientists, engineers and technicians are committed to advance knowledge about our planet’s last unexplored frontiers. They provide the science we need for informed decision-making and public policy and they transfer this knowledge and technology to businesses to fulfill public and private needs. Core to our mission is also to strengthen public awareness about the importance of understanding the ocean and its resources, and empowering future generations of leaders through education and outreach national campaigns.

Founded in 1984, IFREMER is a French public organization and its budget approximates 240 million euros. It is operating under the joint authority of the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the french Ministry of the Sea, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.



General areas of responsibility

The objective of the unit Halgo is to develop knowledge and methods for the ecosystem approach to fisheries, in particular for the integrated assessment of ecosystems. Starting in 2022 Halgo will be part of the UMR DECOD (Dynamics and sustainability of ecosystems: from the spring to the ocean; Institut Agro/Inrae/Ifremer). The unit thus contributes to the definition of the conditions for a sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources and ecosystems. Its research project includes two thematic axes: 'Ecosystem dynamics, from source to ocean' and 'Integrated assessment and sustainability of ecosystems'. More specifically, the EMH laboratory contributes to the acquisition of knowledge and the development of observation and data analysis methods as well as models of different complexity.


The EMH laboratory specialises in integrated observation and assessment of marine ecosystems, particularly in the Bay of Biscay. It implements various sampling tools (active acoustics, nets, video, environmental DNA, trophic tracers, etc.) on a variety of platforms (research vessels, ships of opportunity, drones, fixed stations, etc.), and develops methods for analysing observation and model data. The combined analysis of acoustic data and other observational or model data allows a rapid quantitative characterisation of pelagic ecosystems, and in particular of their still little explored components (e.g. zooplankton, mesopelagics, ...).


The researcher will strengthen the skills in pelagic ecology of the unit. He/she will conduct and participate in research on the multi-scale interactions between the biological components of marine ecosystems and the impact of anthropogenic activities (climate change, fishing, marine renewable energy - MRE, etc.). He/she will develop methods for the integrated collection and analysis of data (acoustic, fishing, video, environmental DNA, models, etc.) to characterise the multi-scale spatial and temporal variability of pelagic ecosystems and to study the impacts of anthropogenic activities. He/she contributes to the provision of observations for research and in support of regulatory frameworks of fisheries and marine ecosystem management.


Main tasks


  • To study ecological interactions between pelagic components (plankton, micronekton, fish, megafauna) at multiples scales (from the micro to the mesoscale) and their links with environmental conditions, local anthropogenic activities, and global change.
  • To study the intensity and variability of ecological interactions between the pelagic domain and the benthic-demersal domain.
  • To develop innovative methods for observing pelagic ecosystems to characterise lesser-known compartments (e.g. zooplankton, mesopelagic) and the impact of anthropogenic activities (MRE, fishing/megafauna interactions, etc.) at high frequency.
  • To contribute to the expertise on good ecological status of pelagic ecosystems in the context of global change, through the provision of status indices of intermediate trophic levels and pelagic fish stocks.


Main activities


  • Study of ecological interactions within the pelagic environment (match/mismatch, predation, spatial distributions and migrations) and in interaction with the benthic habitat (vertical migrations...). Integration of various data types (acoustic, biological, optical, environmental DNA, models, etc.) at different scales to identify the main energy transfer pathways and study their variability under anthropogenic and natural pressures.
  • Application and development of statistical methods (artificial intelligence, etc.) for the analysis of acoustic data, particularly broadband acoustics and other types of data (imagery, fisheries, environmental DNA, models, etc.), for the characterisation and monitoring of the state of ecosystems, in collaboration with the national and international scientific community. Contribution to integrated ecosystem assessments.
  • Design, organise and participate in the collection of acoustic (and other) data from different platforms (ships, observatories, submersibles, drones, gliders, etc.). Enabling technological developments could be the subject of partnership research (within the framework of the Carnot MERS institute) and lead to innovation transfers, particularly in the field of autonomous monitoring of the impact of MRE on the pelagic environment.
  • Co-referent in fisheries and ecosystem acoustics at Ifremer and (co-) leader of the national fisheries acoustics network.
  • Development of research projects with national and international partners.
  • Publication of scientific articles
  • Supervision of trainees, doctoral and post-doctoral students.


Relational field


  • Within Ifremer: UMR DECOD, fisheries science units, NSE, RDT, DFO, GM, units involved in MFSD


  • Outside Ifremer:
    • International: ICES working groups (WGFAST, WGACEGG, WGISUR, WGMLEARN), IMR, NOAA
    • National : national fisheries acoustics network (IRD, INRAE ...), UMS Pelagis, Université La Rochelle, GDR Ecologie Statistique
    • Local : Centrale Nantes, Nantes University




Required Knowledge, skills, and characteristics


  • PhD and postdoctoral experience, ideally in active acoustics applied to pelagic ecology

Implemented skills

Technical / professional skills:

  • Pelagic ecology
  • Active acoustics
  • Quantitative ecology
  • Machine learning
  • Written and oral communication in English and French
  • Project development and management
  • Supervision (master and PhD students, post-doctoral fellows)


Personal qualities:

  • Autonomy, rigour, curiosity
  • Scientific leadership and networking skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Interest in and aptitude for working at sea



Specific working conditions


  • Full time position
  • Work at sea (3-4 weeks per year)





How to apply for this position

Deadline for applications: 30/11/2021

All applications are processed exclusively via our website. Interested candidates can apply by clicking the “Apply” button.