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PhD position in biodiversity modelling, statistical ecology and AI (H/F)

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : jeudi 6 octobre 2022

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General information

Reference : UMR5553-WILTHU0-010
Workplace : GRENOBLE
Date of publication : Thursday, September 15, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Wilfried THUILLER
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 November 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135 € per month, tax included.l

Description of the thesis topic

In the frame of the Horizon Europe NaturaConnect project, we are opening a 3-y PhD position to work on various aspects of biodiversity modelling, conservation planning and nature contribution to people. We seek a candidate with strong interests in statistical ecology, artificial intelligence and conservation.

The exact details of the PhD project will be worked out with the candidate and will also be influenced by the two postdocs soon to be hired on the same european projects.
Possible avenues are the application of existing modeling frameworks to new ecological data (eDNA data, camera traps) with high-resolution environmental information from remote sensing, the development of appropriate tools to model species-based ecosystem services in space and time while taking into account trade-offs and synergies, tests of new techniques and models to better model species distributions while taking into account trophic interactions, their joint response to human disturbances, etc... Applications of spatio-temporal neural networks to time series could also be part of the PhD depending on the interest and background of the candidate. Extensions to applications of connectivity analysis, dispersion models and systematic conservation planning in space and time could also be considered.
As part of a large European project, the candidate will have the chance to interact with a large community of ecologists, conservationists and modelers as well as NGOs.

The candidates should have:
- A Master in ecology/biodiversity/geography, or a Master in applied mathematics/statistics/AI but with strong interests in ecology.
- Proficient in R and Python
- Rigor and autonomy
- An experience in analyzing large scale biodiversity data and using statistical models
- Good writing and communication capacities
- Fluent in English
- Being a friendly and open team member.

Work Context

LECA (https://leca.osug.fr) is part of the Univ. Grenoble Alpes and CNRS in France. Grenoble is set close to some of the most beautiful mountains of the Alps with excellent connections to Lyon and Geneva.
LECA host a large and vibrant community of excellent scientists to interact with, several highly cited researchers, a large variety of experimental and observational cases studies (mostly in the Alps such as ORCHAMP), and several modelling tools already developed (biomod2, FATE-HD, econetwork, metanetwork, VirtualCom, EcoLottery). Working language is English and French.

The selected candidate will join the BIOM team "Describing, understanding and predicting the spatio-temporal distribution and dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystems (BIOdiversity Monitoring), whose research objectives are to study how global changes influence biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and nature's contributions to societies. The team provides an excellent intellectual environment and infrastructure for the research project, with several postdocs and PhD students working on complementary themes.

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