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PostDoc at INRA: UMR ECOSYS (Grignon) et PSH (Avignon)

24.10.2017 - INRA, France

INRA, France, offers a 24-month post-doc position. It will be held in part in the UMR ECOSYS at INRA Grignon and in the UMR PSH at INRA Avignon. Topic: Functional x structural modeling of the root system of oilseed rape genotypes.

Work program
The work will include experiments and modeling. The candidate will have the following missions:

  1. Implement a root architecture model for rapeseed, based on the modeling base provided by the ArchiSimple model (duration 6 months, January - June 2018).
    The objective is to obtain a validated model of root architecture for WOSR. To achieve this, it will be necessary to acquire data for model calibration and validation (from pictures already available and/or from new experiments) and then to adapt the ArchiSimple model to WOSR, to calibrate and validate it.
  2. Analyze the genetic variability of the model parameters in response to nitrogen availability (duration 6 months, July 2018 - December 2018)
    The aim of this part is to identify the model parameters exhibiting GxN variability and to which the model proves to be sensitive, in order to use the model later to simulate contrasted root architectures according to the genotype x nitrogen combinations and to define potential root system selection traits. To do this, the candidate will carry out a sensitivity analysis of the model and then evaluate the variability of the model parameters on 5 contrasted genotypes x 2 nitrogen levels. The range of genetic variability will then be extended to a population of 120 genotypes of WOSR grown in limiting nitrogen supply. This experiment will be conducted in collaboration with a PhD student on the high-throughput root phenotyping platform at INRA Dijon.
  3. Integrate nitrogen and carbon functioning into the root architecture model (duration 12 months, January - December 2019)
    The aim of this section is to integrate carbon-nitrogen functioning to the root architecture model to result in a FSPM model. This model will simulate the whole crop cycle, including the post-flowering phase during which root functioning is likely to change. To do this, the candidate will first define a conceptual framework establishing the rules for absorption and allocation of C and N fluxes within the root system, based on knowledge available in the literature, and then implement the corresponding model. Further experiments may be carried out to fill any gaps of knowledge, in particular to dissociate the trophic and signaling effects.

Practical aspects
The post-doctoral position will take place from the 1st of January 2018 to the 31th December 2019 (24 months). It will be held in part in the UMR ECOSYS at INRA Grignon and in the UMR PSH at INRA Avignon. It will be co-supervised by Céline Richard-Molard and Loïc Pagès. The salary is of 2510 € gross per month.

Required skills
The candidate must hold a PhD in plant ecophysiology. Prior experience in root studies will be appreciated. Good skills in modeling, image analysis (Image J, Smart Root, Winrhizo ...) and statistics (R software) are required. Expertise in plant culture under controlled conditions is also expected. Concerning personal abilities, the candidate must demonstrate autonomy, precision and a good sense of organization. Excellent communication skills and a taste for teamwork are required.

Contact us!
To apply, send detailed CV + cover letter + two letters of recommendation to Céline Richard-Molard ( and Loïc Pagès ( before November 15, 2017.