Tour du Valat is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate



Date limite de candidature: 

Friday, March 10, 2017


The Tour du Valat is a private research foundation working for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands. Founded in 1954 by Dr Luc Hoffmann and based in the Camargue, it is at the cutting edge of multidisciplinary fields of research, building bridges between science, management and public policies, and drawing up management plans. The Tour du Valat has internationally recognized scientific expertise, and provides practical responses to problems regarding the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources. The Tour du Valat’s projects are carried out in the Camargue and around the Mediterranean Basin.

The Tour du Valat employs 60 people, including 10 researchers and about 8 Ph.D. or other students.

For further information on the Tour du Valat visit

The Tour du Valat is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to develop estimates of the resilience of ecological functioning of Mediterranean wetlands using species data.

The Tour du Valat is managing the project "Observatory of Mediterranean Wetlands" which has been designed as a decision support tool developed under the MedWet Initiative and the Ramsar Convention. Using a series of themes and indicators, the Observatory produces syntheses on the status and trends of Mediterranean wetlands, analyzes the causes and consequences of changes in biodiversity and the ecosystem services provided (more info).

Following a recent publication from Newbold et al. (2016) (more info), we want to estimate the resilience of ecological functioning of Mediterranean wetlands and to position Mediterranean Wetland ecosystems with respect to the planetary biodiversity safety boundary. In addition, we want to use species data to estimate trends in specific ecological functions related to important ecosystem services.

This work will involve statistical analysis of existing datasets of species presence/absence and abundance for the Camargue and the computation of meaningful indexes for ecological functions. Applied methodologies will be tested on other sites and datasets, one option could be Doñana in collaboration with the Doñana Biological Station (CSIC, Sevilla).

We are looking for a natural scientist with experiences with applying statistics on large databases of biodiversity observations and excellent writing scientific skills. The successful candidate will work closely with Ilse Geijzendorffer and Thomas Galewski, Project Coordinators at the Tour du Valat.

Main outputs expected are:

1. Estimations of the positioning of Mediterranean wetlands with respect to the Planetary Biodiversity safety boundary.
2. Estimations of trends for specific ecological functions related to ecosystem services.
3. A critical reflection of the usefulness of this approach for future reporting purposes.
4. Scientific publication on the positioning of Mediterranean wetlands with respect to the Planetary Biodiversity safety boundary. The successful candidate will take responsibilities as first author.


Required skills and desirable experience for the position


  • A PhD, or equivalent experience, in an area related to biodiversity
  • Ability to handle large databases with biodiversity observations
  • Thorough understanding and ability to apply statistical methods and software.
  • Detailed knowledge of biodiversity
  • Fluent at writing in English
  • Demonstrable ability to complete projects to the stage of good quality reports/publications on time


  • Experience of working on subjects relating to wetlands
  • Experience of summarising large amounts of information for practitioners/policymakers
  • Experience of database design and management
  • Ability to translate French , Spanish or other language texts into English summaries
  • Good team worker
  • Experience of writing peer-reviewed scientific papers


12 months, preferably from May 1st, 2017.

Informations complémentaires: 

Annual salary according to experience (CCNA Convention);

Working location in the Camargue at the Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, Arles (France).

Candidature à adresser à: 

Send your application before March 10th, 2017 to Florence Daubigney (e-mail) (ref: TdV-2017-MWO), with:

  • A cover letter;
  • A resume/CV
  • A list of publications;
  • The names and contact details of three references (with e-mail addresses), including a recent employer.

The shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview at Tour du Valat (Arles, France) on March 27th, 2017. Travelling expenses can be reimbursed at the applicant’s request.

For any questions concerning the application procedure, please contact Florence Daubigney (e-mail).