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The Tour du Valat is a research institute for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands based in the Camargue, under the status of a private foundation recognized as a public utility. Founded in 1954 by Dr. Luc Hoffmann, it is at the forefront of multidisciplinary research, building bridges between science, management and public policy, and developing management plans. It has adopted an ambitious mission: “Mediterranean wetlands are preserved, restored and enhanced by a community of actors mobilized in the service of biodiversity and human societies”.

The Tour du Valat has developed an internationally recognized scientific expertise; it provides practical answers to the problems of conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.

The Tour du Valat employs about 80 people, including about 15 researchers and as many project managers. It also hosts several other structures on its site, as well as numerous doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, interns and/or volunteers during the summer season.


Tour du Valat is recruiting a Research Technician Ornithologist Ringer


The scientific community, environmental associations and managers of natural areas have identified a lack of knowledge on terrestrial migrant birds and functional areas of marine birds in the French Mediterranean Sea, particularly in relation to the development of new anthropic activities at sea.

In a context of development of industrial projects in the Mediterranean, including offshore wind farms, it is essential to acquire knowledge to characterize the migratory flows and the functionality of areas at sea for avifauna in the Gulf of Lion, whether for resident species or temporally present.

The MigraLion program proposes to provide knowledge on the spatio-temporal distribution of terrestrial and marine avifauna and chiropterans at the scale of the Gulf of Lion in order to improve the implementation of public policies for the preservation of these species and their natural habitats. In particular, the workpackage “Telemetry of terrestrial migrants and marine birds” aims to contribute to the acquisition of data to understand the spatial distribution of terrestrial migrants and marine species at sea and, the possible existence of migration routes as well as the altitudes of terrestrial and marine migratory birds at sea. For this, a minimum of 20 individuals for 33 species of birds will be equipped with telemetry technology adapted to the size of the species: 7 marine species, 9 migratory waders of wetlands, 17 land migrants including 7 passerines.

This workpackage is supported by Tour du Valat, Centre d’Ecologie et des Sciences de la Conservation (UMR7204, MNHN), Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (CEBC, UMR7372) and Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (UMR5175).

Missions of the position

The ornithologist technician employed will be in charge of planning, organizing, coordinating, capturing and fitting telemetric tags on the targeted bird species. He/she will also manage the implementation of the CRBPO Personal Program dedicated to MigraLion, ensuring the appropriate capture of banding data, drafting the 2-year review and any interim amendments. He/she will carry out the operational archiving of the telemetric data on the Movebank platform. He/she will activate the international naturalist network to attempt tagging recoveries whenever possible.

The person recruited will also be in charge of managing a budget for capturing birds, and may be required to manage orders and distribution of tags to other CRBPO ringers involved, maintain regular contact with nature protection associations or scientific experts to help with capture and fitting of tags. He/she may act alone, as part of a team, or in support of the technical staff of CRBPO, Tour du Valat, or CNRS.

More specifically, a certain number of species will be targeted for rapid deployment in the summer of 2021, and then the person recruited will establish a precise and realistic work plan during the fall in order to prepare the spring 2022 field campaign.

desired ProfilE and skills for the candidate

  • The candidate must have a permit to capture birds for ringing. Otherwise, the candidate will need to demonstrate extensive experience in handling the target taxa.
  • Experience with harnessing, colour ringing, and deployment of telemetry equipment.
  • Excellent knowledge of bird ecology in general.
  • Autonomous, innovative ideas and great patience to adapt to various situations.
  • Rigorous and perfect ethical behaviour.
  • Good knowledge of data management software (spreadsheets, SQL and/or GIS databases, Movebank)
  • Good communication skills and ability to handle French administrative procedures in order to access private property and obtain authorization to capture wildlife in protected areas.
  • Work in a team in the field, train yourself and qualified personnel in specific manipulations.
  • Holder of a diploma equivalent to or higher than Bac+2.
  • Driving license.


Jocelyn Champagnon will be the correspondent for Tour du Valat. He is currently the coordinator of the Species Conservation team, which leads and promotes the long-term monitoring programs carried out by Tour du Valat. The person recruited will be able to draw on the expertise and skills of the team, in particular the three bird ringing technicians/engineers.

Frédéric Jiguet will be the MNHN correspondent for the scientific project. He is MNHN professor at CESCO, and deputy director of CRBPO since 2019. He has been a ringer for more than twenty years, and develops research on bird migration, both marine and terrestrial, using telemetry technologies (GPS tags, geolocators). Technicians, engineers and ringers of the CRBPO platform can be mobilized to carry out the captures and the deployment of tags.

The person recruited will also be able to benefit from the experience and teams of David Grémillet (research director at CNRS, director of CEBC) and Olivier Duriez (CEFE, lecturer at the University of Montpellier).

Type of contract and remuneration

CDI “project” corresponding to a one-year fixed-term contract, renewable twice according to the MigraLion project’s funding modes.

Remunération: Groupe D ou D+ according to the CCNA collective agreement, i.e. 1920€ to 2150€ gross monthly, depending on professional experience.

Starting date: Between 1st and 15th June 2021

Workplace: Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc 13200 Arles

How to apply ?

Send applications to Florence Daubigney (reference to be indicated: « TdV-2021-Migralion ») before May 12, 2021, with:

  • A letter of motivation ;
  • A curriculum vitae.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a videoconference interview at the end of May 2021.

For any questions about the application process, please contact Florence Daubigney.