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 stakeholders 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.
The Tour du Valat is hiring a research officer in statistical ecology
As part of the development of its activities, the Tour du Valat has an opening for a research officer.
Placed within the Species Conservation and Science-Society Interfaces teams, the research officer with expertise in statistical ecology will play a key role in supporting the Institute’s research and conservation activities.
Species conservation is a theme that responds to the current conservation challenges of bird, fish and amphibian species in the Mediterranean basin, through the implementation of species-centered projects that propose management solutions to improve the status of populations and ensure their movements (migration, dispersion). In addition, it scientifically values the long-term monitoring carried out in the Camargue over the last 50 years, which mainly concerns the counting and marking of individuals.
The Science-Society Interfaces theme provides science-based answers to questions raised by wetland conservation stakeholders in the Mediterranean basin: policy makers, managers, members of civil society, etc. Its research topics include the impact of global changes on wetland biodiversity (species communities and habitats) and the effectiveness of conservation policies (e.g. protected areas), most often on the scale of the entire biogeographical region. The transfer of the results of this research to the relevant audiences is central.
The person’s expertise in statistical analysis may lead him/her to work in collaboration with the other themes, namely Wetland Dynamics and Water Management, Management and Restoration of Natural and Agricultural Ecosystems, and Health Ecology. This is therefore a fairly transversal position within the institute.
The mission will be to conduct research in the field of statistics applied to ecology (mainly animal), with strong conservation issues. The research officier will respond to calls for proposals, and develop cooperative and interdisciplinary work with other team members and external institutions. He/she will publish in international scientific journals and participate in the transfer of research results in various formats (reports for policy makers, press articles, interviews…).
The research officer is required to supervise interns and young researchers, coordinate and supervise the work of engineers and technicians: programming their activities, managing the time they are responsible for.
His/her responsibility for the budget varies according to his/her degree of involvement in the projects and includes: the elaboration of the budget upstream and participation in the search for funding as well as responsibility for the execution of a prescribed budget (with the ability to commit expenses up to a limited amount).
In a first phase of about two years, the research officer will analyze the data of the Mediterranean wetlands observatory of the Science-Society Interfaces theme. At the same time, he/she will integrate and gradually take charge of one and then several long-term monitoring projects carried out by the Species Conservation theme.
For the next program of the Tour du Valat 2026-2030, he/she will participate in its elaboration and will be required to manage specific projects, including the preparation of the scientific, financial and administrative file, the management of relations with external partners, and the follow-up and supervision of the implementation and products. The research officer has a large autonomy in the conduct of his/her mission.
Profile and skills
– Doctoral thesis in the field of ecology.
– Post-doctoral experience of at least 1 year.
– Proven experience in large dataset analysis, visualizations and modelling.
– Familiarity with R and Bayesian analyses.
– Expertise in multivariate and univariate tools, especially for community analysis, species trend analysis, and multi-species indicator production.
– Strong links with the scientific/academic world.
– Ability to communicate and advocate on behalf of his/her research.
– Ability to collaborate effectively as a member of international project teams.
– Fluent in English and French (read, written, spoken).
– Rigor, knowledge of research protocol implementation and impeccable ethical behaviour.
– Proven time management and project prioritization skills.
– Good knowledge of or willingness to master other fields of statistical ecology such as Species Distribution Models, spatial analyses or capture-recapture analyses.
– Experience in building, managing and analyzing historical databases.
– Secure data entry and management of data performed by technicians (in Access, Excel, and other formats), including bird count, ringing, and resighting data.
– Naturalist knowledge and field experience. A strong commitment to the protection of biodiversity.
– Driving licence.
The research fellow is placed under the supervision of Thomas Galewski, coordinator of the Science-Society Interfaces theme, and Jocelyn Champagnon, coordinator of the Species Conservation theme.
Type of contract
The position is to be filled on a permanent contract, with a trial period of three months, renewable once.
Group H according to the ECLAT collective agreement, i.e. 32.500 € to 35.000 € gross per year, depending on professional experience.
Starting date of the position
The position is to be filled in September 2023.
Place of work
Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles with the possibility of home office 2 days/week.
How to apply
Send applications to [email protected] (reference to be indicated: “TdV-2023-Ecostats”) before March 20, 2023, with:
– A letter of motivation
– A curriculum vitae
– Two contacts of referents
– A research program proposal (3 pages maximum).
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact [email protected]