- Tour du Valat - https://tourduvalat.org/en/ -

The Tour du Valat is seeking a Post-doctoral fellowship in aquatic ecology – Analysis and synthesis of the dynamics of glass eel recruitment in the Camargue delta

The Tour du Valat is a private foundation working for the research and 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. The main objective for the Tour du Valat is to change the behavior and decisions made by governments and the wider society in the Mediterranean basin to achieve that wetlands are conserved and sustainably managed towards the future.

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 80 people, including 10 researchers and about 8 Ph.D. In addition Tour du Valat hosts on its site several organizations and receives numerous trainees and volunteers.


Glass eels

The European eel is a species classified as critically endangered since 2008 by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Since 2007, national Eel Management Plans have been established in accordance with the European Regulation (No. 1100/2007). The Vaccarès system is the only lagoon Index chosen by the French Eel Management Plan to monitor the status of the European eel population.

This plan together with the Rhône Mediterranean migratory fish management plan set objectives for monitoring glass eel recruitment and silver eel escapement. Various scientific surveys carried out using nets or trap passes now provide several substantial data sets to better understand the dynamics of glass eel recruitment at different points in the Rhône delta.

The migratory behaviour of glass eels within lagoon systems, where the salinity gradient may vary unevenly across space, remains unknown. Unlike an estuary where salinity generally follows an upstream-downstream gradient, lagoon environments such as the Vaccarès system have freshwater inflows, which can be located both in the immediate vicinity of the connection with the sea or at much more remote points. This type of lagoon can also present areas of hypersalinity, at least temporarily.

A hydro-thermo-saline model of the Vaccarès hydrosystem, developed under Telemac 2D by the Tour du Valat, simulates several hydraulic (volume of water exchanged, water height, flow velocity) and physico-chemical (temperature, salinity) variables at fine spatial (up to the order of one meter) and temporal (typically hourly scale) resolutions.


Two main objectives will be addressed in this postdoctoral fellowship: (1) a meta-analysis of the dynamics of glass eel recruitment at different points in the delta, and (2) a characterization of the upstream migration of glass eels within the delta using matrix-type modelling tools. The results will enable to better visualize the different migration dynamics and propose an optimized management strategy to promote recruitment within the delta.

Partners involved

Profil et compétences recherchés

Practical information

How to apply

Send your application to Delphine Nicolas [2] (e-mail [5]) until November 30th, 2019, with:

The pre-selected candidates will be invited for an interview on site or by videoconference.