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Postdoctoral Position in Ecosystem Modelling (INRA Nancy, France)

The ERANET Project FOCUSSERA studies the interactions between interactive effects of drought and tree population density on the resistance and resilience of tree growth, as well as the ecophysiological mechanisms contributing to the drought response of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and silver fir (Abies alba). It combines a large dataset from long-term experimental management stands in Germany, France and Switzerland with a mechanistic ecosystem model and a forest succession model including forest management and ecosystem services, leading to an economic risk-assessment at different spatial and temporal scales.

The postdoc will provide mortality rates for the risk-assessment model ForClim (Rasche et al. 2011) by mechanistic modelling of tree mortality with the ecosystem model MuSICA (Ogée et al. 2003) under different forest management strategies and climate change scenarios. MuSICA (Ogée et al. 2003) is among the most advanced multi-layer soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer (SVAT) models, based on ecophysiological process representations and includes, among others, species competition for a limited number of resources such as light and water. The postdoc will enhance the formulations of carbohydrate stores in MuSICA, including their isotopic compositions, as well as develop further the hydraulic formulations leading ultimately to hydraulic failure during drought.

FOCUSSERA combines researchers from the NFZ.forestnet that connects six research institutions from Zurich (Switzerland), Freiburg (Germany) and Nancy (France). The postdoc will work with the partner institutions, forming the link between the data-centred work packages and the economic risk-assessment tool. S/he will also work closely with the main developer of the ecosystem model in Bordeaux (J Ogée). MuSICA is written in Fortran. Strong programming skills are required.

The position is based at INRA Nancy (France) in the Joint Research Unit (UMR 1137) of Forest Ecology and Ecophysiology (EEF). It is for a duration of three years, starting as soon as possible. Salary level will correspond to the “Chargé de Recherches, 1ère classe” level.

Applications to Matthias Cuntz (matthias.cuntz (at) should include a CV, the publication list, a letter of motivation, as well as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of possible references. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Matthias Cuntz
INRA Centre de Nancy
UMR1137 Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières
Rue d’Amance
54280 Champenoux
Tel: +33 (0)3 83 39 73 03
Mob: +33 (0)6 46 07 15 19
E-Mail: matthias.cuntz (at)