Job offer: Relational modelling for ecotoxicological assessment

Type of contract: datascientist research engineer – fixed term

Duration: October 2021 – December 2022

Application deadline: recruitment in progress



Coastal areas constitute interface environments between terrestrial and marine ecosystems, which account for 90% of marine biodiversity. However, coastal waters are the first to be affected by human activities and are the main vectors of contamination of anthropogenic origin, particularly in port areas, via maritime traffic or accidental pollution.

In this context, the European Directive Framework Strategy for the Marine Environment aims to achieve or maintain a good ecological state of marine waters and the monitoring of contamination is essential in order to assess its effects and to propose measures of remedy for the high concentrations found on certain sites.


The FEAMP / QUAMPO project, carried out in collaboration with the underwater and oceanographic research station STARESO (Calvi), aims to assess the QUALITY of the coastal environments in Haute-Corse (St-Florent, Île Rousse and Calvi) from passive (P. caerulea) and active (M. galloprovincialis) biomonitoring.

The work carried out should make it possible to understand the relationships between the various parameters measured and may be the subject of recommendations to local stakeholders and decision-makers (port authorities, local authorities, port users, etc.) to put in place progressive improvements in order to improve water quality.

To meet these objectives, measurements, samples and analyzes are carried out twice a year on the various sites:

  • Monitoring of the health status of the two species by analyzing a broad spectrum of effect and exposure biomarkers
  • Monitoring of the physicochemical parameters of the water (temperature, salinity, nutrients)
  • Monitoring of water contamination (trace elements and organic pollutants)

Other additional measures such as the temporal evolution of primary producers in coastal areas or open access data (Copernicus program, etc.) could be incorporated into the approach.


Main missions:

The candidate’s research work will be located at the interface of different approaches (ecotoxicology, analytical chemistry and mathematical analysis) and will be part of an integrative approach to the responses of biological systems to environmental changes, in order to understand their diversity and consequences on the quality of the environment. The recruited person will develop a multiblock approach in order to better understand the mechanisms involved in the responses observed along the space-time continuum. In close collaboration with the various partners of the project, its main activities will be to:

  • Favour integrated approaches (chemical, biological and environmental data) to understand and analyse the interactions between environmental pollution and living organisms and to improve the power of biotest approaches (based on the modification of the value of these biomarkers) in the detection effects in natural environments;
  • Explain the links between the levels of certain sub-individual biomarkers (molecular, cellular, tissue, etc.) and the associated individual effects in order to assess the relevance of these media quality bio-monitoring tools.
  • Develop a relational model by carrying out a comparative study of the methods available in this area of ​​expertise: parameterization from monitoring of reference populations; sensitivity analyses explaining the link between effects at the individual and population scales.
  • Participate in meetings and working groups on the QUAMPO project, as well as in the drafting of technical reports and scientific documents.


Required skills:

  • Expertise in biostatistics and modelling
  • Very good knowledge in ecotoxicological modelling and transfer of contaminants in coastal waters
  • Good knowledge of the functioning of coastal ecosystems and practices in port areas
  • Work experience in an interdisciplinary context and in a team
  • Technical skills on the use of GIS
  • Programming under R
  • Experience in database management
  • Very good writing skills in English


Desired profile

The candidate must have a Bac + 8 level training (PhD) corresponding to the profile displayed: biomathematics, biostatistics, modelling with an interest in the biology of organisms and populations. The taste for teamwork and for the implementation of experimental approaches is also important.



Hélène THOMAS (project leader):

To apply, please send your CV + cover letter to the contacts above. Please note that any incomplete application will not be processed.