Research scientist on modelling socio-ecological systems

Research scientist on modelling socio-ecological systems
Clermont-Ferrand, France

Research area: applied mathematics, modelling

POSITION open to candidates with a PhD
NB: in some cases and under certain conditions, applicants may apply for recognition of equivalence of diplomas that are not in
the list of qualifications required for this examination (diplomas issued or recognized by a Member State of the European Union or
the States Parties to the agreement of the European Economic Area, or the professional qualification obtained).


Irstea is the French Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture. It focuses on three main
societal challenges: sustainable management of land and water, natural hazards and environmental quality. Within the framework of French and European research, the Institute carries out research in support of public policies and in partnership with industry. It employs 1,550 people across nine regional centres in France.

The LISC research unit (Laboratory of Engineering for Complex Systems) is located in Clermont-Ferrand. It is composed of about 10 permanent research scientists and engineers, and of 5 to 10 PhD students and postdoctoral associates. The research carried out mainly deals with the modelling of the dynamics of ecological and/or social systems. It consists in designing, calibrating and validating models of system dynamics and in developing decision support tools based on these models. The current strategy of the lab is centred on the development of two main research themes: 1) the study of transient system dynamics and 2) the design of an operational mathematical framework for the sustainable management of environmental systems.

Your mission will consist in developing research on the dynamics of socio-ecological systems, using a modelling approach. Modelling of socio-ecological systems, notably at regional scales, is a strong stake to inform collective actions, whether of public or private origin. Ongoing rural and farming mutations and the associated challenges for public policies require a systemic understanding of the current observed dynamics, of their underlying determinants and of their environmental, social and economic impacts. To this end, regional scales are those at which key interactions take place between stakeholders, landscapes, commercial sectors and public policies or collective actions.

Researchers at LISC work on the modelling of managed ecosystems and on the modelling of stakeholder behaviour. A key stake for the years to come will be to better bridge these two lines of research, so as to take into account multiple feedbacks between stakeholder decisions and the dynamics of ecosystems.

From a methodological point of view, associated challenges notably concern the development of dynamical individual-based models of socio-ecological systems; model calibration, uncertainty analysis, model selection and validation with heterogeneous and incomplete data; linking biotechnical, economic, social and environmental dimensions in integrated models, so as to gain an integrated view of the drivers, impacts and feedbacks in studied systems; coupling various spatial and temporal scales depending on the focal processes.

These research themes will contribute to the challenge 1 “sustainable agro-ecosystems” of the excellence program “I-Site Cap 2025” of the Clermont Auvergne University and associated research institutes, and notably to the deliverable “Decision support tools for sustainable agro-ecosystems” that is coordinated by the LISC research unit.


Holder of a PhD in applied mathematics, computer science, or any other academic field with a strong modelling component. You have solid knowledge in the modeling of dynamical systems. You also hold solid thematic knowledge in ecology and/or social sciences, or a proven interest for these scientific disciplines. A research experience on socio-ecological systems would be a clear asset. You have great writing skills, good oral communication skills, work skills in a multidisciplinary team and master the English language perfectly.


Franck JABOT – Director of the LISC research unit – +33 4 73 44 07 33 – [email protected]
Jean-Denis MATHIAS – Deputy head of the scientific department “Territoires” – [email protected]
Sophie THOYER – Head of the scientific department “Territoires”– [email protected]

How to apply

Application form can be obtained:
- on the website: link “Nous rejoindre” and then link “concours externes”
- or by contacting the recruitment center: [email protected] - +33 140 96 60 37 or 60 91.

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