September 2012
Message 57

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[Met-jobs] 3 Year Post-Doctoral Position at INRA Bordeaux (France)

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Fri, 21 Sep 2012 08:54:59 +0000

Forwarded from CLIMLIST...

"Wind Damage to Forests in a Changing Climate: Impacts and Mitigation"

Description of Position
Wind is responsible for more than half of the damage by volume to
European forests and is predicted to continue to increase with current
management practices and the changing climate. Modifying forest
management to reduce and mitigate the impacts of wind damage requires a
detailed understanding of the influence of the forest structure on the
vulnerability of the forest. However, the range of services provided by
the forest (timber, recreation, high water quality) also needs to be
maintained whatever management system is implemented for reducing wind
risk. In addition other hazards such as fire and insects outbreaks need
to be taken into consideration. Balancing these multiple requirements at
a regional scale, with multiple forest ownership and objectives, is a
challenging and non-trivial problem. It requires use of the latest
computational techniques in Geographic Information, Artificial
Intelligence and computer modelling in order to find acceptable
solutions both in the short (<10 years) and longer term (~10-50 years).
This position will be responsible for integrating a range of data
(ground-based and remote sensed), computer based tools and new
measurements of flow over complex forests in order to develop methods
for assessing the impact of different management strategies. Models of
forest growth, soil hydrology, wind damage vulnerability, and airflow
will be utilized. Particular use will be made of GIS in order to provide
a spatial representation of the forest and to integrate models and data
in order to allow calculation of the productivity of the forest and the
risks of wind damage now and in the future. Following data and model
integration artificial intelligence optimisation methods such as
heuristic techniques, genetic algorithms and reinforcement learning will
be applied to identify optimum solutions, under various scenarios
(different management options and different future climates). The
proposal is to develop a generic methodology for optimising forest
management so as to provide acceptable levels of production from the
forest but within defined risk thresholds. The methodology needs to be
able to also incorporate other threats (e.g. fire, insect damage, and
drought) at some future point.

The development and testing of the optimisation methods will initially
use “academic” landscapes consisting of “idealized” forest structures
based on growth model predictions and climate change projections. Such
“idealized” landscapes will be used to test model and data integration
and the use of different optimisation techniques. Subsequently the
project will investigate optimal solutions for managing forests at the
regional scale using Les Landes Forest in south-west France as a test
case. This is a large forest area (~10,000 km2) with a complex spatial
structure and ownership pattern, which supports a major wood processing
sector. However, it suffered catastrophic wind damage in December 1999
and January 2009 and has also been badly affected recently by bark
beetle and pine processionary moth damage.

Candidate profile
The candidate should have a background in computer science or the use of
computer modelling in ecology. They should preferably have experience in
artificial intelligence, optimisation or operations research techniques.
Knowledge of the use of GIS or computer models for land use modelling
would be an advantage. The position is for 3 years and is part of an
INRA “package” awarded to Dr Barry Gardiner within the INRA-Ephyse team.
The postdoc will work closely with Dr Gardiner and the other members of
the INRA team working on forest risks including a new PhD student
conducting detailed studies of flow over fragmented landscapes. The
candidate will also be expected to collaborate with the rest of the team
in promoting the findings of the project to the scientific community
through publications and attendance at international conferences and to
the forest based sector through workshops, seminars and articles in
trade journals.

The postdoc will be automatically part of the extensive international
network of the research team including being part of a new collaborative
project testing hyper-heuristic schemes with Prof. Emma Hart at
Edinburgh Napier University.

Practical information
Location: Equipe Mécanique Environnementale, UR 1263 Ephyse, Centre Inra
Bordeaux-Aquitaine, 71 av. Edouard Bourlaux, 33140 Villenave d'Ornon
(<>). The position will begin at the latest by
1st January 2013 and last for 3 years. Deadline for application: 31st
October 2012. Salary: €40870.32/year gross.

Project Team
Barry Gardiner (Package Leader: +33(0)557122411,, Yves Brunet (+33(0)557122411,, Sylvain Dupont (Team Leader, +33(0)557122433,, Pauline Défossez (+33(0)557122364

Send enquiries to Barry Gardiner: <>

Barry Gardiner
Senior Scientist
71, Avenue Edouard Bourlaux
33140 Villenave D'Ornon
Téléphone :+33(0)5 57 12 24 11
Fax :+33 (0)5 57 12 24 20
Mobile (France)+33(0)645110395
Mobile (UK)+44(0)7810180150

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