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Post-doc position available on "the stability of coevolved interaction networks"

Project description

The postdoc applicant will work in the context of a wider project funded by the ANR (the French National Research Agency) called ARSENIC, "Adaptation and Resilience of Spatial Ecological Networks to human-Induced Changes" (2015-2019).

The general aim of ARSENIC is to contribute to the understanding of the functioning of ecological networks and how they are shaped by evolution. Understanding the dynamics of ecological networks is a dual goal, both for fundamental research and for building informed programs on sustainable ecosystem services and species conservation. Accounting for species interactions and evolution to understand the consequences of global changes is the critical question that we want to tackle within ARSENIC.

A first post-doctoral fellow already working on the ARSENIC project (2015-2017) is developing models linking the coevolution of traits to the structure of ecological networks. The aim is to investigate the structure of ecological communities emerging from evolutionary processes acting at the landscape scale.

Using insights from this first part of the project, the aim of this postdoc will be to study the dynamical and stability consequences of network properties which have emerged from the evolutionary dynamics. One of the goals is to understand how natural selection affects the stability (resilience, robustness) of ecological networks, and thus how it may help solve May’s diversity-stability paradox. Another aim is to confront theoretical predictions to data taking advantage of existing databases on species traits and interactions.


* PhD in (theoretical) ecology, applied mathematics, physics, or similar background
* Strong modeling skills
* Programming skills (R, C++ and/or Matlab)
* Statistics and data analysis skills
* Interest in linking models with data
* Fluent in English
* Good scientific writing skills

The ideal candidate will have experience with network approaches (modeling and/or data analysis) and an interest in linking models and data.


The postdoc position should ideally start in the fall 2016, no later than the end of 2016. The full-time appointment will be for initially one year with possible extension up to one year. Salary will be based on work experience according to University of Montpellier regulations (e.g., about 2200€ two years after PhD).

Job application

Applications should include a detailed CV with a list of publications, a letter of interest, a short description of research experience and interests (1 page maximum), and the names and contact addresses of two academic references from whom information about the candidate can be obtained. Combine all these items into a single PDF file.

Applications should be sent by email only to Sonia Kéfi (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Colin Fontaine (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Applications will be assessed from June 6 and until the position is filled. Interviews, possibly via Skype, will be held soon after this date.