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Post-doctoral Position "What are the indirect effects of a large-scale reduction in the use of nitrogen fertilizers in Europe?"

Impacts will be studied through changes in biomass productions, surface water availability, net emissions of greenhouse gases, and nitrogen losses for the environment

Scientific context

The Laboratory of excellency (LabEx) BASC (Biodiversity, Agroecosystems, Society, Climate) has developed a range of economic and biophysical models to analyze the factors driving land use change and assess their ecological, agricultural, climatic and economic impacts. These models differ in their methodologies, scale of interest and resolution, but they are very complementary and could provide the LabEx with a unique capacity to analyze policies that influence land use. In this context, BASC has put forward the STIMUL project (Scenarios Towards Integrating Multi-scale Land-use tools) that involves 1) the practical implementation of an interaction between these tools and 2) the use of these combined tools to investigate the effects of three integrated policy scenarios on changes in land use in Europe, and the induced consequences in several dimensions (production, biodiversity, air and water pollution). The analysis of these scenarios will incorporate indirect effects, i.e. those caused by the changes in the global price vector, and the demand/supply responses. For some particular issues (e.g., biodiversity) a finer level of analysis (France) will be also developed as an exploration of downscaling analysis. Among the various objectives of this project, one is to evaluate the consequences of a 50% reduction of nitrogen fertilizers in Europe on land uses and subsequent ecosystem services. The consequences of such public policy on land uses are now being produced and analyzed within two BASC laboratories (CIRED and Economie Publique).

The post-doc recruited will specifically have to quantify how those induced changes in land uses further impact on some “ecosystem services” at the scale of Europe, under various scenarios of global climate change. The ecosystem services will be computed by means of the ORCHIDEE-crop global vegetation model, developed at the IPSL in France. Changes in productivity, net emissions of CO2 and N2O, water availability will be looked at.


The post-doc will work in close collaboration with scientists from various BASC’s laboratories and will have three main tasks:

  • Develop a tool to transform changes in land uses produced by the partial equilibrium models of land-use into land (cover and uses) maps to be read by ORCHIDEE-crop.
  • Run ORCHIDEE-crop at the scale of Europe, forced with various land use and climate scenarios to produce sets of simulations that will allow analyzing the respective impacts of climate and land uses on some chosen simulated ecosystem services.
  • Analyze those runs and more specifically develop useful diagnostics of impacts.

Requested Skills

  • Edcuation: PhD
  • Knowledge of biosphere-atmosphere interactions
  • Experience with complex land surface / ecosystem models
  • Statistical analysis
  • Fortran and Python Programming

Dead-line for Submission

 June 30, 2018

Start of Contract

~October 2018 (3 months delay are necessary between acceptance and start of the job = time requested for administrative procedures)


18 months


~1950 to 2800 € depending on the number of years of past experience




Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Orme des Merisiers 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France (http://www.lsce.ipsl.fr; http://www6.inra.fr/basc)

Contact Person

nathalie.de-noblet@lsce.ipsl.fr ; please send a complete CV + letter of motivation

More background information in the document below

Documents à télécharger