The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.
It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.
The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.
The Soil, Agro- and Hydro-systems, Spatialization (SAS) joint research unit located on the agro-campus in Rennes, studies the interactions between agriculture and the natural environment through an integrative and spatialized approach to rural areas. Its main themes concern the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles (nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus) in cultivated landscapes, as well as the multi-criteria assessment of agricultural systems. The research unit contributes to the development of sustainable agricultural production systems, the improvement of rural planning, and the preservation of water, soil, air and landscape quality.
Within this unit, your mission will be to define the conditions of a driving role of farms to optimize the use of biomass and increase the autonomy of agricultural territories through circularity. For this purpose, you will evaluate the effect of changes in production systems, spatial organization or variations in the level and type of livestock farming, on the territorial metabolism and the circularity of flows at a coherent spatial resolution for the management of these landscapes. You will be responsible for developing methods of assessing material and energy flows in the landscapes by using the LCA framework combined with spatialization and territorial metabolism analysis approaches. Your first task will be to define a framework for analyzing the circularity of flows in agricultural landscapes and an adapted modelling formalism. You will rely on spatial typologies of agricultural activities and other activities within the territories based on the flows of material and energy. The data involved may come from territorial accounting, agricultural statistics, and surveys on farming systems in the landscapes concerned. You will study as a priority the management of feed resources for the animals, effluents and products intended for human consumption and industry. You will integrate the different farming species (ruminants, monogastrics, insects, fish) in their ability to enhance different types of resources and their complementary roles.
Your research will thus help to support the transition of the breeding territories towards more virtuous forms, mobilizing the concepts of the circular economy.
PhD or equivalent. Skills in Circular Economics and spatial approaches based on modelling and material and energy flow analysis (industrial ecology, MFA, ACV, or Emergy), are recommended. Training or experience in agronomy systems or zootechny would be an advantage.
Candidates should have a good command of English, and long-term international experience would also be desirable. Successful candidates who have not yet acquired this experience abroad will be required to do so after their probationary period (1st year).