PhD : The QUANTitative 3D imaging for infaUnal microscopic benthic diversity and iMpact studies (QUANTUM) (M/F)

Issy-les-Moulineaux, Île-de-France, fr
Company: Ifremer - French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea
Published on 2021-06-22 07:05:53

Reference:   PV-2021-923/1


Duration of contract:3 ans

Start date:

Deadline for applications:02/05/2021

The Institute and the recruiting department

A pioneer in ocean science, IFREMER’s cutting-edge research is grounded in sustainable development and open science. Our vision is to advance science, expertise and innovation to:

- Protect and restore the ocean

- Sustainably use marine resources to benefit society

- Create and share ocean data, information & knowledge.

With more than 1,500 personnel spread along the French coastline in more than 20 sites, the Institute explores the 3 great oceans: the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A leader in ocean science, IFREMER is managing the French Oceanographic Fleet and its dedicated scientists create ground-breaking technology to push the boundaries of ocean exploration and knowledge, from the abyss to the atmosphere-ocean interface.

Well-established in the international scientific community, our scientists, engineers and technicians are committed to advance knowledge about our planet’s last unexplored frontiers. They provide the science we need for informed decision-making and public policy and they transfer this knowledge and technology to businesses to fulfill public and private needs. Core to our mission is also to strengthen public awareness about the importance of understanding the ocean and its resources, and empowering future generations of leaders through education and outreach national campaigns.

Founded in 1984, IFREMER is a French public organization and its budget approximates 240 million euros. It is operating under the joint authority of the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

General areas of responsibility

The Department of Physical Resources and Deep-sea Ecosystems (REM) tackles scientific and technological challenges. Its research involves the study of the seafloor and sub-seafloor, the geological evolution of continental shelves, past climate variation, geological risks, biodiversity and the dynamics of deep-sea ecosystems and the interactions between the biosphere and the geosphere on scales ranging from bacteria to the glacial cycles.


The QUANTUM project aims to find new methods and technologies to revolutionize the way we discover and monitor our benthic domain. The QUANTUM PhD will test and develop 3D-imaging for microscopic infaunal organisms allowing for quantitative and functional data of benthic communities necessary for impact studies. It will contribute in building a reference training dataset based on processed images combined with visual and manual image analysis for machine-learning method development.

This PhD will also define the key-species and functional traits necessary to understand changes in the marine environment, focusing on different impacted marine ecosystems from shallow water to the deep sea. In the framework of the project BLUEREVOLUTION (, the student will profit of the top international experts in the field and he/she will be co-supervised by C De Vargas (SBR, France) and P Martinez Arbizu (Senckenberg Institute, Germany).

The PhD QUANTUM will develop multidisciplinary and cross disciplinary skills, by gaining expertise on the morphology of infauna, high-resolution microscopy for species identification as well as on cutting-edge techniques linked to artificial intelligence.

Key words

Biodiversity, benthic infauna, impact studies, functional traits

Required Knowledge, skills, and characteristics

Expected profile

  • Strong background in marine ecology and biology.
  • Basic knowledge on marine benthos, as well as strong skills in microscopy required.
  • Good relational capacities to work in a collaborative a multidisciplinary context.
  • Good level in English (spoken, written).
  • Specific working conditions

  • The PhD student will be mainly based at Ifremer in Brest and he/she will be also hosted by the Station Biologique in Roscoff
  • The PhD student will spend 3 months at the Senckenberg Institute in Germany
  • The PhD student will participate in sampling activities (shallow water ecosystems and possibly one oceanographic cruise)
  • PhD is a real opportunity to work on Ifremer's scientific and technological priority themes. It entitle the holder to a gross monthly salary of 1900 euros for a period of 3 years, which cannot be combined with other scholarships. 

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