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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018




Centre Alpin sur les Réseaux Trophiques et Ecosystèmes Lacustre

PhD subject in experimental plankton ecology

Submitted to the Doctoral School at Savoie Mont-Blanc University

24 April 2020

mesocosmes carrtel
"C-cycle and lake functioning under current forcing scenarios"


PhD opportunity

 Lab : CARRTEL – Limnology Center (University of Savoie Mont-Blanc, INRAE, France) is offering the position of a PhD-Thesis in the field of

Experimental plankton ecology


C-cycle and lake functioning under current forcing scenarios

Supervisor:  Prof. Bastiaan Ibelings, University of Geneva – Institute for Environmental Sciences

Co-supervisor:  Dr. Serena Rasconi, INRAE CARRTEL

Subject : Experimental approaches make it possible to simulate complex scenarios under realistic field conditions and disentangle ecosystem responses to local and global stressors. Particularly, in situ immersed mesocosms constitute a good compromise be­tween highly controlled laboratory conditions and a more realistic scale suitable to reproduce complex food webs processes. We initi­ated the mesocosm research in Lake Geneva during summer 2019 (MESOLAC project) with the aim to understand the effect of predicted climate scenarios on the plankton community functioning. The same year a high-tech platform (LéXPLORE project - was also installed on Lake Geneva, performing continuous and high-resolution monitoring of physico-chemical and biologi­cal processes. This PhD project aims to further develop the mesocosm experimental platform at the UMR CARRTEL and to strengthen the links between the mesocosm study in Lake Geneva and the LéXPLORE project. This will allow setting up synergistic approaches to study community dynamics and ecosystem processes at different temporal resolution (hourly, daily and seasonal) and com­plexity level (population, community, food web) to assess how environmental forcing influences ecosystem functioning, stability and ability to recover. We will pay special attention to the organisation of pelagic trophic networks (diversity and structure of interac­tions) and functional processes (production, respiration, transfer, recycling), to disentangle the regulation factors governing quantity and quality of carbon transfer within the pelagic food web. Potential stressors to focus on will be global and local forcing causing changes in lake ecosystem subsidies, such as consequences of altered precipitation patterns resulting from floods and droughts, which may change nutrient and carbon input to the lake from the catchment runoff. To achieve a complementary view on how popula­tion dynamics can influence ecosystem functioning, different stressors will be analysed separately and in their interaction, while different control variables will be applied to disentangle the confounding effect of multiple interacting stressors. We will eluci­date how our lake ecosystems will face environmental disturbances of various intensity in terms of lake functional ecology and recovery rates.

Candidate profile: We seek a highly motivated and creative student with good background in aquatic ecology and excellent university scores. Previous experience with experimental planktology would be an advantage. The candidate will participate to the discussion and will be encouraged to develop an independent line of research targeting the project goals, taking advantage of the facilities and expertise of the two laboratories involved.

Candidature submission: Interested applicants can send an email with a CV, motivation letter, 2 supporting letters and statements of previous grades and university scores to the contacts below.


Deadline for submission22.05.2020. A first round of interviews will take place 26 and 27 May. Selected candidates by the supervisors will be invited for the final audition at the University Savoie Mont Blanc (15 and 16 June), upon which depends the decision on the grant awarding.


Contacts:  Serena Rasconi - serena.rasconi[at]

                 Bas Ibelings - Bastiaan.Ibelings[at]


Site : PhD announcement:

See also

download the PhD opportunity (pdf ) :