PhD position on role of livestock in closing biogeochemical cycles in the territories

Agricultural intensification associated with the decoupling of crop and livestock production has led to the disruption of biogeochemical cycles and generated significant negative impacts on the environment.  In this context, the thesis project is situated at the intersection of three research themes: the closing of biogeochemical cycles in livestock and territories (Van Zanten et al., 2019), the relationship between conventional and organic agriculture (OA) (Nowak et al., 2013), and the circular economy in territories (Dourmad et al., 2019). While the circularity paradigm has recently been highly developed from a theoretical point of view (Muscat et al., 2021), there are still very few studies that show the limits and implications of improving degrees of circularity for a territory. The objective of this thesis is to build a framework for assessing the role of livestock production in promoting the circularity of material, carbon (C), nutrient (NP) and energy flows on a territorial scale by integrating the complementarity of production systems in AB systems on the one hand and between conventional and OA on the other.

The PhD position is available at the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE), a public research establishment.

The candidate will be based in Rennes, France at Soil, Agro-and hydro-system, Spatialisation research unit UMR SAS

 Scientific and technical skills required by the candidate

  • A Master’s or engineering degree in agronomy and/or zootechny, industrial ecology, ecology, modelling or equivalent
  • Applicants will need to have a strong interest in modelling and an aptitude for mathematics and statistics. Knowledge of programming tools such as R or Python will be appreciated. Awareness of issues related to ecology and sustainable development of agricultural systems will be welcome.
  • The ability to communicate in French and English (oral and written) and to work in an interdisciplinary and international research teach is essential.

Send a CV, a scientific abstract of previous or current internship and a cover letter to Joël Aubin (, Souhil Harchaoui ( ) and Aurélie Wilfart ( )

Applicaiton at


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  • Application deadline: Jun 15, 2022
  • Rennes, France
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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