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  • From: Stephane Ponton <ponton AT>
  • To: <itrdbfor AT>
  • Cc: obrendel <oliver.brendel AT>
  • Subject: [ITRDBFOR] PhD offer at INRA NANCY, UMR SILVA, France
  • Date: Tue, 7 May 2019 17:21:42 +0200

Dear colleagues,

We are looking for a candidate for a PhD project starting in autumn 2019 at INRA Centre Nancy-Grand Est in Champenoux for the University of Lorraine.

Title: Does water-use efficiency of trees influence the drought resilience of oak stands?

Keywords: WUE, growth, drought, resilience, population, oak, dendroecology, forest, climate change

Abstract. Most scenarios for future climate predict an increase in intensity and frequency of drought events. Intense or recurrent droughts have long been identified as a major contributing factor of tree decline and mortality. To avoid widespread forest declines, and their catastrophic ecological and economic consequences, forest management practices have to adapt the modern forest to the ongoing environmental changes. Identifying, for each species, the best drought-resilient populations or individuals is a necessary step in the silvicultural orientations. The water-use efficiency (WUE), which is highly heritable, is commonly considered as a very valuable functional trait since it represents the ratio of synthesized biomass per transpired water. However, how WUE is related to drought resilience or growth is still not understood in trees. The main objective of the thesis is to determine whether having a high WUE increases the tree fitness, or not, and if it does, in which conditions it occurs. Because of its ecological and economical importance, we select the sessile oak as our species model. By using a retrospective approach (tree-ring studies), WUE variations (estimated from carbon stable isotope composition) and growth trajectories will be analyzed along the whole life of the trees. The relationships between WUE, growth performance and resilience will be examined at different time scales and in contrasted environments (dry vs. wet).

Thesis supervisors:
- Oliver Brendel : oliver.brendel AT
- Stéphane Ponton : stephane.ponton AT

Host laboratory: UMR SILVA, INRA, Centre de Recherche de Nancy-Grand Est, 54280 CHAMPENOUX, FRANCE

Required skills:
- M.Sc. (or similar) in ecology, forestry or sciences of the environment
- good statistical knowledge
- good teamworking skills and appeal for field work
- excellent writing skills
- English fluency (scientific article writing and communication)

Application: a cover letter, CV, transcript of marks from the last two years, two reference letters and a summarized presentation (300 worlds) of the master research project (or equivalent) must be addressed to both thesis supervisors before June 10. Hearings of selected candidates will be organized from June 24 to July 5.

Please forward this offer to potential candidates.

With the best regards,

Oliver Brendel & Stephane Ponton

Stéphane PONTON INRA Nancy Grand-Est UMR SILVA F-54280 CHAMPENOUX stephane.ponton AT (33) 3 83 39 73 25


  • [ITRDBFOR] PhD offer at INRA NANCY, UMR SILVA, France, Stephane Ponton, 05/07/2019

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