PhD position available : Spatial and temporal dynamics of microphytobenthos investigated by a regional 3D model and remote sensing data analysis


Hosting research unit: Littoral Environnement et Sociétés (LIENSs), UMR 7266, University of La Rochelle, France

Partners: IFREMER and University of Nantes (Institut Universitaire Mer Littoral – Mer Molécules Santé), France


Within the Pertuis Charentais (PC), a semi-enclosed and very productive zone along the French Atlantic coast, spatial variations of the microphytobenthos (MPB) biofilm have been documented but they have not been linked to environmental forcings like wind storms, tides and mudflats temperature variations. The overarching goal of the PhD thesis is to quantify the MPB dynamics at a high horizontal resolution (100-250 m) by taking into account the physics of the PC. The approach will combine in situ and remote sensing data analysis with the coupling of a mass flux MPB model to the regional circulation model MARS-3D developed by IFREMER. The objectives are 1) to infer on the processes behind the MPB seasonal cycle, 2) to identify time periods and areas where the discrepancies between the model and the remote sensing data are the most important, and 3) to assess the flux of MPB biomass resuspended within the water column and exported off the mudflats. Along with the data collected through the SOMLIT and ECOP observatories, the thesis will contribute to establish indices of water quality for the PC.

Start date: October 1, 2016

Skills required:

A strong MSc level in 1D and/or 3D mass flux modeling, Fortran, numerical analysis, physical/biological coupling, coastal oceanography, marine ecology and biogeochemistry.


Please send your application in a single PDF file to Vincent Le Fouest ( and Pr Christine Dupuy ( The file should include a detailed CV, a cover letter, a copy of grades and ranks for both master 1 and master 2 degrees, and a reference letter from your former internship supervisor. Please send your application no latter than June 15, 2016.