Ifremer - French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea

PhD : Coral intraspecific diversity in a warming world: from spatio-temporal structure to functional biomarker of adaptation to thermal stress (M/F)

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Reference: PV-2023-1285/1


Duration of contract:3 ans

Start date:

Deadline for applications:23/04/2023

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 of the Sea, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

General areas of responsibility

The IHPE laboratory (http://ihpe.univ-perp.fr/) brings together staff from four institutions (Ifremer, CNRS, University of Montpellier and University of Perpignan). IHPE represent a true gateway to the world of interactions, where we are developing integrative biology research aimed at better understanding the changes of tomorrow. Within IHPE, the MIA team (http://ihpe.univ-perp.fr/equipe-mia/) is particularly interested in rapid adaptation processes in natural populations and ecosystem management. Among our flagship projects, SAVE, the project to which this thesis is based, aims to identify the rapid adaptation mechanisms of corals in order to ultimately transform them into tools for the management and restoration of coral reefs.


Earth is experiencing environmental changes accelerating biodiversity erosion. Coral reefs are one of the most affected ecosystems by these changes because it relies on corals that leave at their upper thermal limit. Corals intraspecific diversity is crucial for their maintenance since it defines the adaptive potential of organisms in the face of current changes. Intraspecific diversity initially encompasses genetic, phenotypic and functional diversity within a species. However, non-genetically encoded elements such as the epigenetic information and the holobiont composition can vary between individuals and contribute to phenotypic adjustment. This project will combine sequencing technologies and innovative approaches to: i) better understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of intraspecific diversity in corals; ii) understand the genetic, epigenetic and microbial mechanisms of coral adaptation/acclimatization to thermal stress and iii) identify biomarkers of thermotolerance to enhance ecosystem management. These will be achieved by studying in space and time natural coral populations along an ecological gradient of thermal stress frequency and an integrative Omic approach.

Key words

Global warming, intraspecific diversity, coral reefs, coral bleaching, thermotolerance, biomarkers, genetic/epigenetic, conservation, restauration

Required Knowledge, skills, and characteristics

  • You will hold a Master's degree in Ecology/Evolution, Genomics or Oceanology with laboratory experience, possibly in the field.
  • You will have knowledge in molecular biology and bioinformatics; practical experience involving the use of R and/or Python will be appreciated.
  • Involved in a multidisciplinary consortium, you must be curious about other disciplines and have good oral (English) and written (English) communication skills.
  • The driving licence (B) will be much appreciate.

Specific working conditions

During this thesis you will be required to:

  • Participate in field trip in tropical environments, abroad or in the French overseas territories
  • Present your work at team meetings and at national/international congresses
  • Conduct experiments in a controlled environment
  • Work in a molecular biology laboratory
  • Work on a computer station in bio-informatics and bio-analysis
  • Take additional training

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 2300 euros gross for a period of 3 years, which cannot be combined with other scholarships. 

How to apply for this position ?

Your application file must include:

  • a curriculum vitae
  • a covering letter
  • a reference letter
  • an academic transcript (Bachelor + Master 1 and first semester Master 2)

Your application must be compiled into 2 PDF files, up to 3 MB for each file:

In case of any problem in attaching your documents, please upload your CV on this page (this step is mandatory for your application to be considered) and send all the documents to the thesis supervisor : jeremie.vidal.dupiol@ifremer.fr

The deadline for applications is April 23rd, 2023. Nevertheless, we strongly urge you to let us know as soon as possible of your intention to apply, by contacting the subject supervisor.

In paralell, please submit your application to the doctoral school : ED GAIA

Doctoral students' contracts will start as of October 2nd, 2023, subject to the submission of administrative documents authorizing Ifremer to recruit the doctoral student (certificate of completion of the Master 2 or engineering degree + visa for foreign doctoral students outside the EU).

How to apply for this position

Deadline for applications: 23/04/2023

All applications are processed exclusively via our website. Interested candidates can apply by clicking the “Apply” button. 

Job details

PhD : Coral intraspecific diversity in a warming world: from spatio-temporal structure to functional biomarker of adaptation to thermal stress (M/F)
51 Route de Maguelone Palavas-les-Flots, France
Application deadline
2023-04-23 23:59:59
Job type
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About the employer

Ifremer conceives and operates tools for observation, experimentation and monitoring, and manage the oceanographic databases.

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