Postdoctoral researcher in predictive modelling of bird flows using weather radar (F/M)

  • Reference : FEM-SAS-2022-342
  • Position type: Fixed-term contract
  • Duration: 24 month
  • Localisation: Marseille (13) - France Energies Marines
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Job Description

France Energies Marines coordinates the SEMAFOR research program dedicated to the development of a real-time monitoring tool for avifauna via the use of already operational airspace visualization instruments, such as weather radars. Starting in February 2022 and funded by ADEME, this project will address two major issues of interest:

  • Acquire knowledge on the migratory routes of avifauna, essential for both the “fundamental research” and “planning” aspects of wind energy,
  • To acquire the capacity to detect peaks in migratory passages at sea, in order to be able to alert the operators of offshore wind farms of an increase in the risk of collision.

To meet these objectives, the consortium composed of 4 institutions (France Energies Marines, Météo-France, Biotope and the Swiss Ornithological Station) is proposing a multidisciplinary R&D project whose core is articulated around the following two chronological axes:

  • the development and validation of an algorithm for the detection of avifauna from high-resolution data of the weather radar network. The product will be a map of the passage of birds in real time;
  • the construction of a predictive model of the probability of passage of birds at sea, based on the directions of the birds detected by the radars and refined by the weather conditions.


The post-doctoral fellow will develop near-real time forecasts of bird migration and will have the following missions:

  • Analysis of data from meteorological and ornithological radars (bird echoes will be identified by the other work packages of the project);
  • The identification of the main environmental parameters correlated to the intensity of bird flows detected by the radars in a context of migratory period of birds;
  • The construction of a model of probability of passage at sea of the migratory avifauna;
  • The valorisation of these methodological developments and ecological results by the writing of one or several scientific publications of rank A.

The post-doc will participate in project steering committee meetings as well as other possible meetings/seminars/conferences to present his/her results.

Required Skills

Academic education
Biostatistician, climatologist, meteorologist, or ecologist with university training (PhD in biostatistics applied to ecology, PhD in aeroecology or ecology with a strong statistical component)

Professional background
• Publications in international scientific peer-reviewed journals
• Work with advanced statistical tools
• Experience with aeroecology studies and/or signal processing of radar data would be a plus

Specific knowledge

• Knowledge of statistical modelling and spatial data modelling
• Expertise in megafauna, particularly migratory birds, and their ecology
• Skill in processing and analysing large environmental datasets, species distribution from radar technology and/or observation protocols at sea and on land
• Writing, in French and English, of reports, recommendations and scientific papers

• Coordination of working groups and facilitation of meetings
• Knowledge of the marine renewable energy sector

Professional assets
• Great interest in understanding processes of animal movements
• Versatility and qualities needed to conduct the study in an interdisciplinary and multi-partner environment
• Organization, autonomy, be proactive
• Good communication skills both written and oral
• Scientific rigor and critical analysis
• Good fluency or bilingualism in written and spoken English

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Job : Postdoctoral researcher in predictive modelling of bird flows using weather radar (F/M)

Reference : FEM-SAS-2022-342

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