Postdoctoral Researcher ecotoxicology

Postdoctoral Researcher : Modeling scenarios of pesticide fate and impact on biodiversity in vineyard landscapes


Job description:
A major limitation of current risk assessment for pesticide products is its reliance on a substance-by-substance assessment while neglecting the risk posed by pesticide mixtures. A further complication is that even though pesticides are typically applied at the agricultural plot scale, emission sources and contamination routes much more concern the landscape scale and successively within and across years. To improve on current environmental risk assessment, reference scenarios of biodiversity exposure at the landscape scale are needed.

For this purpose, new exposure modelling approaches are needed that can better account for the fate of pesticides at the landscape scale and the likelihood of exposure given the ecological characteristics of each species (modes of exposure, dispersal, mobility between different habitats). Spatially-explicit models are powerful tools for achieving this vision as they can help identifying landscape features that are more likely to accumulate pesticide residues and can help infer species or groups of species that are most at risk in a given landscape context according to their ecological characteristics. Models for pesticide fate in vineyard agroecosystems are under active development at INRAE and allow to simulate the temporal and spatial variation in pesticide concentration in the air, soil and surface water within heterogeneous farmed catchment considering main landscape elements (farmed plot, hydrographic network, some field margins). The aim of this position is to mobilize these tools to determine how pesticides spread in typical vineyard landscapes while accounting for agricultural practices and landscape configuration. These scenarios will be crossed with agent-based models accounting for how different functional groups of organisms (e.g., detritivores, herbivores, insectivores and pollinators) disperse and move in the landscape as exampled in ALMaSS approaches (Animal, Landscape and Man Simulation System).

Main activities:


  • Based on comprehensive modelling of pesticide fate, identify the key processes involved and the landscape elements modulating them that need to be considered for an appropriate assessment of exposure in vine-yard landscapes
  • Defining a virtual vineyard landscape accounting for its different landscape features, agricultural practices and exposure mode of different functional groups within the landscape.
  • Modelling the exposure of several ecological groups in the virtual landscape according to their dispersal ca-pacities, habitat preferences and life-cycle characteristics.
  • Derive a set of reference landscape exposure scenarios useful for implementing future regulatory environ-mental risk assessment schemes in vineyard context.
  • Cooperate with the OFB and the two INRAE teams involved in this project and more generally with the vari-ous research teams involved in the PARC partnership of the task 6-4-4, within the specific project « Quantify effects of plant protection products and other stressors, through landscape risk assessment informing on environmental impacts ».
  • Participating to meetings and activities of the PARC project (presentations, writing working documents, …)
  • Scientific valorisation of the researches by international publication(s)


Modification date: 23 October 2023 | Publication date: 23 October 2023 | By: sf