Postdoc, paleoclimate modeling and rainforest diversity - Paris, France

A two-year postdoc on paleoclimate and biodiversity numerical simulations is available at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Univ. Paris-Saclay) in Paris, France.


The position starts in January 2022.

The salary will range between 2514,74 € (less than two years after PhD) and 3137,98 € (more than two years after PhD) gross before tax deductions. Travel costs for meetings between partners and symposiums/conferences are provided.

This job is funded through the interdisciplinary ERC project "GLOBAL" led by Thomas Couvreur (Institut de Recherche et Développement, Montpellier, France), and involves Pierre Sepulchre (CNRS) for the paleoclimate modeling part, and Fabien Condamine (ISEM, University of Montpellier) for the phylogenetics modeling part.

Most meetings and interactions are done via Zoom and in English.


The successful candidate will work on the long-term evolution of tropical climate since the Cretaceous in relation with rainforest diversity, through the use of the IPSL Earth system model and birth-date models.

The project aims to simulate global climate at several discrete periods over the last 100 million years and use these simulations to provide abiotic constraints for diversification models in order to better understand the evolution of tropical diversity over this period.


In the first part of the work, boundary conditions of climate simulations will be designed using the recently published paleography dataset from Straume et al. (2020), and the IPSL - CM5A2 model (Sepulchre et al. 2020) will then be used to simulate climate for several in tervals of the Cretaceous and the Cenozoic.

The simulations will be analyzed in terms of ocean and atmospheric dynamics, as well as land surface and dynamic vegetation. The impact on climate of orbital forcing, pCO2, marine gateways and mountain uplifts will be addressed, with a focus on the tropics.

In the second part, the candidate will use the results of the climate model to assess climate changes consequences on tropical diversity.


- Applicants must have a PhD degree in climate or environmental sciences, preferentially with experience in paleoclimate modeling, or have submitted their PhD thesis for assessment before the application deadline.
- Experience with ESMs is appreciated.
- The candidate should be familiar with Unix, handling netCDF files, and using python and R.
- Basic knowledge in Fortran is appreciated.
- Knowledge in phylogenetics and a will to work at the frontier between environmental and life sciences is a definitive plus.
- Willingness to go beyond your field is also a plus.
- In addition, the candidate is expected to have good collaborative skills, proven abilities to publish, and have good skills in English (oral and written).
- International applicants who do not have English as their first language must prove strong English-language writing skills and fluency.
- The postdoc will be expected to present results at international conferences.
- The postdoc also needs to be independent and forward thinking as several team members are based abroad for part of the project.
- Knowledge of French is a plus for day to day living in Paris, but not required.


The application deadline is 15 September 2021.

The application must be in English and include a motivation letter, a two-page (max.) curriculum vitae, degree certificate, full list of publications (including in press or submitted, but not in prep), names and email of two referees (no recommendation letter should be sent in the application; recommenders will potentially be contacted directly afterwards).

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. A shortlist of applicants will be selected by a committee shortly after the deadline for applications. An interview will be planned for shortlisted applicants, only via zoom.

Once the recruitment process is completed, unsuccessful shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Applications must be sent to these three emails:

Pierre Sepulchre: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thomas Couvreur: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fabien Condamine: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information

Read the full position description:

Informal questions can be emailed to Pierre Sepulchre: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.