Post-doctoral FellowExternal

News Overview

Contact: Martin Marzloff
E-mail: Martin.Marzloff [at] ifremer.fr
Deadline: October 30, 2017

Ifremer are seeking for a postdoctoral fellow to address the REEHAB objective #4 and help build connectivity maps of this species using a hydrodynamic model (such as MARS 3D developed by IFREMER). The main objective is to characterize the effect of hydrodynamics on larval dispersal of Sabellaria alveolata and in addition produce connectivity maps as a key support tool for marine spatial planning. This postdoctoral project will benefit from biological data gathered from the REEHAB research group regarding past and present occurrence of the species, as well as data about its biology (spawning female density and fecundity) and its larval ecology (larval lifespan, mortality rate). A mechanistic distribution model of this species will be developed, and refine model complexity and resolution in a step-wise manner. The geographic area will first be restricted to the MANGA configuration of the MARS3D hydrodynamical model covering the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel (including south of UK) with a spatial resolution of 4 x 4 km. Several fine-scale resolution zooms are available along the French coast (resolution of 500 x 500 m) and will be used if necessary. Merging this model with others (e.g. a larger scale model such as HYCOM or the Portuguese Coast Operational Modelling System (PCOMS) based on the MOHID model) will be considered based on the first results. Several scenarios will be explored to assess the sensitivity of connectivity patterns to larval lifespan, larval mortality and growth rates or settlement conditions.
Secondly, if time allows, a Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model of adult individuals will be implemented within a population dynamics model to capture the full life cycle of the species (adult and larval stage). Such a framework would be valuable to account for changes in fecundity (over space and time) and simulate the long-term biogeographical dynamics of the species over several generations. This integrated modelling will provide a framework to (1) hindcast the historical evolution of S. alveolata reefs and assess model performance against historical data, and (2) to predict broad distribution changes under climate change scenarios, and also to explore the influence of environmental parameters. Field data will be used to validate model predictions.
Besides publishing the work in a scientific journal, connectivity maps will help to identify – at least on the French coasts – the S. alveolata reefs that are critical to maintain regional connectivity. For instance, there will be an aim to help prioritise management and protection of these biogenic reefs by ranking their importance in terms of their contribution to regional larval supply and to maintaining the network of subpopulations across the known distribution of the species. Ultimately, this project may assist in marine spatial planning and identification of candidate Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) or Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).