Application Deadline: May 30, 2017.
Location: Marseille/Toulon (MIO,
Duration: 18 months, starting on September 15th, 2017 (a bit flexible).
Employer: Aix-Marseille Université (“Laboratoire d’Excellence” Labex OT-Med, France). 


This postdoctoral fellowship is integrated in the AMC project (Aix-Marseille Carbon Pilot Study), that is a first pilot study towards the implementation of a Carbon Observatory in the Aix-Marseille region, France. AMC aims at setting up the first steps for monitoring the atmospheric CO2 dynamics of a coastal city regarding regional urban CO2 sources and sinks and to provide the first independent assessment of the regional bottom-up CO2 emissions inventory, as well as an estimate of the atmospheric forcing of these emissions on the regional ecosystems. This work will be done in close collaboration with Air PACA, the regional agency in charge of air quality monitoring. This multidisciplinary project aims at developing a synergy between CO2 modelling approaches and dedicated field work on the CO2 atmospheric, terrestrial and coastal components. The AMC project has been recently funded for 3 years (2016-2019) by “Laboratoire d’Excellence” Labex OT-Med (see: which includes 10 research laboratories and one research federation ECCOREV specialized in different fields: environmental sciences, law, economics and social sciences.

Detailed tasks

This position aims at validating a high‐resolved mesoscale direct modeling framework of atmospheric CO2 set up for the Aix-Marseille urbanized region and the coastal Mediterranean Sea, and to assess independently the Air PACA regional CO2 emissions inventory. Within the first year of the AMC project, we started to develop a high‐resolved regional WRF meteorological model coupled with the CHEM chemical model on the studied area. The surface fluxes are anthropogenic CO2 emissions data from the Air PACA inventory, as well as biospheric and marine fluxes provided by the ORCHIDEE and NEMO-Med/PISCES models, to get integrated surface fluxes at a high spatio‐temporal resolution (up to 1x1 km2, 1h). The CO2 boundary conditions are from the MACC-Copernicus European model. The candidate will test a specific urban canopy module to take into account the urban heat island effect in the WRF model. He will then estimate the CO2 modelling framework performances against several datasets available in the region. Furthermore, the candidate will couple the WRF model with a Lagrangian model to generate airmass backplumes, and couple these to the surface fluxes to help assessing the contribution of anthropogenic vs natural fluxes to the observing sites. The candidate will participate to a field campaign planned at the Spring 2018, during which intensive in‐situ data will be recorded as well as air samples for radiocarbone analysis, to infer the fossil fuel emissions vs natural fluxes contribution to the regional atmospheric CO2. The candidate will contribute to the data collection and in‐situ data treatment, and will be associated to the scientific papers of the data analysis. He/she is expected to lead a scientific publication on the performances of our CO2 mesoscale WRF‐CHEM modelling framework, and if there is enough time to lead a second publication on the fossil fuel emissions/natural fluxes partition obtained with the backplume-inventory coupling method, that we will compare with the results obtained from the radiocarbone analysis. This work will provide the first independent assessment of the Air PACA CO2 emissions inventory and will be of great help for further bridging the gap between science and societal issues. It will develop the first steps towards assessing the impacts of the Aix-Marseille urban emissions on the surrounding ecosystems.

Practical information 

  • The recipient of the fellowship will receive a salary of about 2000€ per month (depending on the French administration rules and after payment for healthcare). In addition, some support is available for travel expenses, equipment, and supplies.

  • The candidate should have education in atmospheric sciences and excellent skills in atmospheric modelling. He should be experimented with WRF‐CHEM modeling, ideally of urban greenhouse gases and/or pollutants. Knowledge of Lagrangian modelling such as with the STILT, LPDM or FLEXPART model is a plus.

  • The position will be hold at the MIO laboratory located in Toulon and Marseille, France, starting on September 15th, 2017 (a bit flexible) for a duration of 18 months.

  • International candidates are very welcome. CV, motivation letter and references should be sent to Dr Irène Xueref‐Remy ( and Dr Jacques Piazzola (piazzola@univ‐