Research Scientist in Ecotoxicology, cellular and molecular toxicology (M/F)

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Nantes, PAYS DE LA LOIRE
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 20 Apr 2022

The Institute and the recruiting departement

A pioneer in ocean science, IFREMER’s cutting-edge research is grounded in sustainable development and open science. Our vision is to advance science, expertise and innovation to:

  • Protect and restore the ocean
  • Sustainably use marine resources to benefit society
  • Create and share ocean data, information & knowledge.

With more than 1,500 personnel spread along the French coastline in more than 20 sites, the Institute explores the 3 great oceans: the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A leader in ocean science, IFREMER is managing the French Oceanographic Fleet and its dedicated scientists create ground-breaking technology to push the boundaries of ocean exploration and knowledge, from the abyss to the atmosphere-ocean interface.

Well-established in the international scientific community, our scientists, engineers and technicians are committed to advance knowledge about our planet’s last unexplored frontiers. They provide the science we need for informed decision-making and public policy and they transfer this knowledge and technology to businesses to fulfill public and private needs. Core to our mission is also to strengthen public awareness about the importance of understanding the ocean and its resources, and empowering future generations of leaders through education and outreach national campaigns.

Founded in 1984, IFREMER is a French public organization and its budget approximates 240 million euros. It is operating under the joint authority of the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the french Ministry of the Sea, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

General areas of responsibility

The Chemical Contamination of Marine Ecosystems Unit (CCEM – https://ccem.ifremer.fr/en ) develops its research on the characterization of the oceanic chemical exposome and its impact on marine species. Its objectives include understanding the dynamics of chemical contaminants in the marine environment, studying their transfer and fate (bioavailability, biotransformation and bioaccumulation) in marine organisms, their biological effects, and assessing the quality of the marine environment and the chemical risk. Participating in several French and international projects, the CCEM unit has recognized expertise in the study of chemical contaminants and their effects in the marine environment and is equipped with cutting-edge instrumental and preparatory means for their analysis at traces as well as for the analysis of biomarkers of exposure and effect.

Under the hierarchical responsibility of the unit head and in close collaboration with the other staff of the CCEM unit, he/she contributes to the various research missions and support for public policy monitoring and innovation projects.

General areas of responsibility

The research in ecotoxicology developed by the researcher aims in particular to understand and identify the mechanisms of action of individual or mixtures of organic and metallic contaminants in collaboration with the Unit chemists and ecotoxicologists. Acute and chronic toxicity studies will be carried out on models of marine fish and bivalve molluscs. He/she will be interested not only in the mechanisms of biotransformation which play a major role in the expression of toxicity, but also in certain mechanisms of action of emerging contaminants involved in the alteration of major physiological functions such as immunity, growth and reproduction.

Through these approaches, he/she thus contributes to the development of biomarkers and bioassays for which there is an international challenge for new developments respecting the evolution of regulations on animal welfare and the limitation of animal experimentation.

Links will be established with the research undertaken within the CCEM unit concerning the study of the effects on the genome and their physiological consequences. The researcher is also asked to co-lead a scientific animation within the institute on the theme of Ecotoxicology, the CCEM thematic unit being central for the study of chemical contaminants and their effects. Collaborations will be developed or continued internally and externally with chemists and biologists, specializing in particular in omics (e.g. metabolomics, proteomics, epigenetics) and physiological approaches. He/she will thus contribute to work on the concept of chemical exposome in the marine environment and to the evolution of methodologies related to the monitoring and assessment of chemical risk.

Principal activities

Develop research work in the field of marine ecotoxicology, in particular on understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxic chemical contaminants, in connection with the biotransformation capacities of model organisms.

  • a) Develop the use of marine models to study certain mechanisms of toxicity of chemical contaminants and identify by screening methods the contaminants at risk within the framework of controlled experiments and in situ approach
  • b) Contribute to a better understanding of cocktail effects
  • c) Develop the use of omics within the framework of mechanistic approaches for the study of relevant toxic effects and/or the identification of associated physiological disturbances
  • d) Study the early effects of oxidative stress, the production of oxyradicals being shared by many chemical contaminants and inducing genotoxic effects
  • e) Contribute to missions of expertise and support to public authorities relating to the observation and environmental impact of dangerous substances of anthropogenic origin in the marine environment. This second part of activities will be carried out within European conventions and directives in collaboration with the Chemical Risk Analysis team, the scientific pilot of Descriptor 8 "Contaminants in the marine environment" of the MSFD and the coordination unit of the Network National Observation of Chemical Contamination (ROCCH)
  • f) Contribute to the innovation component of the unit project with the in vivo and in vitro development of marine biomarkers and bioassays respecting European regulations
  • g) Submit research projects in response to calls for tenders with national and international partners (European projects in particular)
  • h) Promoting research work through the publication of scientific articles, taking charge of the supervision of master and PhD students and post-doctoral fellows
  • Collaborative work environment

    The development of active national and international collaborations will be essential to the implementation of the research carried out under this position.

    • Internal collaborative relationship

    CCEM Unit, and other Ifremer units of the different departments of the institute, RBE (PFOM Unit/UMR LEMAR, MARBEC Unit/UMR MARBEC, ASIM, HALGO,…), ODE (Coastal Unit - LER LR, LER AR ,..), REM (RDT).


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