Postdoctoral position at Cemagref

 Postdoctoral position : Spatial analysis of fire occurrence and of vegetation at road-forest interfaces.

EMAX Ecosystèmes Méditerranéens et Risques

Practical information

Contract duration: 18 months

Beginning date: December 2009

Location: Aix-en-Provence, France

Research unit:
EMAX Ecosystèmes Méditerranéens et Risques

Persons in charge:
Marielle Jappiot, Anne Ganteaume

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Description of the position

The research unit EMAX « Mediterranean Ecosystems and risks» is involved in an European research programme FIRE PARADOX (the only Integrated Project of the 6th PCRD on forest fires) aiming at the assessment of the combustibility and the flammability of the Mediterranean vegetation. This assessment will in turn, assess and map the forest fire hazard (see
This post-doctoral position takes place in the framework of this programme and of the fire hazard modelling for the main French Mediterranean stands. In particular, the idea is to contribute to the knowledge of the main types of vegetation at road-forest interfaces linked to the spatial analysis of fire occurrence hazard. The data acquired during the study have to be promoted by their publication in journal of high rank.

Missions/activities :

  • Developing a sampling plan to identify the fire occurrences: in a first step, the Prométhée Database will allow the localization of the fire occurrences of a surface less than 1ha on squares of 2km x 2km. In a second step, an automatic treatment on the corresponding aerial images will allow the exact localization of the fire occurrences.
  • Botanical surveys: Exhaustive surveys on vegetation of road-forest interfaces will be carried out.
  • Flammability measurements in laboratory to characterize the flammability parameters of the different types of vegetation: time to ignition, flaming duration, flame height, etc.
  • Spatial analysis of the fire occurrences according to their local environment.
  • Writing in English of scientific and technical reports synthesizing the data.
  • Writing and submission of scientific papers to journals of rank A.

Profile wanted

Results expected:

  • Detailed mapping of fire occurences
  • Characterization of the vegetation flammability at road-forest interfaces.
  • Writing of scientific papers


Ecology, geography

– Writing skill (writing of reports and scientific papers).
– Mastery of English (reading and writing in English).
– Usual Statistics.
– Good skillness with spatial statistics of the data point would be a plus.
– Skill with working in the field (vegetation description, biomass assessment, determining botanical species, etc.) and within a team.
– Good organisation and strictness in the work : regular monitoring of the work progress
– Autonomy and initiative: in the framework of work as a team, ability to organize and lead the work with in initiative.


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