PhD Project /Multi-scale analysis of tradeoffs between ecosystem services provided by weeds
Deadline for applications
Date of publication


Details on the type of contract
Temporary assignment
Duration of contract
3 years


Name of unit of assignment
UMR1347 Agroécologie
Address of unit of assignment
INRA Sully 17 rue Sully BP 86510 21065 DIJON
Website of unit of assignment
Region of assignment
Burgundy Franche Comté


Working environment

Supersivors : Sandrine Petit-Michaut (Landscape ecologist), Stéphane Cordeau (Agronomist) (INRA – Sustainable weed management Department, Agroecology Lab, France)

Given the need to reduce herbicide use in agriculture, it is crucial to assess and design cropping systems and their spatial arrangement in the landscape. This evaluation includes enhancing weed management for high crop production while maximizing ecosystem services related to weeds (pollination, seed predation, etc.)


This PhD project (full funding for 3 years) aims to identify sets of farming practices that reconcile the provision of four ecosystem services related to weeds in field (i.e., limit yield losses to ensure crop production, biological control, pollination, maintenance of biodiversity). The PhD student will analyze data that have been collected since 2008 in the Fénay study site (Dijon, France). For over 10 years, annual weed surveys (core of the field and field margin) and farmers’ interviewers about their farming practices have been conducted on 150 fields located in the same landscape, comprising over 900ha. The PhD student may be involved in data collection but will focus mainly on data analysis using path modelling, multivariate analysis, etc. One of the novelties of this project is the multi-scale approach (time and space) to answer questions about synergism and antagonism between services.


The PhD grant is financially supported by the EcoServ Metaprogram from INRA and the European project IWMPRAISE ‘Integrated Weed Management: Practical Implementation and Solutions for Europe’. The PhD student will be located in ‘Sustainable Weed Management’ Department of the Agroecology Lab, Dijon, France ( ).

Training and skills required

Desired skills: data analysis, knowledges in community ecology, agronomy, cropping system, curiosity for weeds and field surveys



Petit, S et al. 2015 Ecological intensification through pesticide reduction: weed control, weed biodiversity and sustainability in arable farming. Environmental Management 56, 1078-1090.

Meziere, D. et al. 2015. Developing a set of simulation-based indicators to assess harmfulness and contribution to biodiversity of weed communities in cropping systems. Ecological Indicators, 48 (0), 157-170.

Petit, S et al. 2016. Landscape scale management affects weed richness but not weed abundance in winter wheat fields. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 223, 41-47.

Quinio, M. et al. 2017. Separating the confounding effects of farming practices on weed and crop production using path modelling.European Journal of Agronomy 82, 134-143

Gaba, S. et al. 2017. Response and effect traits of arable weeds in agroecosystems: a review of current knowledge.Weed Research


To apply, send a CV and letter to

Deadline to apply October 20, 2017


Sandrine Petit-Michaut