As part of the fight against climate change, France has set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 (Paris Climate Agreement), through the substitution of fossil fuel sources with decarbonized electricity. One consequence will be a strong electrification to decarbonize the uses is in return a growth of the electrical demand in the years to come. According to RTE (French electricity network) projections, this demand is expected to grow by 40 to 50% by 2050. According to these projections, a massive development of renewable energies is envisaged, particularly wind power (https://www.gouvernement.fr/action/la-transition-energetique-pour-la-croissance-verte). The establishment of wind farms is increasing, in 2020, there were 8500 wind turbines on the French territory producing 17.5 MW and the law of Programming of Energy (PPE 2019-2023) plans to double this production capacity by 2024. However, this sector is not without impact on biodiversity: the presence of wind turbines leads to direct impacts on avifauna and chiropterans (mortality due to direct collisions with moving blades or barotrauma). In the context of a major biodiversity crisis, reconciling the development of renewable energy (including wind power) and the conservation of biodiversity is therefore a major challenge. An essential point is the estimation of mortality rates, but until now these estimates are still too often imprecise due to the complexity of the process. The observed mortality is an underestimate of the real mortality, due for example to problems related to (i) the punctuality of the monitoring, (ii) the detectability of the corpses and (iii) the persistence of the corpses. The magnitude of the impacts of the wind power industry on population dynamics are still rare and not very precise. However, these impacts can be crucial for the survival of these species and could even lead to population extinctions
To date, very few studies on the impact of wind turbines on the populations of these species have been conducted in France. The Ouest Am’ consultancy has therefore decided to compile all the existing data concerning mortality due to collisions with wind turbines of birds and bats in the west of France (Normandy, Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Nouvelle-Aquitaine). The first compilations have made it possible to define which species are the most impacted in terms of gross mortality and to act with the State services on the most deadly wind farms. Ongoing experiments also aim to better understand the factors influencing these mortalities and their estimation. Part of this work aims to better model the parameters of persistence of corpses, a parameter that strongly impacts the estimates of mortality. The person recruited will be in charge of continuing this work and eventually identifying the variables that most influence mortality (landscape, park characteristics, etc.).
The objectives of the project are to:
• To better understand the impact of the quality of carcass persistence and carcass detection estimates on mortality estimation,
• To identify which variables influence mortality the most in order to establish recommendations for the development of wind energy in France (wind turbine size, landscape context…).
The post-doctoral fellow will be responsible for:
1. Accompany the structures in charge of the compilation of available data sets
2. Implement field experiments to estimate key parameters (persistence, detectability)
3. Calculate estimates of chiropteran and bird mortality by calculating key parameters
4. Analyze the factors (turbine size, landscape structure, etc.) influencing bird and bat mortality for onshore wind turbines. To define the adapted corrective measures (size of wind turbines better adapted to reduce the mortality according to the various environmental contexts
PhD. in Ecology with sound expertise in statistical ecology and animal population dynamics. Experience in sampling design and field experience. Naturalist and ecological knowledge of common chiropteran and bird species would be appreciated. Motivation for operational research and partnership with multiple stakeholders. Knowledge of the avoidance Reduction Offsetting sequence (environmental assessment) and of the actors of the wind energy sector would be appreciated
It is specified that this recruitment offer is part of the France Relance plan on a research collaboration project with a company that will be submitted to DRARI for validation.
The persons wishing to apply to this offer must have obtained their PhD during the academic years 2019, 2020 or 2021.
Professional relations :
– Members of the Ouest Am’ study office, CESCO and CEFE dealing with these themes
– Other actors of the wind energy world: engineering office, associations, instructive services, ministry, wind energy unions
Duration of the post-doctoral fellow: 24 months
Location of the company : 8 boulevard des Thebaudières, 44800 Saint-Herblain
Location of the public research lab UMR7204 CESCO Centre d’Écologie et des Sciences de la Conservation Station Marine, Place de la croix 29900 Concarneau
Expected date of hire: March 1st 2022
Quota of work: Full time
Salary : 58 139 €/an (gross pay)
Desired level of education : Doctorate
Desired experience : None