statistician modeller

INRA Orleans, FRANCE, Unit on Improvement, Genetics and Physiology of Forest Trees
Job Description: 

A 16 month position for a statistician modeller is available at the Research Unit on Improvement, Genetics and Physiology of Forest Trees ( at INRA Orleans (France).

Context: Integrating molecular markers in breeding programs is a challenge in forest tree breeding. To optimize breeding strategies, the "Genetics" research team at UR AGPF develop Monte-Carlo simulation programs concerning the genetic evolution of populations subjected to artificial selection. The recruited statistician will be in charge of 1) adding new methods for genotypic evaluation to the simulation program on the basis of algorithms found in the scientific literature and testing their implementation with various sets of parameters 2) the development of a graphical interface to facilitate the use of the simulation tool by breeders. The position is opened in the framework of WP3 “Designing and implementation of improved/novel tree breeding strategies” of NovelTree European research project ( The simulation tool resulting from this work will be used in priority to optimize the poplar breeding strategies managed by the Research Unit but will also be of interest for other forest tree species.

Starting date should be as soon as possible after October 1st 2010. The application deadline will be September 1st 2010.

Job details
Adapt and implement in the existing simulation program statistical routines found in scientific literature or public repositories to predict breeding values using the BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Prediction) methodology. Participate actively to the choice of the best fitted and performing algorithms to integrate genotypic data (molecular markers) in the mixed models: particularly, the generation of IBD (identity by descent) matrices at marker and QTL. Suggest improvements to the simulation program, especially in all parts concerning statistical treatment of the data, and implement the chosen improvements. Some parts of the software will be validated by comparison with existing tools (ASReml, Gibbs samplers for genetic mixed models, etc.). Conceive and build an interface facilitating the use of the simulation tool by breeders, in connection with potential users.

Working Environment
The successful candidate will work in the "Genetics" research team, under the co-responsibility of Leopoldo Sanchez and Helene Muranty.

Education and training
Master degree in statistics

Required skills:
- Expert knowledge in at least one programming language (C ++ / FORTRAN / Java)
- Working knowledge of the Linux / UNIX system.
- Good scientific and technical English skills.

Gross salary: 1915 euros monthly

For more details and to apply for the post, please contact
H. Muranty (Helene.Muranty –at- / 33 2 38 41 78 47) or
L. Sanchez (Leopoldo.Sanchez –at- / 33 2 38 41 78 14)
INRA UR Amélioration, Génétique et Physiologie Forestières, 2163 avenue de la Pomme de Pin - CS40001 - Ardon, 45075 ORLEANS CEDEX 2, FRANCE

Job Categories: 
Research institutes
Deadline for Application: 
Sep 1 2010