2 -year Post-Doc position in global livestock distribution modelling, ULB, Brussels, Belgium


Description. A 2-year post-doc position starting immediately is available to work on global spatial and temporal distribution models of livestock. The appointee will join an innovative group of researchers led by Dr Marius Gilbert and working on livestock production systems and diseases (http://spell.ulb.be). The position is financed by the Belgian FNRS-Walloon Institute for Sustainable Development (http://www.fnrs.be/) as part of a larger project carried out in close collaboration with Sophie Vanwambeke (Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Earth & Life Institute, http://www.uclouvain.be/teclim) and Dr Tim Robinson (Food & Agriculture Organisation, Rome).

Background and network. The global livestock sector faces major challenges in terms of the sustainability of its development due to the considerable externalities that livestock production has on society, health and the environment. High-resolution maps of livestock are essential tools to assess the sustainability of livestock production systems. Maps allow, for example, the estimation of potential impacts of various hazards that have strong spatial dimensions such as the release of pollutants. They are also particularly important in epidemiology, because the density of hosts (people, or livestock, or both) is a key variable affecting the emergence, persistence and spread of infectious diseases. Over the last few years, we have been working on the development of new global livestock data (Gilbert et al. In press, Nicolas et al. 2018) and livestock production systems (Gilbert et al. 2015) for the reference year 2010. The main objective of this research will be to develop spatio-temporal models of livestock distribution accounting for different future development scenarios. This is particularly relevant to emerging economies where changes in production and demands are particularly fast. The research will aim to better understand the drivers and consequences of different intensification scenarios and integrate them into spatial projections.  
 Qualifications. The candidate should hold a Ph.D. in agricultural sciences, quantitative ecology, quantitative geography, or biostatistics, and should have demonstrated computational, communication and writing skills.   

Application. Send a detailed CV and a motivation letter to Marius Gilbert (mgilbert@ulb.ac.be) by email by 1st of October 2018. Applicants shortlisted for an interview will be required to prepare a summary of a set of scientific papers.


  • Gilbert M, Nicolas G, Cinardi G, Van Boeckel TP, Vanwambeke SO, Wint GRW, et al. New global livestock distribution data for cattle, buffaloes, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and ducks in 2010 (GLW 3). Nature Scientific Data. In press;
  • Nicolas G, Robinson TP, Wint GRW, Conchedda G, Cinardi G, Gilbert M. Using Random Forest to Improve the Downscaling of Global Livestock Census Data. PLOS ONE. 2016 Mar 15;11(3):e0150424.
  • Gilbert M, Conchedda G, Van Boeckel TP, Cinardi G, Linard C, Nicolas G, et al. Income Disparities and the Global Distribution of Intensively Farmed Chicken and Pigs. Boulinier T, editor. PLOS ONE. 2015 Jul 31;10(7):e0133381.