Research engineer in charge of environmental and nutritional assessments of monogastric farming systems using life cycle analysis

Open Date: N/A
Close Date: 30 July 2024

Location: Rennes, France

External link:


The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France. The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

You will be welcomed in the Pegase Joint Research Unit based in Saint-Gilles (close to Rennes city, France). Pegase joint research unit (INRAE and Institut Agro - Rennes-Angers) aims to better understand and predict how animals and farming systems can adapt to a changing context with the aim of improving the sustainability and competitiveness of livestock farming. Within the Sysmo research team, our mission is to produce knowledge, methods, references and tools to optimize/improve the environmental balance and the multiple intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of products from monogastric farming systems, by mobilizing several livestock farming levers, including innovative feeding strategies. The Sysmo team's research covers several areas dealing with complementary dimensions (resources, animals, products, systems):

i) Metrics, methods and tools for the characterization of resources, animals, products and systems.

ii) Effects of farming factors or practices on the different dimensions of production sustainability and their interrelationships, within different farming systems.

iii) Design and evaluation of strategies to improve the sustainability of production.

Your mission will be in line with the ambitions of the Sysmo team and the objectives of the European research and innovation project STEP UP (2024-2027), supported by the Horizon Europe program. One of the main aims of STEP UP is to produce quantitative information/data on livestock farming, as an integral part of the food system and the wider ecosystem. Through a variety of research methodologies and strong stakeholder engagement, STEP UP aims to provide European policymakers with a platform of robust scientific data on the impacts and externalities of more sustainable European Livestock Production Systems (ELPS).

The main task of the project on which you will be working is to contribute to the implementation of a nutritional life cycle assessment (nLCA) of farmed animal products (meat). Nutritional LCA involves the consideration and use of nutritional functional units such as nutrient composition, density or quality, in environmental life cycle assessment (LCA-E) (McLaren et al., 2021). Based on individual data from a pig trial that aimed at improving several dimensions of pork meat quality (Lebret et al., 2023) and environmental life
cycle assessment (E-LCA) results (Gagaoua et al., 2023), you will contribute to the implementation of nLCA and the joint integration of intrinsic (product-related) and extrinsic (production-related) qualities of pork using multi-criteria approaches, within the “One Quality” concept. The project also aims to collect data from published E-LCA studies on pork production available in the literature to complete an in-house database.

More specifically, you will be in charge of:
- Contribute through a first literature review to identify and refine the impact categories and main indicators (metrics) allowing to implement a nutritional life cycle analysis (nLCA) of animal products (mainly meat) based on existing approaches/guidelines (McLaren et al., 2021).
- Propose/develop a nutritional LCA for pork products, using experimental and individual data including E-LCA results already available.
- Complete and enrich a database of E-LCA data/studies on pork production by means of a second literature review.
- Contribute to the study and critical analysis of the methodological obstacles and mathematical/statistical approaches required for the joint integration of the intrinsic (nutritional dimension) and extrinsic (environmental impacts) qualities of pork, using experimental and individual data.

This work will be under the supervision of M. Gagaoua and build on existing collaborations within Sysmo team, the STEP UP consortium and colleagues at SAS joint research unit (Rennes).


  • Recommended training: engineer or Master 2 in agronomy/animal production (or equivalent)
  • Knowledge required: Life cycle assessment (LCA), Research methods and literature review, Sustainability of animal production.
  • Appreciated experience: evaluation of environmental impacts and use of LCA tools and software (e.g., SimaPro, Open LCA, MeansInOut), Multicriteria evaluation, Statistics.
  • Skills sought: Teamwork, Rigor, Able to work independently as well as to collaborate, Creativity, Good communication skills, including the ability to communicate and write well in English.


Other details

  • Unit: UMR PEGASE 1348
  • Postal code + city: 35590 Saint-Gilles, Rennes
  • Type of contract: Temporary position
  •  Duration of the contract: 10 months
  • Starting date: 01/10/2024
  • Remuneration: Minimum gross monthly salary of 2 245 € depending on experience

How to apply
Send a motivation letter, a CV and references to:
Mohammed Gagaoua
By e-mail:
Deadline for applications: 30/07/2024