[Post-doc completed] Laurie Dunn

[Post-doc completed] Laurie Dunn: Transitool: a companion tool to assess step-by-step agroecological transition of a cash crop farm

Post-doc topic funded by #DigitAg

Transitool: a companion tool to assess step-by-step agroecological transition of a cash crop farm

I've been recruited as a research engineer (post-doctoral student) at the UMR Agir (Agroécologie - Innovations - TeRritoires) at INRAe Castanet-Tolosan, more specifically within the Magellan team (Méthodes pour l'Agroécologie et la Gestion LocaLe des Ressources Agricoles et Naturelles). I'm in charge of the Transitool project, which aims to create a support tool for evaluating the step-by-step agroecological transition of a field crop farm. I began my academic career with a degree in the biology of organisms, populations and ecosystems. I went on to specialize in plant biology and ecology, and obtained a Master's degree in Ecosystems and Anthropogenesis, co-habilitated with an agricultural engineering school. I then did my PhD at the University of Burgundy on the evaluation of the impact of agricultural practices on soil microbial abundance, a bio-indicator of soil quality. It was within this framework that I was able to specialize in computer simulation for the creation of support tools for players in the agricultural world. I'm particularly sensitive to current issues linked to the pressures exerted on agriculture and the environment. That's why I'm keen to help farmers adopt environmentally-friendly agro-ecological practices in a context of climate change, rising food demand and shrinking arable land. As part of the Transitool project, a process of co-designing more agroecological technical itineraries is being implemented through participatory workshops bringing together different stakeholders. Thanks to the mobilization of a whole range of partners, the companion tool will be both useful and usable, and will be able to assess the effects of the transition to agroecology on the basis of several criteria chosen by users.

  • Starting date:  14 March 2022
  • Scientific field: agroecology, engineering science, mathematics and its applications, computer modeling and simulation
  • Funding: #DigitAg
  • Supervisors: Jacques-Eric Bergez (INRAe, Agir), Isabelle Bourdon (Université de Montpellier,  MRM) et Patrick Taillandier (INRAe, MIAT)
  • #DigitAg : Axe 6 : Modélisation et simulation (systèmes de production agricole), Axe 2 : Innovations en agriculture numérique, Challenge 1 : Le challenge agroécologique, Challenge 5 : Les services de conseil agricole

Keywords: Agroecological transition, simulation, multicriteria evaluation, field crops, ergonomics, AGILE method

Abstract: Switching from conventional practices to more agroecological practices is a real challenge for the farmers. This transition can be done step-by-step or using a complete system redesign. Whatever path is chosen, fostering initial reflection between advisers and farmers is an approach that has the big interest of creating a community of exchanges and innovative practices. The Transitool project is interested in the implementation of a companion tool that can be mobilized in a co-design process of more agroecological technical practices for arable farms. This is to help the various actors of a co-design workshop to assess changes in practices through the use of computer simulation to quantify various indicators showing changes in the farm. The project aims to meet three major challenges: i) develop a useful and usable tool, ii) develop a tool allowing a multi-criteria assessment (sustainability), iii) develop a tool mobilizing recent agroecosystem simulation approaches. To meet the first challenge, the post-doctoral fellow will follow an AGILE approach to develop, via use-cases, interfaces facilitating the work of co-design and evaluation of the practices tested. To meet the second challenge, the post-doctoral fellow will mobilize multi-criteria assessment procedures for cropping systems (eg MEANS, MASC). Finally, to meet the third challenge, the post-doc will use tools and programming language already mobilized by researchers (eg MAELIA, GAMA) and will seek to hybridize quantitative and qualitative simulation approaches. In order to properly mobilize expectations and skills, a steering committee including researchers in the field, but also professionals from the agricultural world will be set up.

Contact :  jacques-eric.bergez [AT] inrae.fr - Tél:

Social networks: ResearchGate, LinkedIn, Twitter

Communications & Papers:

Thesis manuscript: https://theses.fr/s232058 

Dunn L., Lang C., Marilleau N., Terrat S., Biju-Duval L., Lelièvre M., Perrin S., Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré N. (2021). Soil microbial communities in the face of changing farming practices: A case study in an agricultural landscape in France. PLoS One. DOI : 10.1371 /journal.pone.0252216 (23p.) (open access)

Dunn L., Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré N., Lang C., Marilleau N. (2021) A spatially explicit model to simulate soil microbial communities’ dynamics at an agricultural landscape scale, 1st conference GAMA days 2021, Toulouse (online), France.

Dunn L., Dequiedt S., Lelièvre M., Lang C., Marilleau N., Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré N. (2019) Temporal dynamics of soil bacterial communities at a landscape scale : dependence to soil properties and agricultural practices. 10 IALE World Congress Nature and society facing the Anthropocene challenges and perspectives for landscape ecology, Milan, Italy

Dunn L., Marilleau N., Lang C., Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré N. (2021) Etude et modélisation des impacts des pratiques agricoles sur la dynamique de la distribution des communautés microbiennes des sols à l’échelle du paysage, Journée des doctorants, UMR Agroécologie (virtuel), Dijon, France

Dunn L., Dequiedt S., Lelièvre M., Lang C., Marilleau N., Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré N. (2019) Studying and modelling the dynamics of soil microbial communities at a landscape scale in response to agricultural practices, 25 Forum des jeunes chercheurs Environnement-Santé, Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France. (poster)

Dunn L., Dequiedt S., Lelièvre M., Lang C., Marilleau N., Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré N. (2019) Studying and modelling soil microbial communities dynamics at a landscape scale in response to agricultural practices, Journée des doctorants UMR Agroécologie, Dijon, France. (poster)

Modification date: 15 January 2024 | Publication date: 22 August 2022 | By: GL