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What is SIFER ?


International Doctoral Course
“Stable Isotopes in Forest Ecosystem Research”
Inra campus, Champenoux, France

Cloud word of SIFER


The University of Lorraine (Doctoral School SIRENA) and the "Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement" (INRAE) are organizing each year, in the frame of the Lab of Excellence for Advanced Research on the Biology of Tree and Forest Ecosystems (LabEx ARBRE), an International Doctoral Course “Stable Isotopes in Forest Ecosystem Research” (SIFER) at the INRA Campus in Champenoux, France.

The main goal of this SIFER doctoral course is to offer a broad introduction to the use of stable isotopes in forest ecosystem research. Many ecological processes that occur in forest ecosystems produce a distinct isotopic footprint that can be used to trace the origin and the transfer of the major elements into ecological processes, to decipher the effects of environmental changes on several metabolic pathways and to understand complex interactions among ecosystem compartments and ecological processes occurring in trees and forest. Stable isotopes provide relevant information in forest ecosystem research, and they are thus powerful tools that still undergo very fast technological developments. The course is open to all PhD students working on stable isotopes, not exclusively on trees or forests.

Lectures give an overview of the major stable isotopes (carbon, nitrogen, water) used in ecosystem research, of fractionation processes that affect isotope distribution in ecosystem pools, of their use as tracers using either natural abundance distribution or labelling experiments, and of modelling at temporal and spatial scales. Questions related to instrumentation, technology and measurement quality are also addressed.

During the course, practical work and computing exercises are conducted throughout the week in small groups, using the cluster Isotopy-Chemistry of SILVATECH.

The target audience of the course is PhD students coming from any institution worldwide. Applications are launched about six months before the course. The selection of candidates is done by an education committee based on the motivation letter of applicants and their research project involving the use of stable isotopes.

The next course will be held on 13 - 17 September 2021. Registration is open until June, 19th 2021 HERE.