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Funded Postdoc position; in Ontology alignment and engineering in agriculture and biodiversity; at LabEx NUMEV; in France

Context: Lingua project, in the context of AgroPortal project (, supported by NUMEV, AGRO and CEMEB Labex. Collaboration between IRD, INRA, CNRS (CEFE), as well as with the NCBO (Stanford University).
When: January 2018 – June 2019 (18 months) – extensions might be possible on other supports. Application will be accepted until November 28th Location: Montpellier. LIRMM mainly, with assignments at INRA and/or CEFE. Missions at Stanford.
Hours: Full time.
Contract type: Fixed term (French CDD).
Net salary: Between 2100 and 2500€ Net per month depending on qualifications. Includes benefits.

Standards vocabularies and ontologies are key elements to achieve data interoperability. Semantic interoperability has been identified as a key issue for agronomy and biodiversity sciences, and the use of ontologies a way to address it. The more ontologies and vocabularies are being produced in the domain, the more the need to create, store and retrieve alignments between those ontologies becomes important. The AgroPortal project ( develops and supports a reference ontology repository for agronomy, plant sciences, biodiversity and nutrition. We have already designed and implemented an advanced prototype offering ontology-based services that hosts 64 ontologies or vocabularies including some reference resources in the domain: Agrovoc, NAL thesaurus, Crop Ontology, etc.

We are offering a postdoc position to investigate and develop ontology mapping capabilities for AgroPortal ontologies and participate into the international Global Agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS) project. With the experience and technology developed with the YAM++ application (LIRMM’s ontology alignment matcher –, we will make AgroPortal a state-of-the-art platform for mapping extraction, generation, validation, evaluation, storage and retrieval by adopting a complete semantic web and linked open data approach and engaging the community for curation. We will first focus on the ontologies of the Montpellier community (agronomy, food, biodiversity) and then join the GACS project (integration of Agrovoc, NAL Thesaurus & CAB Thesaurus) of the RDA AgriSemantics working group (

The postdoc’s mission will be to:

  • Work with partners on the design (with use of semantic web standards) of their ontologies/vocabularies and the integration (when not done yet) within AgroPortal.
  • Align the ontologies within AgroPortal to one another and to the GACS vocabulary (cf. below), focusing on ontologies developed by the Montpellier partners first. Release mappings as linked open data.
  • Design and develop a state-of-the-art ontology alignment framework based on YAM++/AgroPortal to extract, generate, validate, evaluate, store and retrieve ontology alignments. Work with partners on generating and curating mappings thanks to the framework developed.
  • Contribute to the GACS project with the AgroPortal alignment framework and customize AgroPortal to use GACS as a pivot vocabulary.
  • Demonstrate to/with each partner (mainly INRA & CEFE) the outcomes of the use of ontologies, mappings and annotations.

Profile and application information:

Deadline: November 28, 2017

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