The number of dairy calves available for beef production in Ireland has grown by 30% in recent years and there is increasing national and international focus on the sustainability of dairy calf-to-beef production systems. In order to address the knowledge deficits concerning the quality and health of dairy calves from birth to weaning, we will investigate the risk factors associated with calf management through the use of detailed on-farm survey data, and explore how farm characteristics relate to calf welfare outcomes (i.e., calf morbidity and mortality). To our knowledge, there is no published information characterising the different on-farm management practices of dairy-beef calves in Ireland. Equally, there is a deficit of published research on the summer calf scour syndrome (SCSS) phenomenon and hence we currently lack quantitative factual evidence on the aetiology of the syndrome or indeed the extent of its impact on overall animal health and performance. As well as addressing the SCSS knowledge gap this project also seeks to explore the concept of weaning artificially reared calves while at pasture and the ensuing implications for optimal rumen development.
Keywords: Animal health; Infectious disease; Epidemiology; Dairy-beef calves; Suckler beef calves; Dairy calves; Rumen health
Applications are invited from graduates holding or expecting a primary degree (First or Upper Second Class Honours) in a biological science (e.g., Veterinary Science, Agricultural Science, Animal Science). The successful candidate will be expected to register with the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin for a 4-year Ph.D. degree. The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for periods of field and laboratory work, and engage in training and development courses. A full driving licence is required. For applicants whose first language is not English, requirements are outlined here
The Walsh Scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum and includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum or approximately €9,000 p.a. (non-EU students), and is tenable for 4 years. This PhD Walsh Scholarship is aligned to a joint research project between Teagasc and the National University of Ireland, at Dublin. The successful candidate will be mainly based at the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre (AGRIC), Teagasc Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath, and will be registered at UCD. Academic supervision will be provided by Dr. Catherine McAloon, School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, in association with Teagasc supervisors (Dr. Bernadette Earley, Prof. David Kenny, Dr. Mark McGee, Dr. Sinead Waters, Dr. Niamh Field). The scholarship will start in September/ October 2022.
For further information please contact
Dr. Catherine McAloon, email: [Email Address Removed] School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin.
Dr. Bernadette Earley, email: [Email Address Removed] and Prof. David Kenny email: [Email Address Removed]
AGRIC, Teagasc, Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath, C15 PW93, Ireland.
Submit an electronic copy of a Curriculum Vitae, which should include a short personal statement and the names and contact details of two referees, by email to: Dr. Catherine McAloon [Email Address Removed] Dr. Bernadette Earley [Email Address Removed] and Prof. David Kenny [Email Address Removed]