BNI-PASTURES: Reducing nitrous oxide emissions from ruminant systems through accelerating nitrification inhibition in ryegrass


   Natural Sciences

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  Prof T Hodkinson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Fully funded 4 year PhD available with Teagasc & Trinity College Dublin

(Joint Ireland and New Zealand)

BNI-PASTURES: Reducing nitrous oxide emissions from ruminant systems through accelerating nitrification inhibition in ryegrass

This PhD studentship is part of an interdisciplinary joint study which focuses on accelerating the potential of Biological Nitrification Inhibition (BNI) capacity in temperate grassland species, particularly in perennial ryegrass and plantain, to reduce nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from ruminant systems. The focus of this particular PhD studentship is to optimise hyproponic screens combined with a Nitrosomonas europae bioassay for large scale identification of perennial ryegrass genotypes with high BNI activity. The project will also advance molecular approaches to support the introduction of BNI capacity into elite ryegrass cultivars. The influence of different soils, particularly those with contrasting fertility and microbial communities on BNI trait expression in perennial ryegrass will also be investigated. 

The PhD student will be expected to work closely with collaborators in AgResearch (New Zealand), and exchange knowledge and control material to accelerate improvements and standardisation of methods to screen for the BNI trait in forage grasses. The student will be part of an interdisciplinary research team in Ireland (Dublin, Carlow, Wexford and Cork) and New Zealand. The student will be based in the Teagasc Crops Research Centre in Carlow, Co. Carlow, Ireland and registered with Trinity College Dublin. AgResearch will host the Irish based PhD student for up to a 3-month period within the first six months of the project. The successful candidate is expected to travel between Ireland and New Zealand and have a background in plant biology and/or microbiology.

This scholarship includes:

·       EU Fees for a PhD in Science at TCD for 4 years (non-EU students have to pay the extra university fee themselves).

·       Annual stipend: €25,000 (currently for 48 months)

Application Procedure: You must be able to work independently, be hard working and solution-oriented and willing to participate fully within a dynamic and friendly research team. The successful candidate will hold an Honours Degree (2.1 or higher) in a cognate discipline (e.g. Botany, Plant Sciences, Agriculture, Genetics or microbiology). An MSc or equivalent research experience would be an advantage. Other highly desirable skills include previous experience of lab-based techniques, a good knowledge of data analyses (e.g. experimental design, statistical skills), and a demonstrated ability to communicate research findings.

Applications should comprise of a single PDF Document that contains the following:

A cover letter: Your letter should clearly set out your suitability and motivation for this PhD with reference to your past relevant experience and achievements.

A CV that includes your relevant experience, undergraduate results, postgraduate results (if applicable), any relevant publications and contact information for 2 academic referees.

Please send applications by 12th of January 2024 to: [Email Address Removed], [Email Address Removed] and [Email Address Removed]

This project is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change.


Agriculture (1) Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

University Fees only covered for EU students. Non-EU students can apply but their extra cost for international university fee is not covered by the grant.
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