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Developing a UK sheep production systems model to define optimal flock replacement and management strategies

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  • Full or part time
    Dr L O'Grady
    Dr J Kaler
    Dr L Randall
    Dr F Lovatt
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited to join the Ruminant Population Health Group, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (SVMS), University of Nottingham, to undertake an innovative three-year PhD training programme funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)

The SVMS undertakes research on many aspects of livestock health and production. Research at the School is integrated into the University structure with established world class research in biomedical sciences. Research undertaken at the School is relevant to both Veterinary Medicine and Science and Comparative and Human Medicine.

Project description:
The UK is the largest producer of lamb meat in Europe. However, the industry is under pressure to become more resilient and sustainable. The AHDB Challenge Sheep project monitors 11 flocks, collecting a rich dataset regarding flock management and animal performance. One objective of the Challenge Sheep project is to understand the consequences of the lamb rearing phase on lifetime performance. Comprehensively addressing this objective requires the ability to predict how today’s farm management will impact the future years of each animals’ productive life.
This project will use machine learning methods to accurately predict individual animal performance at key stages of production and combine these findings to develop a novel flock simulation model. This new model will simulate the complex interactions of nutrition, management and animal performance, allowing the technical and economic consequences of differing management scenarios to be tested. The outcomes of this project will be used to create blueprints of optimal production for the UK sheep industry and a software tool, allowing farmers to utilise their data to explore the best management strategies for their own flocks.

This project provides the opportunity to launch your research career, develop sophisticated data analysis and programming skills and work with an array of international research experts. The project will also provide an excellent opportunity to engage with AHDB and the broader UK Sheep Industry, promoting the real-world impacts of their research on policy and on-farm action.

Further information and Application:
Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate degree or a minimum of a 2.2 degree and a Master’s degree in Agriculture, Animal, Computer or Veterinary Science, or similar subjects.

Candidates should apply online and include a CV. When completing the online application form, please select the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, then PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science (36m) and, once submitted, send your application ID number to [Email Address Removed].
Any queries regarding the application process should be addressed to the Continuing Education Team, (email: [Email Address Removed]).

Informal enquiries may be addressed to the principal supervisor: [Email Address Removed]

Start Date:
1st October 2020

Closing date:
Applications must be received by 18:00 on 1st May.

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded studentship for UK/EU nationals with a stipend of £15,285. International fees apply for non-UK/EU students.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 111.45

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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