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Explore novel feeding strategies to reduce ammonia emissions from ruminants and improve their productivity


Project Description

Project details:

Agriculture is the dominant source of ammonia (NH3) emissions in N. Ireland, across the UK and throughout the world. Current inventory figures show that 12% of total UK NH3 emissions come from N. Ireland and that 91% of those in 2015 came from agriculture. Therefore, there is a need to develop novel, science-based, and implementable nutrition approaches to reduce NH3 emissions from ruminants. One approach is the use of tannins from plant or marine sources, which have the potential to optimise animal nutrition, reduce environmental impact and improve animal health. Studies demonstrated that use of tannins results in a pronounced shift in N excretion from urine to faeces. Faecal N outputs are considered to be an environmentally less harmful form of N than urinary N. This will be examined in this proposal by exploring two novel feed sources, willow (Salix sp.) and seaweed. Willow is a tree fodder containing condensed tannins and although it has great potential in animal nutrition, data on UK willows are scarce. Brown seaweeds contain phlorotannins and their effect on ruminant feed efficiency have received little attention. Just a few studies have investigated the ensiling of willow and seaweed and this is also a great challenge for that project. Finally, the proposed work will provide formulations that are palatable, bioactive and dose specific and enhance precision feeding approaches that will be adapted by farmers.

This project will be supervised by Dr Katerina Theodoridou and Dr Gareth Arnott of Queen’s University School of Biological Sciences/Institute for Global Food Security and Dr Tianhai Yan of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

All applications MUST be submitted through https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php.

Specific skills/experience required by applicants:

Animal Science background, lab work experience, statistical analysis experience.

All applicants must meet the academic entry requirements: https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-research/biological-sciences-phd.html#entry

Funding Notes

Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Before applying, it is strongly recommended that you read the full information on eligibility criteria available from DfE: View Website.

Please note in particular that not all successful applicants may be eligible to receive a full studentship (i.e. fees and stipend) - please read in detail the Residency and Citizenship requirements in the document linked to above.

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.40

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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