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Exploring the milk microbiome and its impact on mastitis susceptibility and inflammatory responses in dairy cattle.

   PHD Opportunities

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  Prof R Dewhurst, Dr Holly Ferguson, Prof Sharon Huws, Prof C Creevey  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Edinburgh United Kingdom Agricultural Sciences Bioinformatics Microbiology Molecular Biology Veterinary Sciences

About the Project

PhD Opportunities on dairy cattle microbiomes at SRUC’s Dairy Research and Innovation Centre, Dumfries and Queens University Belfast

A fully funded PhD studentships are available as part of a €10 million, collaborative European project, “HoloRuminant”, starting in October 2021. The studentships are for 3.5 years and cover stipends at UKRI rates (for 2021/22: £15,609 per year) and home tuition fees, with experimental and travel costs covered by the project.

HoloRuminant will explore the role of ruminant-associated microbiomes and their interactions with the host animal in early life, and throughout fundamental life events, such as weaning, which are known to affect health, welfare, and environmental efficiency in ruminant production systems.

The project will develop a novel understanding of the milk microbiome of cattle and explore how host genetic merit relates to milk microbiome, mastitis susceptibility and the immune and inflammatory response in the udder.

The students will gain skills ranging from working with animals to advanced molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques. Whilst being registered at Queens University Belfast and having the opportunity to work in their state-of-the-art molecular and microbial labs and high-performance computational infrastructure the student will work mostly with the world-leading Langhill Genotype x Environment study at SRUC’s Dairy Research and Innovation Centre in Dumfries. Annual progress evaluations and viva voce examinations will be held in Belfast.

The projects will be supervised by Professor Richard Dewhurst and Dr Holly Ferguson at SRUC, as well as Professor Sharon Huws and Professor Chris Creevey at Queens University Belfast. Further details of the facilities and groups can be obtained at:

Students should have at least an upper second class degree (or equivalent) in a life science subject and some awareness of livestock production challenges. A postgraduate qualification would be desirable, but is not essential.

Expected start date is 1 October 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.

To apply, please send us your CV and complete the application and equal opportunities monitoring forms available by clicking on the relevant studentship on our website. List of vacancies | SRUC

Completed forms and any questions about applications should be sent to SRUC’s Postgraduate Administrator [Email Address Removed] quoting reference SRUC/QUB/microbiome/milk.

To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Professor Richard Dewhurst; E-mail: [Email Address Removed], telephone: 0131 535 4050.

The closing date for the return of applications is 5pm on 16th August 2021.

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