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Holistic approach to internal parasites in hill and upland sheep farms

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 03, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This PhD will investigate ways to optimise internal parasite control (roundworms and liver fluke) in hill and upland sheep, to address the issue of increased resistance to anthelmintics in flocks. Current methods of control are through anthelmintic use at flock level, but drug resistance within flocks is increasing. Alternative options available to farmers, to help control internal parasites whilst maintaining drug efficacy, include methods such as faecal egg count (FEC) monitoring, Targeted Selective anthelmintic Treatment (TST), pasture management and genetic selection. However, their effectiveness will depend on the willingness and ability of the farmers to implement them on their farms, as each option will have different financial and management implications.

This PhD will help to identify the scale of anthelmintic related issues faced by hill and upland sheep farmers in Scotland. In parallel, focus farms will be identified, their parasite challenge assessed and their approach to internal parasite control monitored. Customised options for internal parasite control will be proposed, implemented and monitored and forecasting bio-economic modelling will be carried out to test the various options available. This approach will allow practical recommendations on the optimum approach to internal parasites control on hill and upland sheep farms to be made.

We are particularly interested in applications from Veterinary Science graduates or from Science graduates with a 2.1/1st degree in the relevant area (agriculture, animal science, biology, etc.), preferably with a Masters (although not essential). Also the ability to accurately collect and record data, experience undertaking statistical analysis, managing large data sets and ability to work with animals. Experience of working independently or as part of a team is essential. Desirable: experience working in laboratory environment and/or on working farm; previous experience and engagement in research activities (e.g. conference presentation, publication). Above all, a keen interest in working with livestock farmers, disease and economics!

Funding Notes

This 3.5 year PhD is funded by SRUC and will receive an annual student stipend of £14,777 (£15,009 in 2019/20).This studentship will fund to pay the tuition fees at home fees rate only. International students must provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover the higher international student tuition fee level (approximately £16,740 per year would be required). The expected start date is 1st September 2019.

How good is research at SRUC - Scotland’s Rural College in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?
(joint submission with University of Edinburgh)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 57.37

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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