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MSC PROJECT: Life Cycle Assessment of LED Lighting for Pullet and Layer Barns

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Nathan Pelletier
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Lighting systems for livestock production, in particular for poultry, are influential for animal health and productivity (Er et al. 2007; Hassan et al. 2014). Diverse lighting systems have been used in the poultry industry. Most recently, light emitting diode (LED) lighting systems have been developed for poultry housing. These systems are primarily marketed based on their energy efficiency compared to competing lighting systems, which can effect significant cost savings for producers.

Several researchers have reported differences in egg weight, shell strength, rate of lay, bird behaviour and feed conversion efficiency under different single and combined monochromatic LED light regimes (Karakaya et al. 2009; Huber-Eicher et al. 2013; Mendes et al. 2013). Carefully selected LED lighting regimes may therefore have important implications for sustainability performance which go far beyond direct, farm-level energy savings. This is particularly true with respect to changes in feed use efficiency, since feed inputs are the largest contributor to supply chain resource use and emissions for egg production (Pelletier et al. 2014), as well as rate-of-lay and mortality rates, both of which influence feed use efficiency.

An ISO-14044 compliant life cycle assessment study will be undertaken to evaluate the life cycle resource use and emissions implications of the use of LED lighting in egg production facilities. The student will collaborate with Egg Farmers of Canada staff to identify study sites, liase with farmers, and collect data for key production performance parameters including on-farm energy use, feed conversion efficiency, rate-of-lay and mortality rates on Canadian farms currently implementing a combination of LED and non-LED lighting in parallel layer barn systems. These data will be used to produce life cycle inventory models for egg production using LED lighting for comparison against the national average benchmark model (Pelletier 2017). Scenario models will also be developed based on literature reporting layer hen performance under alternative LED lighting regimes and in consultation with research and technical experts in this domain. The student will then collaborate with EFC staff (with support from UG5) to develop knowledge transfer materials for educating Canadian egg farmers about potential sustainability costs and benefits associated with use of LED lighting systems.

Interested students should e-mail me a description of research interests (referring, in particular, to how your interests and experience relate to the specific project you wish to work on), a CV (including two academic and/or professional references), and copies of unofficial transcripts. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Please also indicate your interest in particular degree programs at UBCO (either in Biology or through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program - Sustainability Theme). Visit the UBC Okanagan College of Graduate Studies website for more information about graduate studies at UBC Okanagan, including information on how to apply.

If you are an international student, please also self-assess your transcripts against the published requirements for admission to the UBC College of Graduate Studies and similarly self-assess your IELTS or TOEFL test scores. Candidates not meeting these requirements will not be further considered. Strong English language skills are required.

Prospective students satisfying all of the above stated criteria may be contacted to schedule a Skype interview.

The project will commence in September, 2019. Application deadline to the UBCO College of Graduate Studies is January 31 for September admission. Prospective students are advised to correspond with Dr. Pelletier well in advance of this date in order to discuss their candidacy.

For more information, see

Funding Notes

THIS IS A MASTERS PROJECT: $20,000 annually for 2 years

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