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PhD Studentship in Animal Nutrition

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Kevin McDonnell
    Dr Joseph Sweeney
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

LIFE Farm4More is an EU funded LIFE project led by UCD, that aims to generate novel animal feed products from novel biorefinery and biochar technologies that will allow for climate change mitigation in agricultural animal protein production, to be achieved. To achieve this goal, LIFE Farm4More will redefine how grass-silage and alternative input substrates are used in animal protein production by:

1.) Designing and operating climate mitigating optimal grass-silage fed-Green Biorefinery and biochar technologies.
2.) Produce climate mitigating optimal animal feeding strategies based on extensive animal feeding trials that will be performed on the biorefinery- and biochar- produced animal feed products,.
3.) Develop and apply climate mitigating optimal land management strategies for all biorefinery input substrates that will be sourced.

The PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Kevin McDonnell (UCD) with input from Dr. Andreas Steinwidder (AREC) will investigate and create feeding strategies for LIFE Farm4More’s animal feed products which will include grass-silage press cake for ruminates and AA-concentrates for monogasts.
To achieve this goal, the PhD candidate will be initially trained in UCD and seconded to the Agricultural Research and Education Centre Raumberg-Gumpenstein (AREC) – Austria for a period of 6-9 months, where they will implement cutting edge feeding trial research such as:
• Animal feed In Vitro- and chemical- analysis
• “Respiration chamber” trials, to measure cattle’s environmental emission parameters CO2, CH4 and NH3.
• In vivo broiler feed trials to measure broiler health, fattening and slaughter performance as well as ammonia emissions.

The feeding trials that will be performed will demonstrate how LIFE Farm4More’s alternative grass-silage animal protein production model can significantly improve not only animal protein production efficiency but GHG emissions as well. LIFE Farm4More’s significant industry focus will mean that the successful PhD candidate will also be involved in other aspects of the animal feed production process as well. These include;
• Establishing commercial liaisons with industry partners whereby the use of LIFE Farm4more’s animal feed products will be demonstrated to interested parties;
• Adapting and refining feeding strategies based on industry partner requirements;
• Extending the application focus of Farm4more products to include other sectors
• Interacting with green biorefinery input substrate suppliers to ensure optimal -grass-silage and as such -biorefinery feed products, are produced.
• Engaging with LIFE Farm4More’s biorefinery operators to optimise the feed products being produced.

Relevant disciplines; To fulfil this role the candidate must have achieved a primary degree in animal nutrition or related discipline. Chemical analysis experience (GC, HPLC) will be deemed a significant advantage.

Funding Notes

Stipend: €18,000 per annum (+ contribution of fees up to €7,120 per annum)
PhD Duration: up to 4 years
Expected start date: September 2019

To apply please send your CV and cover letter detailing motivation and career plan. Applicants must also provide evidence that they meet the Minimum English Language Requirements for UCD

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