PhD studentship: Mathematical modelling in Animal/Veterinary Science for more effective and sustainable livestock production
University of Newcastle, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Qualification type: PhD
Funding for: Students settled in the UK (previously resident in the UK for at least 3 years)
Hours: Full Time
Funding amount: £16,557 (with Industrial Enhancement) + 100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate
Start and duration: October-2016 to January-2017 for 4 years
Sponsors: BBSRC, KTN, AB Vista
The project is a collaboration with AB Vista, the world’s leading producer of micro-ingredients for animal feed, and is funded by BBSRC and KTN Biosciences.
The successful candidate will develop predictive models to improve our understanding of the fate of nutrients in pigs and inform more effective and sustainable production. She/he will be supervised by established researchers in veterinary science and in biological modelling. Suitable mathematical and statistical modelling techniques will be used to predict the digestion, metabolism and excretion of two essential macro-minerals: Calcium and Phosphorus. The ultimate goal is to incorporate the model into a user-targeted tool. The project combines theoretical and applied components that involve learning quantitative skills and relevant nutrition and metabolism context, offering a practical perspective of modelling and opportunities for gaining research experience linked to the agri-food industry.
Problem & approach: Recent advances in feed technology offer ways of overcoming previous constraints in calcium & phosphorus digestion that depend on feed ingredients. The models developed and tested in the project will incorporate interactions between these macro-minerals and with exogenous enzymes and other ingredients in the digestive tract of the growing animal. The models will be tested using novel data from collaborators in the EU and the US and will predict the performance of growing pigs under different management scenarios.
The ideal candidate will have (or expect) a first class or upper-second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a suitable quantitative discipline or a similar qualification, with clear interest in biological applications, or in Animal/ Veterinary Science or in a suitable natural science, with strong interests in mathematical modelling applied to animals. Strong background in either biological modelling or a animal metabolism/nutrition or relevant postgraduate qualification would be an advantage
.You will only be eligible for the full funding if you meet the residency requirements outlined by the BBSRC. Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. Applicants who are classed as International for tuition fees are not eligible for funding.