Use of a microbiome signature to determine health, productivity and welfare status in dairy cattle
This studentship will aim to determine if the oral and faecal microbiomes can be used as indicators of health, welfare and productivity in dairy cattle at different stages in their life cycle.
Start date1 January 2023
Funding sourceUniversity of Surrey and Zoetis
Fully funded, including UK fees, stipend and training.
Applications are invited for a prestigious three-year University of Surrey (School of Veterinary Medicine), Zoetis, University of Glasgow, Universidade Federal de Goiás and University of Liverpool fully funded PhD studentship, commencing in October 2022. The focus on dairy cattle health, welfare and productivity remains high, specifically with recent concerns regarding food security, dairy cattle welfare and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The faecal and oral microbiomes may be a good indicators of health status and could be used to help improve cattle welfare and productivity. Therefore, this study will evaluate the oral and faecal microbiomes of healthy, diseased and productive vs not productive dairy cattle in the UK and Brazil.
The student will work with academic, farming and clinical colleagues to sample dairy cattle across the UK and in Brazil to determine how the oral and faecal microbiomes can be used as indicators of health, welfare and productivity in dairy cattle at different stages in their life cycle. The study will also aim to correlate differences in microbiomes with clinical disease outcomes such as periodontitis.
This exceptional research opportunity requires a candidate with an interest in microbiology and welfare and who holds a degree in veterinary medicine that is registrable with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS). The project will involve microbiology-based laboratory work, together with field work and metagenomic data analysis. Therefore, a sound understanding of microbiology is required and some background in farm animal practice and epidemiology and/or bioinformatics would be highly desirable. However, if required, full training will be provided.
The successful applicant will be registered with the University of Surrey and based in the School of Veterinary Medicine (Guildford), with field work undertaken in farms and abattoirs across the UK. Occasional visits to the University of Glasgow and University of Liverpool will be required. Some overseas travel may also be required.
Related linksUniversity of Surrey University of Glasgow University of Liverpool Zoetis Universidade Federal de Goiás
Applicants should have a degree in veterinary medicine that is registrable with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS).
The project is open to UK students (only UK fees covered).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic overall score of 6.5 or above (or equivalent qualification from other agencies) with 6.0 in each individual category.