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New PhD Studentship opportunities

22 October 2020

Bristol Veterinary School

Developing a novel approach to improve the welfare of dairy cows: inactivating mastitis-causing bacteria using non-invasive cold atmospheric plasma (CAP)

Conservative estimates for the global dairy industry suggest 300 million cows produce 600 million tons of milk annually. UK milk production is worth £8.8b, 20% of total agricultural output. Mastitis is highly prevalent in dairy cattle, reducing milk quality, milk yield, reproductive performance, increasing treatment costs, raising greenhouse gas production and causes pain, suffering and stress to the animals. Mastitis is caused by bacterial infection or injury of the cow’s udder. 

Further details and how to apply
Closes Monday, December 07, 2020


The impact of early life programming on resistance to helminths in ruminant livestock

The gut microbiome is integral to the development of a normal immune system. Disruption to the microbiome during early life – e.g, via antimicrobials, milk replacer, different diets ‐ has long‐lasting impacts on immune function in animals. This is particularly important in ruminant livestock systems, given the economic losses incurred due to infectious disease and the incremental greenhouse gas emissions accompanying them. However, little is known about how early life events impact on the microbiome and immune development in ruminants.

Further details and how to apply
Closes Monday, December 07, 2020


The impact of change and the ability to deal with it on an individual’s affective state and welfare

Unexpected change exerts a potent influence on an organism’s emotional (affective) state and wellbeing. In both humans and animals, recent research indicates that mismatches between an individual’s predictions about its environment and the actual environment are key drivers of its affective state and welfare.

Further details and how to apply
Closes Monday, December 07, 2020


Harnessing 3D cameras and deep learning for on-the-fly automated body condition and mobility analysis to improve cattle welfare

A growing world population and climate change are stressing food availability. High animal welfare and health practices are more important than ever to satisfy societal demands for the livestock sector. In this PhD project, 3D video technology with the latest Intel cameras will be used to unobtrusively provide stress-free monitoring of incremental changes in individual cow mobility and body condition. The aim is to understand behavioural cues preceding observed lameness to improve cow health, welfare and productivity and hence increase the climate and environmental sustainability of milk production. This will realise a system that can be transplanted into farms without extensive instrumentation, allowing farmers and others in the value chain such as vets, nutritionists and livestock advisers to make use of much more precise, consistent and frequent measurements, creating greater opportunities to improve cow performance and welfare.

Further details and how to apply
Closes Monday, December 07, 2020 

 

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