Funding and Finance BBSRC PhD studentship in Mathematical Biology / Bioinformatics Mining for and incorporating novel behaviour traits in poultry genetic selection

Reference Code: AG013

Closing Date: 28th June 2013

Name of supervisor
Professor Ilias Kyriazakis, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) / Aviagen

Duration of the award
4 year PhD

Project description
This prestigious BBSRC Studentship is a collaboration between Newcastle University, a leading Institute in the study of animal behaviour, and Aviagen, the world’s leading chicken breeding company.

The project aims to mine for and identify novel behavioural traits in modern chicken populations, determine their contribution to bird performance, health and welfare, and quantify their association with other routinely recorded phenotypic and genetic traits. This will be done using Aviagen’s unique dataset on genetic evaluation of chickens, which individually records feeding and drinking behaviour traits of thousands of birds of very contrasting genetic pedigree lines, alongside whole genome scans for discovering associations with a broad number of relevant traits. The studentship recognises the need to incorporate novel traits in livestock genetic evaluation programmes.

Combining expertise in genetics, bioinformatics, animal behaviour, animal science and mathematical modelling, this truly interdisciplinary project will equip the student with unique skills for a future career.

Value of the award and eligibility
The award is only available to UK and EU Nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the last three years. The award covers four years tuition and a generous stipend of £16,000 pa.

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Person specification
The project is suitable for a student with mathematical/statistical skills wishing to apply these on a biological problem of industrial significance. You will have a first-class or upper second-class Honours degree in Genetics, Statistics, Mathematical or Computational Biology, Bioinformatics or other relevant subject.

How to apply
Please apply by clicking ‘Apply’ below, inserting the reference number AG013 and selecting ‘PhD School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development – Agriculture, Marketing & Food Marketing’ as the programme of study. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement or research proposal is required), a covering letter and a CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the reference number AG013 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in early June 2013. Please state your availability for interview and provide full daytime contact details.

Please also send your covering letter and CV to Professor Ilias Kyriazakis at:

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