PhD Studentship Developing climate change adaptation strategies for intensive livestock production in the UK

SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College, delivers comprehensive skills, education and business support for Scotland’s land-based industry founded on world class, sector leading research, education and consultancy. Our 1500 staff are located on 6 campuses and around 40 business units across Scotland and the North of England.

Adapting to climate change presents challenges for intensive animal production in the UK, as current systems may not have the capacity for effective control in the face of large changes in thermal challenges or during an increased incidence of extreme events. Potential adaptations (e.g. improved ventilation systems and husbandry practices) are likely to have significant implications for the (financial, biophysical and environmental) performance of the systems. This studentship will contribute to the development of climate change adaptation strategies by:

(1) Modelling the potential impacts of predicted climate change on the performance of UK intensive production systems, on-farm and during animal transport.

(2) Identifying of points in the supply chains where climate change is likely to have significant impact on performance.

(3) Identifying and appraising the adaptation measures, in terms of their technical feasibility, cost-effectiveness and likelihood of uptake.

(4) Developing recommendations for (government and industry) policies that could be employed to facilitate the uptake of adaptation measures.

The student will be registered for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh will be based at SRUC, Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian. Applicants should have or expect to obtain a minimum of an upper second class honours degree in agricultural or environmental science. An MSc in a related discipline is desirable. Applicants should ideally have the ability to use GIS, excel or similar packages for quantitative analysis and have experience of agricultural or environmental modelling or related approaches. The studentship offers a stipend of £13,726 per annum and is funded to pay the University of Edinburgh tuition fees for UK/EU students. The expected start date is October 2013 and this studentship is 3.5 years in length.

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Online applications for this post can be submitted via our website Alternatively application packs can be requested from Tel 0131 535 4028 quoting reference: SRUC/1027318/Mitchell. Please note that CV’s will not be accepted without a completed application form. To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact: Professor Malcolm Mitchell Tel: 0131 651 9353 or Dr Michael MacLeod, Land Economy and Environment Group Tel: 0776 147 8865 e-mail:

The closing date for the return of applications is 12 noon on 11th July 2013.

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