PhD Studentship Evaluate the management and environmental impact of the ‘model’ dairy systems

Scotland’s Rural College and Rothamsted Research, North Wyke

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.

This SRUC studentship will be offered in conjunction with Rothamsted Research, North Wyke. The student will be registered with The University of Bristol and will work closely with DairyCo, the sector levy body for dairy farming, who are part funding the studentship.

SRUC has a state of the art dairy system that has generated a comprehensive animal database (milk yield, composition, live weight, indoor feed intake, grass heights, stocking rates). The North Wyke Farm Platform (NWFP) is a new UK national capability supported by BBSRC. The NWFP is globally unique in the level of monitoring and measurement of parameters relating to beef and sheep production and the environmental impact (water, air quality, nutrient budgets etc.) of such production. Bringing the two datasets together gives us the opportunity to evaluate models and frameworks to address the true environmental and economic costs under contrasting management scenarios. The hypothesis behind the project is that the three broad system approaches, and specific management interventions, will have different production (stocking rates, milk sales) and environmental (N, P and GHG) impacts. There will be differences in losses to the environment from manure management (housing, storage and land spreading) and grazing returns; losses of gaseous N, and losses to water leaching and runoff. The studentship will be focused on bringing data together from the two experimental facilities, to develop a modelling framework to evaluate impacts and trade-offs relating to resource efficiency.

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The Studentship offers a stipend of £13,726 per annum and is funded to pay the University of Bristol tuition fees for UK/EU students. The expected start date is October 2013 and the studentship is 3.5 years in length.

Applicants should have an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Animal / Crop Science with a specific interest in systems modelling and have strong quantitative skills. An MSc in a related discipline is desirable. The candidate should be willing to travel between research centres in the course of the PhD.

Online applications for this post can be submitted on our website via the ‘Apply’ button below.

Alternatively, application packs can be requested from  Tel 0131 535 4028 quoting reference SRUC/1026691/Roberts. Please note that CV’s will not be accepted without a completed application form. To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Dr Dave Roberts or Dr Phil Murray

The closing date for the return of applications is 12 noon on 27th June 2013

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