The stray dog project (and my PhD!) officially began on the 23rd of January. The beginning of this week marked my four-month anniversary - and what an exciting time it has been so far! Since beginning, I have settled into life in Leeds, attended animal welfare conferences in Birmingham and Brussels, become familiar with the literature around dog population management (after searching through the 3000 articles which resulted from a systematic review!) and I'm planning my first field trip to Bulgaria.
This project is funded by Four Paws International and I will soon be joining their stray animal care team at their clinic in Sofia, Bulgaria. During this field trip I will be carrying out a pilot study collecting data on dog population demographics and public attitude towards stray dogs. Having never travelled to this part of the world before, I'm excited for the field trip and also, to see what data I collect while I am there. However, before I set off for Bulgaria, I will be travelling next week to Italy to train with our collaborating institution the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise (IZSAM) in the beautiful location of Pineto!
The start of the PigSustain project has been a really exciting time in my academic career. After almost eight years in Newcastle, I upped sticks and moved my life down to Leeds to begin work as a research technician. So far, this has involved trips to commercial farms, learning about the pig production process and getting to grips with a lot of new concepts (and acronyms!). I am heavily involved in the development of an automated detection system for on-farm health and welfare measures and, together with the team in Lincoln, we're progressing well with getting this ready for trials. It's looking like it's going to be a busy summer (in a good way!) and I'm excited to see how PigSustain will continue to develop and evolve in the coming months.
The excitement of starting a new job!
Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have an established background in modelling complex systems? Do you want to further your career in one of the UKs leading research intensive Universities?
As part of the PIGSustain project funded by the Global Food Security program, you will work closely with a large team of researchers and stakeholders across multiple disciplines in leading institutions across the UK. You will use a systems modelling approach to investigate the resilience of a complex system, the UK pig industry, in response to projected future shocks and trends.
PIGSustain will gather data in order to understand how sustainable intensification and predicted climate changes are expected to impact on the entire pig industry – from the health, disease and welfare of the animals, to consumption patterns and retail prices, which ultimately impact farmers. Gathering information on emerging diseases with the UK pig population is particularly important for the team because, unlike any other animal, it is possible for pigs to translate animal diseases into human forms.
You will have a PhD (or close to completion) in modelling complex systems or a closely allied discipline along with experience in creating, writing, enhancing, and running code in R/Matlab/Python. Excellent communication skills with the ability to talk to different audiences is necessary, as you will be collaborating with a large team of researchers across multiple disciplines.
For further details, click here