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
Many congratulations to our own Mary Friel, now Dr Mary Friel (!) on successfully defending her PhD thesis on vocalisations as indicators of welfare in pigs. Mary did a fantastic job and is even reporting having enjoyed the viva experience :)
You can read some of the outputs of Mary's PhD here and here. Keep your eyes peeled for the next set of papers!
A huge well done to Katharine Anderson, who successfully defended her MSc by Research thesis yesterday (29th March 2017). Katharine has worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months to collect a huge dataset on canine osteoarthritis, working in collaboration with the VetCompass team at the Royal Veterinary College, London (Dan O'Neill, David Brodbelt, David Church, Jen Summers) and David Sargan at the University of Cambridge.
Katharine has written three (yes, three!) papers from her MSc work, and we are looking forward to seeing them in print in the near future. You'll also be able to catch her at this year's UFAW event in London, where she will be presenting some of her fabulous results!