As the newest PhD student to the Animal Welfare and Epidemiology lab it is scary to realise it was a year ago now since I moved to Leeds and started on the first of March 2018. I have learnt so much coming from a behavioural research background and moving into the nitty gritty details of reproduction and development.
I have been getting up to date with the research that is out there, for which I am doing a scoping review. This has been so much fun with some very peculiar unrelated studies rearing their heads, but equally hair tugging annoying, trying to battle with large numbers of references in various softwares (finally finding the godsend website Rayyan). I have attended several conferences, refining some of those vital networking skills down, and am looking forward to having the opportunity to present at some in the near future. I also attended my first walks and talks which was brilliant.
I completed a trial run for data collection investigating the effect of in utero sex ratios on reproductive markers in pigs and it is great finally being at a point where the real data collection can begin after ironing out some hiccups that were met along the way! This project involves collecting samples of the reproductive tissues of pigs at slaughter, reared under commercial conditions until traditional slaughter weights. These tissues are then processed and prepared for a range of tests all aimed at evaluating the reproductive capacity of that individual. I want to thank all of my colleagues for helping me with the tissue collection and processing which would be near impossible to have done by myself.
So happy to have passed my transfer last week and I am looking forward to seeing what will come out of the next three years!