mercredi 2 mars 2011

PhD. Position – Evaluating the role of behavioral, physiological and immunological stressors in pig feed efficiency

Animal Science Department
Iowa State University
Ames IA, USA

A full time research based PhD Position (with stipend, ½ time assistantship) is available for May 2011 – May 2014 in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University. In fast-growing lean pigs approximately 34% of the variable differences in feed intake is not accounted for by growth and body composition, but result from differences in energy required for other processes such as maintenance, activity and digestive and metabolic efficiency. Thus, although past selection for lean growth has substantially increased feed efficiency, further increases are limited by differences in feed intake that are unrelated to growth and backfat. This feed intake net of growth and backfat is called residual feed intake (RFI). RFI is a unique measure of FE because it represents true differences in the ability of pigs to use feed energy for the metabolic processes of maintenance and growth. To enable in-depth study of feed efficiency, selection lines that differ in RFI have been developed at ISU.

The main objectives is to use the ISU RFI lines to identify (1) behavioral differences in pigs when exposed to a human approach-avoidance test and a novel object test and (2) an ACTH challenge on the stress response. The preferred candidate will have a strong academic performance (3.0 or above) in a biological discipline, such as animal science or veterinary science. In addition the candidate must be willing to work with grow-finisher pigs and laboratory procedures, have the ability to travel and work in a multi-disciplinary research group. For further details about the project, contact Dr.s Nicholas Gabler (ACTH challenge) or Anna Johnson (behavioral work). For information about the graduate studies program in the Department of Animal Science and for application procedures (open until filled) please go to the web page at or contact Donna Nelson at or by phone at (515) 294-2160.

Dr. N. Gabler
201 Kildee
Ames, IA 50011-3150
Phone: 515-294-7370

Dr. A. Johnson
2356F Kildee
Ames, IA 50011-3150
Phone: 515-294-2098