jeudi 16 juillet 2015
PhD Studentship: Investigating behavioural and neural/cellular consequences of tooth resection in commercial piglets: implications for welfare.
This vacancy is: Fixed term
Salary: Stipend £14,057
Location: France 12-18 months then Edinburgh subsequent years
Closing Date: Friday, 14th August 2015
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. SRUC’s joint submission with the University of Edinburgh to the Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science subpanel of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) ranks top in the UK on research power.
Resection of “needle teeth” is practiced routinely worldwide in piglets shortly after birth in many farms in order to limit the lesions these intact teeth might cause to other piglets and the sows teats. Tooth resection, along with other mutilations may represent a major health and welfare concern. Objective evaluation of pain induced by tooth resection is lacking, especially on a long term basis. Only a behavioural approach coupled to a neurophysiological approach will allow such evaluation. Specific behavioural tests designed to detect pain will be developed. We will examine the relationship between tooth resection and pain behaviours over time, and relate these responses to changes in the peripheral, spinal and central neurons associated with pain transduction, transmission and assimilation, and neural pathways associated with anxiety-related behaviour and stress responses (HPA axis). Both techniques of tooth resection (grinding and clipping) that are commonly applied in commercial farms will be compared. Pig behavioural studies will be undertaken at INRA Saint-Gilles, Rennes where post-mortem tissue samples will be collected. Immunochemical and molecular measures on neural tissues will be performed at SRUC and the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Behavioural and physiological consequences of tooth resection with both methods will be interpreted in terms of health and welfare in order to give practical advice to farmers. The successful student will receive training in specific skills (behavioural and neurophysiological techniques and statistical analyses). The specific objectives of the project are: Determine whether tooth resection: (i) influences the display of specific oral/tooth pain behaviour in pigs; (ii) alters the expression of neural indicators of pain and/or nociceptive processing; (iii) increases the central expression of stress/anxiety-related genes; (iv) via clipping or grinding is better tolerated by the animal.
Applicants should have a minimum of an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Animal Science or related Biological/Veterinary/Biomedical Science. Excellent numeracy and communication skills are required as well as an interest animal health & welfare, behaviour, stress and pain neurobiology. The student will initially be based at INRA Saint-Gilles, France for 12-18 months with the remainder of the studentship being based at the Roslin Institute Building, near Edinburgh. The PhD studentship will be supervised jointly by Dr. Armelle Prunier and Dr. Céline Tallet (INRA), Dr. Dale Sandercock (SRUC), Dr. Paula Brunton (Roslin Institute) and will be registered through the University of Edinburgh. This 3.5 year PhD offers a stipend of £14,057 per annum and is funded to pay the University of Edinburgh tuition fees for UK/EU students only. The expected start date is October 2015.
Online applications for this post can be submitted via our website www.sruc.ac.uk/jobs. Alternatively application packs can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org (phone 0131 535 4028) quoting reference SRUC/1030432/Sandercock. CVs will not be accepted without a completed application form. To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Dr Dale Sandercock (UK), email@example.com (phone +44 131 650 6585) or Dr Armelle Prunier (France) Armelle.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The closing date for the return of applications is 5pm on 14 August 2015
Please note that you will be asked to register before filling in an online application.
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SRUC is an equal opportunities employer.
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Telephone: 0131 535 4420
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