mardi 28 mars 2017

1 PhD project 2017 - 2020

Phenotypic characterisation of feeding behaviour in dairy goats Caractérisation phénotypique du comportement alimentaire chez la chèvre laitière For more information, p lease contact one of the supervisors ( Christine DUVAUX - PONTER christine.duvaux - or Birte L NIELSEN ) b efore the 2 1 st of April 2017 . Summary of the proposal Feedin g behaviour of adult ruminants varies between individuals but appears to be a relatively stable trait within each animal. However, little is known about the relative contributions of genotype, early experience, and the social environment in which the feedi ng behaviour is measured. This PhD project will investigate feeding behaviour parameters in two breeds of dairy goats from birth until weaning at two different ages, and relate this to the feeding behaviour of the same animals post - weaning when housed eith er individually or in groups. The results of the project will reveal to what extent feeding behaviour characteristics of an animal is adaptable to changes in external factors, including increased competition from conspecifics and nutritional challenges, su ch as a sudden decrease in the quality of the feed . These characteristics will be compared to the production traits of the animal in later life, as well as those of its parents and offspring. T he knowledge accrued in this project will contribute to on - goin g phenotyping of ruminant livestock for use in management - and breeding decisions. The successful candidate would start 1 st of October 2017. The experimental part of the project will take place at the goat farm in Grignon , 40km west of Paris, and a desk - s pace will be made available for the candidate at AgroParisTech ( 5 th arrondissement , P aris ) . Candidate profile The candidate for this project should have an MSc in biology or animal science . Candidates with an interest in and basic knowledge of animal beh aviour science and/or analysis of large biological data sets are preferred. The candidate will acquire a range of skills during the course of the project, including methods for the fundamental study of feeding behaviour, temporal development within individ uals, and correlations between disparate biological functions as well as the application and verification of automatic data registration. Prior experience in one or more of these areas would be an advantage, but is not a requirement. English should be mast ered at B2 level or higher, and proficiency in (or willingness to learn) spoken French would be appreciated .