Research areas: This work forms part of an NSERC supported, five-year research collaboration between the University of Saskatchewan, several academic collaborators, and 14 industry partners, to advance understanding on several areas of importance to improving the welfare of farmed swine. A summary of this research program can be found here.
The chosen candidate will be required to lead scientific investigation into the following areas:
1) Understand the value of animal-based indicators of welfare as measured on carcasses at the abattoir, to provide a continuous herd welfare monitoring tool. This work involves investigation into the prevalence of animal-based indicators of welfare on carcasses in Canadian abattoirs, and determining the relationship between animal-based indictors of welfare on farm, to those observed on carcasses.
2) Understanding the contribution of early life management practices towards resilience characteristics, sociability traits and welfare outcomes in the growing pig.
Working alongside team members exploring the contribution of early life management to influence pig development and resilience characteristics (including behavioural, response to stressors, and gut health), the post-doctoral researcher will lead scientific investigation into the relationship between the adaptive response of the pig and the development of welfare problems later in the growing life, with a focus on: i) the relationship between adaptive response, gut health and development of problem behaviours, and ii) understanding the contribution of early life influences towards the development of sociability traits and long term group functioning, including the role of social play to influence such traits. This work will also involve collaborative work with team-members validating specific biomarkers to inform on welfare states.
Collectively, the research conducted during this post-doctoral position will contribute towards understanding the causal factors behind the development of specific welfare problems, the inputs required for commercially viable production environments to support higher welfare, and methods to support regular measurement of welfare from large numbers of animals. The candidate will benefit from working within an active research environment, and connecting research findings to application with stakeholders.
Duties: Manage assigned areas of the research project, including: planning, data collection, statistical analysis; communication of research findings through scientific meetings and publications; industry liaison and knowledge transfer of results to stakeholders; grant writing as required. The successful candidate will be required to work closely with research collaborators, both academic and industry, and to support progress of the overall research program. Work will require periods of travel for data collection to facilities across Canada.
Eligibility: A PhD in field of applied ethology, animal welfare science, animal science, zoology, veterinary medicine, comparative psychology or related discipline; a valid driver’s license.
Candidate skills: Excellent written and oral communication skills, a strong work ethic, the ability to work independently and within a team, initiative and problem-solving ability, and good organizational skills are essential to this role. Candidates with a strong multidisciplinary skill set are desirable, with a good knowledge of biology, experience in welfare assessment, animal behaviour, statistical analysis and laboratory skills, publication record and experience of grant writing preferable. Experience and knowledge of pigs and pig production is considered an asset.
For further information about this position & to apply please contact Dr. Yolande Seddon:
E-mail: [email protected]
; Telephone: +1-306-966-7151
Large Animal Clinical Sciences,Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
Learn more about the University of Saskatchewan at: https://www.usask.ca/
and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at: http://www.usask.ca/wcvm/
Applications: Please submit a current CV, a one-page cover letter outlining your motivation and qualification for the position and contact details of two references to Dr. Yolande Seddon. E-mail submissions, please include in the subject heading: Post-doc Swine Welfare. This position will remain open until filled. Review of applicants will begin upon receipt, and applicants will be contacted for an interview.