Fully Funded Masters Scholarship Opportunity On  “Molecular Signatures Of Cattle Stress At Slaughter, The Microbiome, And Impact On Eating Quality Of Beef”

Master's & postgraduate Fully Funded Masters Scholarship Opportunity On “Molecular Signatures Of Cattle Stress At Slaughter, The Microbiome, And Impact On Eating Quality Of Beef”

Deadline: 26 March 2023

  1. Background

There is substantial evidence for a relationship between stress and eating quality in meat animals. In ruminants, stress level and in particular pre-slaughter stress affects diverse aspects of meat quality including juiciness and tenderness, colour and pH. Furthermore, the physiological and biochemical pathways determining meat quality differ in stressed versus unstressed animals. Finally, while the interaction of the production regime with the gastrointestinal flora is known to have important implications for health and efficiency in ruminants, the relationship with meat quality has hardly been investigated.


In collaboration between Teagasc, UCC and INRAE France, an MSc position, is available to develop a greatly enhanced understanding of the molecular pathways and processes underpinning the connection between animal stress at slaughter and meat quality. We are seeking an enthusiastic student with expertise in or a strong interest in statistical data analysis and an interest in animal welfare.

The successful applicant will collaborate with Teagasc, UCC and INRAE scientists to apply advanced statistical approaches to international datasets and to generate a new dataset of pre-slaughter physiological and behavioural stress indicators, proteomic profiles of post-mortem muscle and sensory traits to examine the relationship between stress and meat quality. Through applying advanced data analytics approaches to INRAE and Teagasc datasets, the student will also search for consistent and common patterns of abundance in key proteomic biomarkers predictive of meat quality and novel proteomic biomarkers of stress impacting meat quality in French and Irish beef animals.

  1. Requirements
  • Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Upper Second Class
    Honours) in an appropriate discipline (Biostatistics, Computer Science, Biochemistry, Physiology, Veterinary Science, Animal Science) and some familiarity with omics data.
  • The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and open to a multi-disciplinary project.
  1. Award
  • The scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum and includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum and is tenable for two years.
  • The expected start date will be October 2023.
  • The student will be registered at University College Cork but spend most of their time at Teagasc Ashtown, Dublin 15.
  1. How To Apply?
  • To apply, please submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to: Dr Ruth Hamill [email protected]  and Dr. Claudia Terlouw [email protected]
  • For Further information, Please contact :
  1. Dr Ruth Hamill, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Republic of Ireland Phone +353 (0)1 8059500, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ruth_Hamill
  2. Prof. Joe Kerry, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork (UCC) Dr. Claudia Terlouw, INRAE UMR Herbivores, F-63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France

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