PhD Scholarship: “Investigating the effect of genetic merit and other animal traits on methane emissions from dairy cattle and sheep”| Teagasc| Munster Technological University (MTU)

PhD PhD Scholarship: “Investigating the effect of genetic merit and other animal traits on methane emissions from dairy cattle and sheep”| Teagasc| Munster Technological University (MTU)

Deadline: 18 December 2023

  1. Background

As well as contributing to cumulative gains, breeding programs also boast the advantage of having high adoption requiring no change to farming practices. At this moment in time there are preliminary estimates of genetic variation in enteric methane emissions from sheep, beef, and to a limited degree dairy. Furthermore there has been standard operating procedures developed to quantify enteric methane emissions, which could include predictor traits, and quantify the variability. This PhD will be part of an Ireland and New Zealand joint project where the overarching objective of the project is to develop a roadmap for reducing enteric methane emissions with specific reference to pastoral production systems.

Working closely with project collaborators in Ireland and New Zealand, the objective of this particular PhD is to develop enteric methane prediction models, populated with animal parameters to underpin a roadmap for optimal breeding program design, and link the genetic gain models to national GHG inventory models to quantify the contribution of different breeding schemes to reducing greenhouse gas national inventories.

The successful candidate will join a team with a proven track in genetic analysis and life cycle assessment and will have full access to cutting edge facilities and technologies. The successful candidate will train to be a leader in statistical and genetic analysis, improving our understanding of factors influencing enteric methane from livestock, and will have the support of the Teagasc Livestock Systems and Animal and Bioscience departments.

They will also have the support and guidance of Dr. Deirdre Purfield in Biological Sciences in  Munster Technological University (MTU).

  1. Requirements
  • Applicants should hold or expect to hold a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate discipline.
  • The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and have an understanding of agriculture, livestock, genetics, and desirably greenhouse gases. Applicants must be fluent in English (spoken and written).
  • For applicants whose first language is not English, requirements are outlined here.
  1. Benefits
  • The four year PhD Scholarship is a joint research project between Teagasc Moorepark and the Biological Sciences Department at Munster Technological University (MTU).
  • The student will be based at Teagasc Moorepark and registered at MTU, working under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Herron (Teagasc) and Deirdre Purfield (MTU).
  • The scholarship funding is €31,000 per annum which includes flat rat stipend of €25,000 and contribution to fees up to a maximum of €6,000 per year.
  1. Application Procedure
  • Applicants should submit a CV and covering letter detailing their qualifications and experience to Dr. Jonathan Herron [email protected]
  • For further Information, please contact:
  1. Dr. Jonathan Herron, Teagasc, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland; Phone 02542306; email [email protected]
  2. Dr. Deirdre Purfield, Biological Sciences, Munster Technological University, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland T12 P928; Phone 0214336251; email [email protected]


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