Research on wild pig spread in Alberta and interactions with livestock to understand risks of disease transmission.

Fully funded PhD opportunities Research Project:

The spread of wild pigs across Canada is significantly changing the epidemiological context and previously understood risks related to reportable and emerging diseases.
This project, funded by Result Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR), will address three main objectives: 1) Use wild pig monitoring data to understand wild pig distributions, population dynamics and spread across Alberta, and the potential of wild pigs to facilitate disease spread between previously isolated epidemiological systems. 2) Characterize intra- and inter-species contact structure between wild pigs and livestock (beef cattle and domestic pigs) through wildlife monitoring and engagement with producers. 3) Increase surveillance in wild pigs of common livestock pathogens to better understand pathogen transmission among wild pigs, and between wild pigs and livestock.

Each successful candidate will conduct research along one of these three areas of research. This project, led by the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, will be conducted in collaboration with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta Pork, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, the University of Saskatchewan, and the National Wildlife Research Center, USDA, offering a unique collaborative environment with diverse learning opportunities.

Program and Place of Work: This project will support 2-3 graduate students (PhD level) in the Veterinary Medical Sciences (VMS) graduate program within the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM; http://vet.ucalgary.ca/graduate) at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The graduate students will be based at UCVM, with research carried out across Alberta, Canada, with possibility of temporary placement with the various project partners. The successful applicant(s) will work as part of the Pruvot Lab, a growing and energetic team investigating health at the interface of wildlife, livestock, and humans in local and international contexts (bit.ly/mpruvot).

Qualifications: Candidates should have a MSc degree in animal science, agriculture, biology, ecology, statistics, or related field, or a professional degree in veterinary medicine. Candidate with bachelor’s degree in the above discipline with strong record of research will be considered. The candidate should have strong quantitative skills, or at least interest in developing skills in data analysis and ecological modeling. The successful candidate will have a strong aptitude for communication and teamwork and have demonstrated good academic performance in their past programs.

Salary: Minimum stipend is $24,000/yr, with 2 positions fully funded for 4 years. For outstanding students, internal top-up award opportunities are available on a competitive basis.

Start Date: The positions will start in September 2022 at the earliest or January 2023 at the latest. Application deadline for VMS graduate program and admission requirements can be found here: https://vet.ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate-students/admission-requirements. (do not apply to the VMS graduate program unless you have been asked to do so).

Application: Interested candidates should send by email a current curriculum vitae, a scanned copy of transcript, names and contact information for three references, and a cover letter describing your interest in the project (and which of the three research areas are you specifically interested in). Application reviews are on-going, so apply as soon as you can.

For further information about the above research opportunities, please contact Dr. Mathieu Pruvot

Type
PhD position
Institution
University of Calgary
City
Calgary
Country
Canada
Closing date
September 30th, 2022
Posted on
August 31st, 2022 15:30
Last updated
August 31st, 2022 15:30
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