Research Scientist – Livestock Behaviour and Welfare

An exciting new post is available in the Animal Behaviour and Welfare team within the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. The successful candidate will join the team on a recently awarded BBSRC grant entitled “Determining how cognitive ability and affective state impact assessment strategies during aggressive contests to improve pig welfare after regrouping”. The project will be conducted in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast.

The postholder will be based at SRUC near Edinburgh in the UK and will be responsible for supervising and contributing to on-farm behavioural data collection and analysing, publishing and presenting data related to the project. The project seeks to understand the fundamental causes of differences between pigs in aggressive behaviour which is a routine and significant challenge to animal welfare in commercial production systems. Specifically, by applying theories developed in behavioural ecology and ethology, we aim to probe how cognitive ability and affective state determine the manner in which pigs assess the competitive ability of an unfamiliar opponent. The work is expected to give new insight into ways in which high levels of aggressiveness can be avoided and to understand the welfare effects resulting from aggressive interactions.
To be considered for this role, applicants should possess a PhD in a discipline directly related to animal behaviour, animal welfare or behavioural ecology. Previous experience in conducting behavioural observations, analysing behavioural data and publishing in quality peer reviewed journals is essential. The successful candidate should also possess excellent oral communication and presentation skills as well as a collaborative team spirit.
This post is fixed term for 36 months and will commence preferably on the 3rd February 2020.

Salary: £31,750 - £37,263

Closing date: 02/01/2020

Further information can be found here.