PhD student in Positive Human-Animal Interactions and Animal Welfare

Positive social interactions improve longevity, health and well-being. The effects are well documented but poorly understood. The project aims to: 1) Characterize the structural and sequential behavioural features of positive interactions, 2) Identify the specific roles of neurotransmitter systems, and 3) Elucidate the effects of repeated positive interactions on the brain and the immune system. This PhD position forms part of a national science fund (‘FWF’) project on the topic of positive human-animal interactions, their determinants and benefits for animal well-being, using farm pigs as a model and state-of-the-art methods.

The candidate should be motivated, independent and reliable. The candidate will be involved in conducting behavioural tests, behavioural analysis, learning physiology and neuroscience techniques, and writing publications, under the supervision of a PostDoc managing the overall project. We will use a multi-disciplinary series of experiments combining behaviour, neuroendocrinology, neuroimaging, psychoneuroimmunology, and proteomics. The candidate is not expected to have prior knowledge in all techniques used within the project, but should exhibit an enthusiasm to learn them. Support from colleagues will help the candidate to learn or develop those skills. Nevertheless, a strong knowledge in animal behaviour is a must.

Salary: EUR 30 755.20 gross yearly

Closing date: 31/08/2020

Further information can be found here.