PhD: Harnessing 3D cameras and deep learning for on-the-fly automated body condition and mobility analysis to improve cattle welfare

The studentship would suit either a mathematical or computational student interested in sustainable food production, or someone with veterinary or biosciences expertise who wishes to build up artificial intelligence skills – in either case a tailored training package will be developed to suit. The student will learn the key facets of animal welfare assessment, and use this and cutting edge AI to build and apply the system across the studentship timeline so we can develop a better understanding of lameness. The student will be based 50%/50% at two leading, geographically close institutes – Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of West of England, and Bristol Veterinary School & Visual Information Laboratory at the University of Bristol, and will benefit from a broad cross-disciplinary supervision team, led by Prof Melvyn Smith (Machine Vision) and Prof Andrew Dowsey (One Health Data Science), who have published state-of-the-art work in this area that will be built upon (see https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compind.2018.02.011 , https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.09205, https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.03.234203v2). Data collection and validation will harness the Bristol Veterinary School’s John Oldacre Centre for Sustainability and Welfare in Dairy Production, a new research centre based at our Wyndhurst dairy farm that will include blanket 24/7 video coverage of all our 185 cows linked to data on production, emissions and veterinary assessments (https://www.bristol.ac.uk/vet-school/research/john-oldacre-centre--farm-research-data-platform).

This studentship will start in September 2021.

Salary: For eligible students UKRI Doctoral Stipend ( £15,009 p.a. standard or £23,164 p.a. for those with a recognised veterinary degree)

Closing date: 07/12/2020

Further information can be found here.