PhD on feral cattle

PhD Studentship: Understanding the behaviour, ecology and welfare of feral cattle

Hong Kong is typically known for its vibrant cityscape; however, approximately 75% of its land area consists of country parks, and they are home to a population of approximately 1,200 feral cattle. The cattle are considered part of the cultural heritage of Hong Kong and their welfare attracts considerable public interest. Most are tagged and for those that aren’t, they are easily individually recognizable. A key aspect of positive animal welfare is related to providing animals with their own decision-making opportunities. Thus, the feral cattle of Hong Kong represent a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the behavioural, ecological and welfare needs of cattle, when they are not subject to the routine husbandry procedures that are found on farms.

The student for this project should be motivated, organized and driven. The research will include field data collection and thus some prior practical experience is essential. They will also need very good communication skills to develop and maintain excellent relations with external partners. This project will best suit a student with an animal sciences, animal behaviour, animal welfare, behavioural ecology, comparative psychology, veterinary science or zoology background, although those from other relevant disciplines with strong prior performance will be considered.

International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills.

The project will be supervised by Dr. Alan McElligott, Associate Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare (@amcell; and co-supervised by Dr. Kate Flay, Assistant Professor (@kate_flay;

Interested applicants are invited to submit a cover letter outlining their interests and some potential research ideas, as well as a short, 2-page CV, via email to Dr. McElligott.

Salary: Funding is available for four years

Closing date: 01/06/2021

Further information can be found here.