Full-Time Phd opportunity @ Barcelona / Moorepark
There is an urgent requirement to develop a Swine Systems Model for the Irish pig industry similar to models previously developed for beef and dairy. Two main components have been defined for this model, a nutritional component and a disease component. Though the nutritional component is being developed at the moment, the disease component presents a series of technical difficulties that require a particular set of skills. Co-infection at a farm level is a normal situation with the outcome being determined by several infectious agents and environmental factors. Some infectious or parasitic agents, like influenza or ascaris, modify the severity of other respiratory or digestive diseases. A load-dependent aspect has also been defined. On the other hand, the outputs available to quantify the effect of such coinfections include productive performance and several diagnostic results with highly correlated covariates, observed on different measurement scales (nominal, ordinal and quantitative).
The successful candidate will first have to evaluate the drawbacks of common statistical tools used to analyse such datasets. The second aim will be the development of specifically designed methods and strategies for analysing such data and assessing their effectiveness on both simulated and real data sets. The final outcome of the PhD project includes scientific and applied aspects, the development of an R package to deal with co-infection like data and the integration of results into an advisor friendly interface.
Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (computer science, statistics, bio-informatics or related). Candidates from biological disciplines (biology, agronomy, veterinary) will be considered if skills/interest in statistics and modelling is proved. Good knowledge of modelling principles and background in R programming. The successful candidate should have strong interest in statistical models, be highly self-motivated and be prepared for participation in field data collection in some cases. A full EU driving licence is also required.
The PhD Fellowship is a joint research project between Teagasc (Ireland), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) and CEDRIC (Centre d’études et de recherché en informatique et communications) of CNAM (Paris). The student will be based, in the first instance, at the Teagasc Research Centre at Moorepark and will be registered at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, working under the supervision of Dr. Edgar Garcia Manzanilla association with Dr. Emmanuel Serrano (Spain) and Drs. Giorgio Rusolillo and Laura Trinchera (Paris). Periods of work at secondary locations are expected. The Fellowship will start as soon as possible after 1st of July when the most suitable candidate is appointed.
The fellowship provides a stipend of €22,000. University fees are paid by the student from the stipend which is tenable for 3 years.