Scientific Officer Position at PDSA – Telford

 

PDSA are seeking a Scientific Officer to join their Veterinary and Policy Campaigns team based at their Head Office in Telford.

This full time temporary role is responsible for supporting the Evidence and Policy Manager in the delivery and management of PDSA approved data and policy, impact measurements and research studies.

The candidate will need a degree in animal welfare, veterinary or a related subject and experience of undertaking thorough literature reviews and possess an aptitude for working with figures and large data sets. Attention to detail and a logical, organised work ethic along with the ability to work collaboratively across disparate teams will be key within this role.

Salary: Up to £29,442 per annum dependent on experience

Closing date: 25/04/2019

Further information can be found here.

PhD Studentship at University of Nottingham

 

An interdisciplinary approach to understand sheep farmers decision making for management of sheep scab.

 

The PhD is supervised by Dr Jasmeet Kaler and Dr Fiona Lovatt and is part of highly collaborative multi-partner project (Moredun, Bristol, Glasgow and Nottingham) which brings together the UK’s leading experts on sheep scab from across industry and academia. This multidisciplinary project aims to address the challenge of sheep scab management via further understanding epidemiology of scab, optimisation of tools for diagnosis and understanding farmer behaviour and attitudes towards scab management.

This PhD is interdisciplinary in nature and as such would suit UK or EU applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, including (but not limited to) candidates with 2.1 undergraduate degrees in Veterinary Science or Animal Science or Social Sciences or Psychology. This is a 3 year studentship with a stipend of £14,777.

Applications should be submitted by 30th April 2019.

 

Further information available here.

 

New Research Article

Does tail handling induce depression in laboratory mice?

 

 

 

Photo credit Julia Kuppermann

Mice are the most widely used species for scientific research. In order to improve their welfare in the laboratory, we need to better understand how routine practices and procedures affect them in order to make refinements to their housing and husbandry. Recent work led by Dr Jasmine Clarkson and Prof Candy Rowe at Newcastle University found that the current practice of picking mice up using their tails is associated with a depressive-like state, which is not evident in mice handled using a tunnel (Clarkson et al., 2018).
The team demonstrated that mice handled using their tails were less sensitive to rewarding sucrose solutions and were anhedonic compared to mice handled using a tunnel. Anhedonia is a core symptom of clinical depression in humans and can be described as the reduction or inability to experience pleasure from rewarding stimuli. Traditionally, anhedonia has been measured in laboratory rodents by looking at how much sucrose they consume. In this study, how they drank was also considered, as their licking patterns can also reveal how much they ‘like’ something. Tail handled mice drank less sucrose and did so in shorter licking bouts compared to tunnel handled mice, indicative that they found the sucrose less rewarding. This has obvious implications for improving their welfare: building on previous studies by Professor Jane Hurst and colleagues at the University of Liverpool (Hurst and West, 2010; Gouveia et al., 2013, 2017). However, it also has implications for scientific research. Mice are commonly used for a wide range of experiments where reward is often used to train the animals to perform in a given task. Therefore, making refinements to the way that mice are handled, by using a tunnel, has the potential to improve performance, shorten training times and reduce sample sizes in scientific experiments. Taken together, the work provides more support for the adoption of non-aversive handling methods such as tunnel handling for laboratory mice, in order to improve both animal welfare but also the quality of scientific data.
The work was funded by the BBSRC (BB/J014516/1) and is published in Scientific Reports (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-20716-3).

References
Clarkson, J. M. et al. (2018) ‘Handling method alters the hedonic value of reward in laboratory mice’, Scientific Reports, 8(1), p. 2448. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20716-3.
Gouveia, K. et al. (2013) ‘Reducing Mouse Anxiety during Handling: Effect of Experience with Handling Tunnels’, PLoS ONE. Edited by E. M. Mintz. Public Library of Science, 8(6), p. e66401. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066401.
Gouveia, K. et al. (2017) ‘Optimising reliability of mouse performance in behavioural testing: the major role of non-aversive handling’, Scientific Reports. Nature Publishing Group, 7, p. 44999. doi: 10.1038/srep44999.
Hurst, J. L. and West, R. S. (2010) ‘Taming anxiety in laboratory mice’, Nature, 7(10), pp. 825–826. doi: 10.1038/NMETH.1500.

 

University of Bristol PhD Studentship: Animal emotion and welfare: a decision-making and computational approach

For more information see: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BQZ955/phd-studentship-animal-emotion-and-welfare-a-decision-making-and-computational-approach

The project:

An animal’s welfare depends on its emotional state (states elicited by rewarding and punishing events). Long-term ‘moods’ are particularly important determinants of animal welfare and may play a key role in guiding decision-making by biasing an individual’s expectations of decision outcomes, especially in ambiguous situations. Using a ‘judgement bias’ (JB) assay of decision-making under ambiguity that we have developed, many studies show that, like humans, animals in positive affective states behave as if anticipating positive outcomes under ambiguity, and vice versa for those in negative states.

However, there are also null and opposite results which may occur because affective states have a variety of different influences on decision-making. This project aims to disentangle these effects and hence to clarify findings in the literature, establish any constraints on using JB as an indicator of animal affect, and advance theory on the relationship between affect and decision-making. Computational modeling of data from operant studies of laboratory rodent decision-making will identify underlying parameters (e.g. prior experience of, and sensitivity to, reward and punishment) that influence decisions. There will also be opportunity to carry out parallel human studies to establish cross-species similarities and differences, and to develop theoretical computational models to investigate predictions, for example that experience of environmental conditions generates adaptive decision-making profiles.

The student will receive training in animal learning and behaviour, perceptual and affective psychology, and computational theory and modelling. They will learn to design decision-making tasks, to programme and use operant equipment, to implement computational, statistical, and trial-by-trial analysis of datasets, and to build theoretical computational models. Such skills will be invaluable within the increasingly mathematical context of modern biology.

Supervisors: Prof Mike Mendl, Prof Iain Gilchrist, Dr John Fennell, Dr Liz Paul (Bristol University)

Collaborator: Prof Peter Dayan (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany)

Faculty Fellowship – University of Newcastle

Are you an outstanding early post-doctoral scientist aspiring to develop into an independent research investigator?

Apply for our exciting 2-3 year Faculty Fellowships at the University of Newcastle for early career scientists.  We provide salary and consumables funding together with mentoring and career support to help you develop external fellowship applications.

Please see: https://vacancies.ncl.ac.uk/ViewVacancyV2.aspx?enc=mEgrBL4XQK0+ld8aNkwYmDUkNyjRQ1Xf2H+wm+s/9Y8ZErZzpmcSIC9r+lsU4BjkkmYAfRJsnF/guAJPq/fSDFsC8uOGTW92u3V6hO0fdxJT/8ZosyXrYbLaOSmYr+nIbJmAX/faIPMlfWRkfkMSeg== for more details

New Research Article

Leibnitz-Insitut für Nutztierbiologie Dummerstorf (FBN)
Foto: Thomas Häntzschel / nordlicht
www.fotoagenturnordlicht.de

Farm Animal Cognition – Linking Behavior, Welfare and Ethics

Are farm animals smart? And if yes, why should we care? In recent decades, research on the cognitive capacities of non-human animals has gained increasing attention. However, compared to the amount of research that has been conducted on some model species, studies on the cognitive capacities of farm animals are heavily underrepresented. Given the number of livestock animals worldwide, this lack of research is surprising because knowledge of the mental capacities of farm animals is highly relevant as it can affect their welfare. We need to understand how farm animals perceive their physical and social environment to appropriately assess their ability to cope with husbandry systems and to provide them with opportunities to fulfil their cognitive needs (e.g. via enrichment).

This review by AWRN-member Christian Nawroth and colleagues aims to outline the current state of farm animal cognition research, considering aspects such as categorisation, numerical ability, object permanence, tool use, individual discrimination and recognition, communication with humans and social learning.

 

Nawroth C, Langbein J, Coulon M, Gabor V, Oesterwind S, Benz-Schwarzburg J and von Borell E (2019) Farm Animal Cognition—Linking Behavior, Welfare and Ethics. Front. Vet. Sci. 6:24.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00024

Workshop on “Welfare Indicators for Novel Species in Aquaculture”

Swansea University – Singleton Campus
Tuesday 14th May 2019 9am to 4pm

Meeting high welfare standards during aquaculture diversification is essential for the sustainable growth of the industry, but the culture of novel species poses particular challenges as there is typically limited information to guide best practices. Much has been learned about the welfare requirements of species like salmon, trout or tilapia, but whether this body of knowledge can also be applied to lesser-known species, novel to aquaculture is unclear.
Drawing on contributions from researchers, industry and regulators, this one-day symposium will explore the commonalities and differences in the welfare requirements of different farmed species, and will ask whether some basic welfare metrics exist. It will be followed by a workshop on the welfare requirements of lumpfish, one of the fastest growing farmed fish in Europe.

Places are limited – free early booking is advisable

Further details and the link to register are available here.

 

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM

 

Morning symposium – Faraday Building Lecture Room

09:00-09:20 Registration & Welcome.

09:20-09:50 | The effects of stress on the welfare of farmed fish. Uses and misuses of cortisol measurements. Professor Michalis Pavlidis (University of Crete, Greece)

09:50-10:20 | The use of fish behaviour in aquaculture and its use as an operational welfare indicator. Dr. Sonia Rey-Planellas (Stirling University, UK)

10:20-10:50 | Fish welfare criteria in worldwide aquaculture: the CAREFISH project. Maria Filipa Castanheira (University of Algarve, Portugal)

10:50 – 11:10 Coffee Break

11:10-11:30 | Development of operational welfare indicators for lumpfish. Carolina Gutierrez-Rabadan (CSAR, Swansea University, UK)

11:30-11:50 | RSPCA (TBC)

11:50-12:10 | Industry/Retail (TBC)

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch Break

Afternoon Workshop – Welfare of Lumpfish (room to be confirmed)

13:00 -13:10 | Introduction to break out sessions

13:15 – 15:00 | Breakout sessions on three key challenges:

  1. a) Which welfare indicators are most meaningful for lumpfish?
  2. b) What can the industry do to improve the welfare of lumpfish?
  3. c) What does the public/consumers require?

15:00 – 15:30 | Feedback from each group presented by theme leaders

15:30 – 16:00 | General Discussion & Recommendations

16:00 Close

 

Organisers:

Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, Sara Barrento, Carolina Gutierrez-Rabadan

Swansea University, Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research

Research Assistant / Associate University of Glasgow

 

Research Assistant / Associate in Rodent Welfare During Euthanasia

 

Reference Number      024306

Location                        Gilmorehill Campus / Main Building

Department                  BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED

Job Type                        Full Time

Salary Range                 £28,660 – £32,236/£35,210 – £39,610

Closing Date                  11th March 2019

Job Purpose

The post-holder will contribute to a BBSRC funded project on “Decompression killing in laboratory rodents: an humane alternative to carbon dioxide?” working with Dorothy McKeegan and collaborators in the Universities of Edinburgh and Newcastle. Specifically, the job requires expert knowledge in physiological and/or neurophysiological research techniques in rodents or other species.

The post-holder will also be expected to contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications and research proposals as well as help manage and direct this complex and challenging project, as opportunities allow.

Further information can be found on the University of Glasgow webpage using the Job reference 024306.

PhD on Cat Welfare at Queen’s University Belfast

 

 

 

The School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast invites applications for a fully funded PhD entitled ‘Understanding the evolutionary mechanisms underlying infant features in cats and their implications for animal welfare’.

Project information

Infant features are physical traits that are characteristic of human infants and include facial features such as a large forehead, large and low-lying eyes, and a small nose and mouth. Animals possessing high levels of infant features are perceived as ‘cute’ and elicit care-giving responses in humans. The overall aim of this project is to assess the impact of possessing high versus low levels of infant features on cat welfare.  The relationship between infant features in cats and cat temperament, health and the strength of the pet-owner bond will be explored. In addition, the role that infant features play the adoptability of shelter cats will be evaluated.

Applicants must have at least a 2.1 degree (or equivalent) in Psychology or a related subject such as Zoology or Animal Science. A Masters level qualification in an area such as Evolutionary Psychology or Animal Behaviour and Welfare is desirable.

This 3 year PhD is funded by the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy (DfE). See https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/department-economy-studentships for funding details and eligibility criteria.

The deadline for applications for this opportunity is Monday 25th March 2019, see How to Apply: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/PostgraduateStudy/How-to-apply/

For informal enquiries, contact Dr Grace Carroll at g.carroll@qub.ac.uk

PhD studentship in animal welfare: Refining weaning age in macaques destined for neuroscience research

For more info visit: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BQN910/phd-studentship-in-animal-welfare-refining-weaning-age-in-macaques-destined-for-neuroscience-research?utm_campaign=google_jobs_apply&utm_source=google_jobs_apply&utm_medium=organic

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,119. Significant additional funding to cover research costs, visits to Newcastle and local, national and international travel (e.g. conferences).

Start date and duration

September 2019 for a three-year PhD.

Overview

Newcastle University and the Centre for Macaques (CFM) are looking for a PhD student for an NC3Rs funded project studying the impacts of different weaning ages in laboratory primates (rhesus and cynomologus macaques). You will use a comprehensive range of behavioural and health measures to assess the impact of weaning at different ages on the immediate welfare of macaques at CFM and their likely future welfare in neuroscience laboratories. These will include measures of temperament, general health and immune function.

You will be based at CFM near Salisbury in Wiltshire for the duration of the PhD with regular visits to Newcastle for training.

Sponsor

National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs)

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor Melissa Bateson, Institute of Neuroscience and Centre for Behaviour and Evolution

Dr Claire Witham, Institute of Neuroscience and MRC Centre for Macaques, Salisbury, UK

Eligibility Criteria

You must have at least a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant field (e.g. psychology, biology, biomedical sciences, veterinary sciences). Previous research experience is required and a masters degree is desirable. Proficiency in oral and written English is mandatory.

The candidate should be willing to work with laboratory primates and to be based at Salisbury in Wiltshire. Due to the location of the Centre for Macaques the student will be required to get government security clearance to work on site.

The award is available to UK/EU applicants only.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:

  • click on programme of study
  • insert Programme code 8430F* in the programme code section and click search
  • select Programme name ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (full time) – Neuroscience’
  • insert IN108 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code IN108 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
  • attach degree transcripts* and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.

*You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted your degree transcript/s.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Claire Witham (c.l.witham@ncl.ac.uk)
Melissa Bateson (melissa.bateson@ncl.ac.uk)