Global population growth is placing increasing demands on the agriculture sector to produce greater amounts of food more efficiently. Livestock products provide a source of protein for the world population and more efficient production will be required in the future to meet increasing demand. The proposed research program will investigate the mechanistic basis of variation in metabolic efficiency in beef cattle. Some cattle utilise feed more efficiently for production than others, while some are able to maintain muscle mass, liveweight and productivity under periods of nutritional and environmental stress. Why is this? The successful applicant will focus their research on the biology of the mitochondria and its role in determining metabolic efficiency in cattle.
As part of their PhD, the successful student will be trained in a number of molecular technologies (real-time PCR, micro-array, bioinformatics), using information contained in both DNA and RNA to shed light on the underlying mechanisms that contribute to variation in metabolic efficiency in cattle, with a focus on mitochondrial content and activity. The concepts and techniques have applications across all multicellular organisms and will position the applicant well for a future research career not only within agricultural science but also in medicine, zoology or veterinary science. The supervisory team has access to tissue samples and phenotypic data from cattle with different genotypes, nutritional backgrounds and hormonal treatments. There may also be opportunity to take part in ongoing animal trials providing the applicant with a stimulating mix of field, laboratory and computer work. Funds will be available to support the attendance of the successful applicant to 1 domestic and 1 international conference over the duration of their PhD.
For more information, visit the UQ website
Closing date: 21 April 2017