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Assessment of indicator traits for genetic evaluation of methane emission and feed efficiency in dairy cattle (\'MethaGENE plus\')

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Low methane emission and high feed efficiency are the key to environmentally friendly milk production systems. In the last decades, a number of feeding measures have been identified to achieve these goals. Only recently the possibility for genetic selection in these traits has been raised. However, breeding requires data from as many animals of a population as possible. These data cannot be obtained by direct measurements. Some candidates for indicator traits are discussed but all of them need further confirmation about their utility. The present project is situated at the interface of animal breeding and animal nutrition. Data on methane emissions and feed efficiency estimated from milk MIR spectra, Laser methane detector and GreenFeed are compared with data obtained with respiration chambers (at ETH Zurich) and the SF6 method (at Agroscope in Posieux). This will be performed with animals selected from the Swiss cow population with the intensive involvement of Qualitas AG, the Swiss Competence Centre for Informatics and Quantitative Genetics. The project is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation in the frame of the COST Action “Large-Scale Methane Measurements on Individual Ruminants for Genetic Evaluations ('Methangene')” (www.methagene.eu). COST is a program which especially promotes collaboration.
 
Requirements
We are seeking a motivated, team-oriented candidate with a strong interest in the interface of animal breeding and nutrition. Applicants should hold a master level degree in agricultural science, biology, veterinary medicine or related disciplines. Affinity for animal experiments and laboratory work is essential, as is the willingness of performing research at two sites (Zurich and Posieux). Writing of scientific papers requires good knowledge of English.
 
Offers
We offer working in an exciting project carried out in highly motivated groups equipped with excellent experimental and lab facilities. Supervision will be close, but allow independent work. Scientific writing and participation in scientific conferences is very much supported. The doctoral position allows living in Switzerland and comes with a salary which is standard at ETH and the Swiss National Science Foundation and allows a decent living.
 
Conditions
The duration of the position is three years and the project is intended to start in February 2016 (negotiable). You will have the opportunity for further education in the frame of your doctorate study (12 ECTS units have to be acquired).
 

Contact detail


How to apply:
The selection process starts now and will be continued until the position is filled. Final deadline for application: 20 November 2015. Applicants should submit a letter of motivation, a CV with complete academic record and copies of bachelor and master grades and certificates, contact details of 2 to 3 potential references or letters of recommendation and if applicable scientific texts to Dr. Angela Schwarm (postal or email address see letterhead). For specific questions on the doctorate study at ETH Zurich please contact Prof. Michael Kreuzer (michael.kreuzer@inw.agrl.ethz.ch).
Send application to
The selection process starts now and will be continued until the position is filled. Final deadline for application: 20 November 2015. Applicants should submit a letter of motivation, a CV with complete academic record and copies of bachelor and master grades and certificates, contact details of 2 to 3 potential references or letters of recommendation and if applicable scientific texts to Dr. Angela Schwarm (postal or email address see letterhead). For specific questions on the doctorate study at ETH Zurich please contact Prof. Michael Kreuzer (michael.kreuzer@inw.agrl.ethz.ch).

Job profile


Working hours
Full-Time
Contract duration
Temporary
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Region
Switzerland (Zürich)
Working place
8092 Zürich
Area of expertise
Agricultural Sciences, Biology & Life Sciences, Veterinary Medicine
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