Bioinformatician - Geneticist

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh (GB)
£32,067 - £37,636 per annum (under review)
11 May 2022
End of advertisement period
30 May 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

SRUC is unique in Scotland and one of the largest organisations of its kind in Europe.  Our ambitious and exciting vision is to work at local, national and international levels, leading innovation and sustainable development in agriculture and rural sectors.

This is an opportunity to be a major contributor in a team leading research in the application of Machine Learning (ML) to animal breeding and genetics. The group has already published 3 peer reviewed papers using Deep Learning and seek to develop more applications of Machine Learning to agricultural data. You will work closely with the livestock industry to extract novel phenotypes from new sources of data such as milk mid infra-red spectral data and digital images using machine learning. The successful candidate will work within an integrated group of 10 programmers and geneticists, 7 of which work within EGENES so application of new developments has a very short route to application. Our work is varied and interesting ranging from extracting existing phenotypes better through to researching new phenotypes predicted from milk MIR and digital images and analysed with Deep Learning. For instance, recently, we succeeded in the use of deep learning applied to milk mid-infra red spectral data for Bovine tuberculosis prediction at the industry level, and we are looking for implementing similar strategies for other complex traits such as feed intake and methane emissions, among others.

We investigate hardware acceleration of compute intensive processes on GPUs and FPGAs and are constantly investigating new and better ways of doing things. Every day is different in Animal Breeding and Genomics. We have an institutional relationahip with NVIDIA to use machine learning and accelerated computing through GPUs. We use an NVIDIA DGX station with 4 GPUs with over 20,000 cores that processes 33 billion spectral data points. Every day is different in animal breeding and the team is highly focused on delivering on time every time providing a very supportive and team based work environment.

We are seeking a geneticist or bioinformatician who can take a major role in the Animal Breeding and Genomics Team working closely with our Machine Learning specialist Dr Scott Denholm and the other geneticists (Professor Raph Mrode, Dr Samir Id Lahoucine, Professor Mike Coffey) and the animal breeding team team to develop methodologies to produce benefits from the application of ML to agricultural data. A less experienced person with the right approach and attitude will be considered. We work with dairy and beef cattle, sheep, dairy goats, pigs. We have hundreds of thousands of genotypes, tens of millions of animal records and over 30 billions of spectral records. If you like big data sets this is the job for you.

Required Skills:


  • A post doctorate qualification in quantitative genetics Excellent numerical and statistical powers Programming experience and the ability to learn new languages Good communication ability Good analytical/problem solving skills
  • Excellent team player skills Attention to detail

Desirable Skills:


  • SQL Server experience FORTRAN Scripting Large data handling experience Genetic evaluation experience

This is a full-time role on a fixed term contract for 3 years.


Further details on the requirements of this role can be found in the Job Particulars document which you must read before applying for this role. This is downloadable when you click link below.


Closing date: 30 May 2022

SRUC Leading the way in Agricultural and Rural Research, Education & Consultancy.

SRUC is committed to valuing Diversity, advancing Equality and respecting Human Rights throughout the organisation and encouraging applications from disabled people using the “Disability Confident Employer” symbol. SRUC is a member of the Athena SWAN charter.

SRUC. A Charitable company limited by guarantee, SC003712. Registered in Scotland No SC103046