The School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
The School of Agriculture and Food Sciences is one of the largest agricultural schools in Australia, comprising research and teaching experts in agribusiness, animals and wildlife, environment, plants and soil, and food and nutrition. The School offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate coursework and research degrees encompassing those disciplines ranging from Bachelor to Doctorate. Situated at St Lucia and Gatton within the Faculty of Science, the School is a large and dynamic multidisciplinary hub with farm, pasture and laboratory facilities, and an established reputation for excellence and commitment to finding innovative and technology focussed solutions to global challenges. UQ is ranked amongst the top two universities in Australia and one of the top 20 universities in the world for agriculture. (QS World University Rankings by subject 2015 Agriculture and Forestry).
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.
This role would suit a high achieving individual (GPA > 5.5 on the UQ 7.0 scale and First Class Honours degree or equivalent) with an undergraduate or Master’s degree in Science, Veterinary Science, Agricultural Science, Animal Science or similar disciplines. Candidates need to obtain an UQ Graduate School Scholarship (UQGSS – Living, tuition and health cover for international students; living and tuition for domestic students) or equivalent prior to commencement of candidature. Prospective students will be provided with assistance to apply for UQGSS.
Basic experience in molecular biology, biochemistry and histology is desirable, but training will be provided. The successful applicant will join a team of researchers with broad experience in both whole animal and laboratory research, and with national and international collaborations with Industry, University’s and Government agencies.
To meet the Graduate School admissions requirements for a PhD you would need to provide evidence of one of the following:
- A bachelor’s degree with honours class IIA or better from approved universities, which should include a relevant research component.
- A research master’s degree
- A coursework master’s degree and an overall GPA (grade point average) equivalent to 5.65 on the 7-point UQ scale, which should include a relevant research component.
- A postgraduate degree of at least one year full-time equivalent with an overall GPA (grade point average) equivalent to 5.0 on the 7-point UQ scale, together with demonstrated research experience equivalent to honours IIA will be considered for PhD entry on a case by case basis.
- A bachelor’s degree plus at least two years of documented relevant research experience, including research publications.
- English language proficiency requirements apply.
For further information on the basis of admission to a UQ research higher degree, please visit http://www.uq.edu.au/grad-school/our-research-degrees.
To discuss these roles and for further information, please contact Dr Nick Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply for EOI please DO NOT use the Apply button below.
Please email Dr Nick Hudson and supply the following documentation:
Cover letter, Complete Tertiary Academic Records (with grades/GPA scores, and official grading scale details), and detailed Academic Resume/CV.
Expression of Interest Closing Dates
Please note the different EOI closing dates below for international and domestic candidates leading up to the UQ Graduate School research higher degree application and scholarship round timelines as advertised on their website: https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/scholarships.