A One Health Analysis of Tuberculosis Risk in Cats, Livestock, People and the Environment - Biosciences, PhD (BBSRC Funded)

University of Exeter - College of Life and Environmental Sciences

The South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP) is a BBSRC-funded PhD training programme in the biosciences, delivered by a consortium comprising the Universities of Bristol (lead), Bath, Cardiff, Exeter, and Rothamsted Research. Together, these institutions present a distinctive cadre of bioscience research staff and students with established international, national and regional networks and widely recognised research excellence. The partnership has a strong track record in advancing knowledge through high quality research and teaching in partnership with industry and government.

This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP). Up to 4 fully-funded studentships are being offered to start in September 2018 at the University of Exeter.

Academic Supervisors:

Main supervisor: Prof Robbie McDonald
Co-supervisor: Prof David Hodgson
Co-supervisor: Prof Dez Delahay
Co-supervisor: Prof Danielle Gunn-Moore

Project description:

The increasing incidence of emerging infectious diseases in animals presents a challenge to the health and welfare of people, as well as their managed animals. This project will take a collaborative ‘One Health’ approach to understanding the potential for transmission of zoonoses among people, their managed animals (livestock and companion animals) and wildlife. The PhD will focus on a model system of mycobacterial infections that can cause tuberculosis in cats, livestock, wildlife and people.

The student will examine the risks of cats acquiring and transmitting mycobacterial infections. The project will involve field studies of cat behaviour and foraging and interaction with actual and potential disease hosts (animals and humans) and potential sources of infection in the environment. The study will take place in disease hotspots, and will employ a range of telemetry and proximity-sensing technologies in the field as well as cutting edge diagnostic approaches and stable isotope analyses in the laboratory. It will be a collaboration between researchers at the University of Exeter, Animal and Plant Health Agency and The Roslin Institute and will provide training across a range of techniques and approaches in disease biology. The project will suit an interdisciplinary thinking biologist or veterinarian interested in developing a One Health approach to understanding and controlling important infections in animals and people.

Funding Details

Tuition fees and an annual stipend allowance at Research Council rates, currently £14,553 per year for 2017-18

Location Details

Penryn Campus, University of Exeter, Cornwall TR10 9FE

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South West England