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The Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock within the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph is offering 4 PhD positions starting April 2017, each for a fixed term of 36 months ($35k/year).

Background and Tasks:
In animal breeding, genomic data are incorporated as predictor variables in statistical models to reach an improved genomic evaluation of animals. The objective of this project is to adapt and apply genomic tools (i.e. single step genomic Best Linear Unbiased Prediction, GBLUP) as a basis of selection for Canadian turkeys. By more accurately estimating the genetic potential of selection candidates using genomic information, the rate of genetic gain in many economically and socio-economically important traits can be increased.

This project, funded in part by the Genomic Application Partnership Program of Genome Canada and in part by Hybrid Turkeys, a Hendrix Genetics company, aims to improve the health, welfare, and productivity of Canadian turkeys.
The focus of these PhD positions will be on various aspects of turkey production, specifically on 1) Meat Quality and Composition, 2) Behaviour,
3) Fertility and Reproduction, and 4) Statistical genomics. Applicants will be involved in trait definitions/measurement methods, parameter estimation, and adaptation/application of single step genomic Best Linear Unbiased Prediction.

- MSc in Animal Breeding, Genetics, Animal Science, or Animal Biology
- Knowledge of quantitative genetics, genomic analyses, genomic evaluations, statistics, and computing skills applied to animal genetics
- Experience using statistical software (SAS, R, ASReml, etc)
- LINUX experience will be considered desirable
- Driver’s license, as students may be expected to drive to and from the research farm

The successful applicants may be expected to orchestrate and assist with some data collection. Successful candidates will be expected to perform data analysis, write manuscripts for publication, and communicate results to the industry and the scientific community. We are looking for candidates who will be able to work within a diverse group of researchers and students.

The Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock (CGIL) is nested within the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph. With a team of 17 regular and adjunct faculty members, over 25 MSc and PhD students, and about 20 post-docs and research staff, CGIL is an international leader in education, research and promotion of animal breeding, genetics and genomics of livestock. We work to improve the genetics of major livestock species in Canada and around the world. Research and development conducted through CGIL has contributed directly to leading-edge genetic evaluation and genetic improvement systems. We excel in the development of methodology, software and computing tools for research and application, as well as breeding schemes designed to incorporate novel traits and new technologies. Our faculty members participate in numerous national and international advisory boards and committees.

Our industry partner, Hybrid Turkeys, is a Hendrix Genetics company. Hybrid Turkeys is a leading primary breeder and distributor of turkey genetics.
They supply high quality, high health parent stock and commercial stock products to customers around the world. Through innovation and strategic business partnerships Hybrid Turkeys has grown beyond an animal genetics company to one that supplies and supports turkey producers around the world.

Your application must include the following (only complete applications will be considered):
- A motivation letter (1 Page maximum)
- A Curriculum Vitae (2 Pages maximum)
- A copy of your University transcripts clearly showing courses taken and grades achieved (Bachelor or equivalent and Master or equivalent degrees), which must be from recognized post-secondary institutions. Applicants are required to have a minimum academic average of 75% in their past two years of study (20 courses Master’s program)
- A copy of your valid driver’s license
- Full contact information of 2 referees
- Publication list including all relevant publications, with conference papers and peer-reviewed manuscripts listed separately

The selection process is starting now and will be continued until the positions are filled. Please ensure you meet all the University of Guelph admission requirements before applying.
The admission requirements can be found here:

For further information please contact Dr. Christine Baes () or Dr. Ben Wood ()

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