Postdoctoral fellow in Precision Livestock Farming University of Copenhagen, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Denmark

Postdoctoral fellow in Precision Livestock Farming

At Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen (UCPH) a position as Post doc in Precision Livestock Farming is available from March 1, 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.  

 

Information about the Department can be found at: https://ivh.ku.dk/english/. 

 

Background 

Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) is, broadly speaking, an area of research aimed at utilizing herd and/or animal-specific information for assisting the farmer with decision making. Most PLF research is focused around the use of sensor data for automatic monitoring and early warning systems.  

 

We offer a 3 year post doc position, which will involve work in two different PLF research projects, both focused on sensor-based monitoring and early warning systems. The sensor data will be collected from individual dairy cows (Project 1) and in commercial pig production herds at section and/or pen level (Project 2).   

 

Project description 

The selected candidate will be involved in two ongoing projects within our group. 

 

Project 1 - Intelligent ear tags: 

A change in the cow's activity pattern can be an indication of estrus, but can also indicate disease or other problems. The purpose of this project is to monitor the activity of individual dairy cows using electronic ear tags with built-in accelerometers. We are currently collecting movement data on selected individual dairy cows, as well as video recordings of the behavior of these animals. 

 

The hired candidate will be involved with making classification models, which will be used for classifying the behavior of the cows, based on the time series of the accelerometer data. At later stages of the project, we will investigate the utility of this monitoring of the cow’s behavior to detect relevant changes in the health state of the cows, such as estrus, lameness, and mastitis.  

 

This project is a collaboration between UCPH, the RYK Foundation, and the company FastCom.  

 

Project 2 – IQinABox: 

Previous research has shown that impaired production and welfare of slaughter pigs can be detected, or even predicted, through real-time monitoring of data collected from sensors installed in the pens and sections of the production unit (e.g. water drinking patterns and feed intake). However, very few of such tools have actually been implemented and made available for commercial herds with growing pigs. 

 

The objective of this project is to implement sensor-based monitoring systems in practice in commercial Danish swine herds. This is done within a framework of Internet of Things (IoT), where a data platform is established for connecting sensors to a cloud-based database. The collected data will be made available to PLF researchers for further development of already published models for monitoring. As a unique feature of the project, a framework for systematic farmer feedback will be developed in order to, continuously, improve the precision of the herd specific warnings. 

 

The hired candidate will be involved with the PLF research aimed at improving the already existing models for monitoring, including improving the post-processing of the outputs of such models. Additionally, the hired candidate will be involved with research relating to how the feedback from the farmers can be utilized for further improvements of the monitoring algorithms.    

 

This project is a collaboration between UCPH, SEGES, and the start-up company IQinABox.    

 

Selection criteria 

Essential criteria 

  • PhD in animal science, agricultural engineering, computational biology, or a similar field  

  • Expertise and experience in advanced data analysis 

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills  

  • Demonstrated capacity for effective team work 

Desirable criteria 

  • Experience with modelling and/or monitoring of time series data, e.g. using dynamic linear models or recurrent neural networks 

  • Experience or familiarity with the field of Precision Livestock Farming 

  • Experience with supervised machine learning  

  • Practical experience with the R language for statistical programming 

Relationships 

  • The post will report to Anders Ringgaard Kristensen  

  • The post holder is expected to interact with staff at all levels, both internally and externally, regarding relevant research topics 

Employment conditions 

Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organisations.The position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities” of June 28, 2013. 

 

The gross basic salary range for Postdoctoral Fellows is DKK 32,332 to DKK 34,060 per month (level 6 to 8). To the basic salary a supplement could be negotiated, dependent on the candidate’s experience and qualifications. An additional 17.1 % monthly contribution to pension will be paid by the employer. 

 

The position is time limited to a 3 year period. 

 

Questions 

For further information about the position please contact professor Anders Ringgaard Kristensen, e-mail ark@sund.ku.dk. 

 

Application 

Apply by clicking "Apply online" below. Please note that only online applications will be accepted. 

  • Applications - in English - must include: 

  • A letter of motivation (cover letter)  

  • Curriculum vitae  

  • List of publications 

  • Copy of diplomas/degree certificates 

The deadline for applications is January 18, 2019. Any applications received after this time or incomplete will not be considered. 

 

Receipts of the applications will be acknowledged, and the applicant will be kept continuously informed of the progress of the application. 

 

The further process 

Shortlist: After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk  

 

Assessment: The selected applications will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities and the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines 2013. The Assessment Committee makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement. 

 

Please note that the applicant will be contacted if the assessment committee requires further documentation. 

 

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. 


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