Research course

Ageing, Health and Welfare

Institution
University of Glasgow · Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Qualifications
PhD

Entry requirements

Degree

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent.

Required documentation

Applicants should submit:
  • Transcripts/degree certificate
  • Two references
  • A one-page research proposal
  • CV

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Ageing affects almost all species, but the rate at which it occurs varies considerably among and within species. People are now living much longer than previous generations, with ageing being the major risk factor for many diseases. This has given rise to the concept of not only our ‘life span’ but also our ‘health span’ which is the length of a disease free life. We know that the environment we live in can influence how we age, it is now increasingly recognised that the aging process and its associated disease risk can be ‘set up’ or programmed by events experienced before we are born ‘prenatal programming’ or during post natal development ie pre and peripubertal as well as in adult life. Consequently, understanding why we age, how we age, the factors responsible for variation in ageing and longevity and the impact ageing has on health and wellbeing is a major challenge in science today.

We are uniquely placed to employ a highly integrative, comparative and collaborative approach for the study of ageing, health and animal welfare. We study ageing at the molecular, cellular and organism level, in the field and in the laboratory, and combine mechanistic, functional and applied perspectives. We currently use a range of interventions and techniques to examine key issues in both laboratory and field settings. Using these approaches we are interested in a range of factors (e.g. stress, pollution, chronobiology, diet, growth pattern, metabolism, reproduction, epidemiology, immunity), how they are affected by ageing and their impact on human and animal health.

Given the rapidly expanding human population, a second major societal challenge is the requirement to produce sufficient safe, nutritious, affordable and sustainable foodstuffs. We are particularly interested in ways to sustain efficient animal production in a manner which protects animal health and welfare, while mitigating against pests and disease and reducing environmental impact. We have expertise in the development and application of behavioural, physiological and neurophysiological approaches to welfare assessment in managed and wild animals.

Health of managed and wild animals, as well as of humans, is also at risk from processes and products that arise during food production, for example endocrine disruptors and animal and human digestive end products. We investigate effects of such substances and of various other pollutants and stressors in projects at the intersection of animal biology and veterinary medicine.

To achieve these overall aims this research theme actively collaborates with others in this university (e.g. biomedics, clinicians, veterinarians, Glasgow Polyomics facility) and elsewhere, including Government agencies (e.g. DEFRA), external institutes (e.g. The James Hutton Institute, Moredun Research Institute) and commercial partners.

Start dates are set by both the supervisor and the department. As such some PHD options will have fixed start dates (likely January/October) and others have a rolling intake. For more details please contact the relevant department.

Information for international students

If your first language is not English, please see the English language requirements.

Fees and funding

Please see the scholarship opportunities available.

Qualification and course duration

PhD

full time
36-48 months

Course contact details