University home | Faculty of Life Sciences | Research Laboratories home

The Shiels Laboratory


(BBSRC DTP Studentship) Locomotor and cardiovascular compromises in chickens

Funding: Funding available for eligible UK/EU applicants.


Domestic chickens are a massive industry that worldwide represents a crucial source of cheap reliable protein for food. Chickens bred for meat are well known to suffer a range of health problems related to both their cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Birds occupy a unique position in the evolution of vertebrate cardiac and respiratory morphology meaning they are ideal for investigating how these interrelated systems function in response to specific selection pressures chickens have been subjected to in order to maximise meat production. This PhD project will provide the first detailed investigation into the bird heart and its inter-relationship with the respiratory and locomotor systems. The student will learn in vivo techniques to assess whole animal performance. Ex vivo work will be conducted at the level of the whole organism, the heart, isolated cardiomyocytes and at the molecular level. Thus this PhD has both evolutionary and biomedical relevance.