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Precision monitoring of reproductive state via development of pen side mucus testing and continuous remote monitoring


This project offers the opportunity to undertake research in conjunction with the Australian pig industry, to develop pen-side methods of determining the timing of ovulation with high precision.


Associate Professor Roslyn Bathgate.

Research location

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Program type



Precise detection of ovulation timing is critical for the pig industry in order to maximise production. There is not currently any real time methods that accurately predict when ovulation will occur, to enable optimal timing of artificial insemination. This project aims to develop industry-friendly methods of pre-determining the time of ovulation using pig behaviour and monitoring of changes in cervical mucus the precede ovulation. The project will be conducted in conjunction with collaborators at SARDI and SunPork South.

Additional information

Applicants must have completed a degree in life science and have previous research experience (Honours, Masters or DVM). They must demonstrate exceptional communication skills and time management abilities. An Australian drivers licence is required. They must be willing to travel between NSW and South Australia for extended periods of time, to undertake field work. The successful candidate must have a Q-fever vaccination prior to undertaking any animal work. Being up-to-date with tetanus immunisation is strongly recommended.

There is no scholarship associated with the project, but suitable candidates will be assisted in applying for available scholarship opportunities.

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
  • Hold a current scuba diving licence;
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check;
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2915