PhD student position in the field of piglet microbiome

New feeding approaches for optimal piglet microbiota

Project description:

Towards a new feeding approach of neonatal and weanling piglet for optimizing microbiota and minimizing the use of antibiotics.

The main objective of this project is to develop effective feeding strategies for neonatal and newly weaned piglets that improve pig robustness and well-being, minimize reliance on in-feed antibiotics, and maximize performance. More specifically, we will 1) explore a variety of promising approaches to optimize growth performance and health of piglets during lactation, and the pre- and post-weaning periods; and  2) evaluate the potential of feeding strategies that will include bovine colostrum, naked oat, medium chain fatty acids(MCFA) and yeast extracts capable of optimizing gut health through their complementary influences on microbiota, epithelium integrity and immunity (host/microbiota interactions). The PhD student will be responsible for analysing the microbiota composition and transcriptomic activities of the piglets, and link this to the various host parameters measured by other team members. Next-generation sequencing will be used in conjugation with other more traditional microbiological techniques.

Requirements: A MSc or equivalent in biology, microbiology, ecology, statistics, informatics, mathematics or bioinformatics is required. Candidates should have experience or a strong interest in large-scale data analysis, statistics bioinformatics or modeling. We are looking for a creative, highly motivated, autonomous scientist with excellent organizational and communication skills and excellent attention to detail.

Duties and responsibilities: Under the guidance of Dr. Étienne Yergeau and Dr. Guylaine Talbot, the student will be responsible for experimental planning and set-up, data generation, analysis, management and synthesis, as well as manuscript preparation. The student will work in close collaboration with other students and post-docs on the project.

Appointment and salary: The position is for 3 years. Salary will be of 18,500 CAN$ per year. Expected starting date is September 1st, 2019 or earlier (to be discussed).

Location: Centre INRS - Institut Armand-Frappier, Laval, QC, Canada

Additional information: For additional information, please contact Dr. Étienne Yergeau (

How to apply: Application will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested persons are requested to submit a complete CV, a statement of the candidate's interest and suitability for the position and contact information for three references by email to

Application deadline: Open until filled
Start date:
Location: Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Laval, Canada