Sustainable Beef Production

Grad Student Position Details

Project Title
Sustainable Beef Production

Degree Program

Carolyn Fitzsimmons, Changxi Li, Glesie da Silva, Leluo Guan

Professorial Rank

Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science

Project Start Date

Project Description

Join our dynamic and innovative research team as a PhD student! We are currently seeking two highly motivated individuals to conduct cutting-edge research in one or more of the following areas: methane emissions from cattle, quantitative genetics, beef production, and the fecal microbiome.

About Us: We are a leading a large multidisciplinary project dedicated to advancing sustainable agricultural practices and addressing key challenges in the livestock industry. Our team combines expertise in animal science, genetics/genomics, microbiology, and environmental sciences to develop practical solutions that promote both environmental stewardship and efficient beef production. By joining us, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with renowned experts in the field and contribute to ground-breaking research with real-world implications.

Positions: The two PhD Students have the opportunity to investigate relationships between grazing systems and genetic potential for enteric methane and/or residual feed intake, with cattle production traits and actual methane emissions from cattle. The research will also include investigation of fecal microbial profiles as a proxy for enteric methane measurements. Your research will involve conducting on-farm experiments, analysing large integrated datasets, and employing advanced statistical models. Through your work, you will contribute to the development of sustainable livestock production systems and help address the environmental impact of cattle farming. Your research will also contribute to the development of precision breeding strategies and improved livestock management practices.


  • A master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., animal science, genetics/genomics, microbiology, environmental sciences, agricultural engineering)
  • Strong background knowledge and research experience in one or more of the mentioned areas (methane emissions, quantitative genetics, beef production, fecal microbiome)
  • Proficiency in data analysis and statistical modeling techniques
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively in a collaborative research environment
  • Strong problem-solving and critical thinking abilities
  • Demonstrated publication record or potential for high-quality research output


  • Exciting opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research in sustainable agriculture
  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and resources
  • Collaborative and intellectually stimulating work environment
  • Competitive stipend and funding support for conference attendance
  • Opportunities for professional development and career advancement
  • Potential for collaboration with industry partners and international research networks

To Apply: Interested candidates should submit the following documents to

  1. Curriculum vitae (CV) highlighting relevant academic and research experiences
  2. Transcript of courses taken during undergraduate and graduate studies.
  3. Statement of purpose outlining your research interests and motivation for pursuing a PhD in the specified area(s)
  4. Contact information for two academic or professional references

Please specify the position you are applying for (PhD Students in Sustainable Beef Production) in the subject line of your email. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled. Expected start date is January 1, 2024, but may be possible to start in fall 2023.

Join our team and become part of a research community committed to addressing critical challenges in agriculture while shaping a sustainable future. We look forward to receiving your application!

Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.


The University of Alberta and the city of Edmonton

With more than 40,000 students and nearly 15,000 employees, the University of Alberta ( grants 8,500 degrees annually to graduates of 388 undergraduate and 500 graduate programs. A research, medical-doctoral, multi-campus institution, the University of Alberta offers a full range of academic and professional programs. The Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science (AFNS) at the University of Alberta, is a vibrant, collegial and unique department, the first of its kind in North America. AFNS has a mission of serving the community through excellence in teaching and research in efficient and sustainable agricultural production, value added processing, food safety and human health to promote the health and quality of life.

Greater Edmonton, with approximately 1.1 million residents in the city and surrounding communities, is a beautiful city straddling a spectacular river valley park system. It is the capital of Alberta, with the lowest provincial tax regime in the country. Edmonton is known as Canada’s Festival City, with more than thirty major annual festivals celebrating its rich cultural diversity and community spirit. It has all the attractions of a big city, yet it is clean, safe, and livable, with excellent schools and health care. Edmonton is located only a few hours from Banff and Jasper National Parks, which offer skiing in winter and excellent hiking and sightseeing in summer (

methane emissions, quantitative genetics, beef production, fecal microbiome

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