View Full Version : PhD studentship in cattle locomotion

06-13-2006, 12:20 AM
We are very pleased to be able to offer a PhD studentship looking at the
'Biomechanics of locomotion in dairy cattle'

at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

Ideal start date for this position would be October 2006.

Please find here a short summary of the proposed studentship:

Biomechanics of locomotion in dairy cattle


Alan Wilson, Thilo Pfau and Martin Sheldon

Lameness in cattle is associated with pain and affects 50% of dairy
cattle each year. Also lame cows produce less milk even before lameness
is diagnosed clinically. Farmers still only detect a fraction of the
lame cows and this problem increases with increasing herd size. Improved
detection of lameness is therefore beneficial both in terms of welfare
and production.

We want to investigate the effect of lameness on the kinetics of
locomotion in dairy cows. Currently we are installing a system to
collect forceplate and video data on the College dairy farm in a DEFRA
funded project on automated lameness detection and we are aiming to
utilize and complement this database with research into basic kinetics
and kinematics of lameness.

Areas of research within this thesis will include:

variation of kinetic and kinematic parameters in sound and lame cows

effect of foot trimming on kinetics

computer modeling of the locomotor system in cows

You will be working within the Structure and Motion Lab
(www.rvc.ac.uk/sml ) at the
Hawkshead Campus of the Royal Veterinary College (a rural site 16 miles
north of London), in a multidisciplinary team of researchers of animal
locomotor biomechanics. Ideal start date would be October 2006.

You will have a 2:1 or better degree in a biology, engineering, maths or
veterinary related subject and are confident in working with computers.
You will have the opportunity to use a variety of state of the art
software packages (e.g. MATLAB, LabVIEW or SIMM) for data analysis and
mechanical modeling as well as a variety of modern biomechanical
measurement techniques (e.g. force platforms and optical motion analysis
systems). You will receive training in state of the art research
methods, basic biomechanics assessment techniques and computer based
data analysis.

Deadline for applications is 3rd of July 2006
Interviews: 12th or 13th July 2006

For more information about the Royal Veterinary College please visit the
College's webpage (www.rvc.ac.uk ).

For more information about the project, please contact Thilo Pfau
(tpfau@rvc.ac.uk, +44 1707 666327)

Application forms can be found on


Thilo Pfau


Dr.-Ing. Thilo Pfau

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Structure and Motion Lab

The Royal Veterinary College

University of London

Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms

Hatfield, AL9 7TA


phone: +44 1707 666327

email: tpfau@rvc.ac.uk