MSc Position-Swine Behavior and Physiology

Posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2020


Subject: Welfare friendly alternative to surgical castration in piglets

Project: Genetic selection of low boar taint animals offers a non-invasive, cost effective and welfare friendly solution to the issue of boar taint. It may also improve animal growth and productivity. However, producing entire males raises other welfare issues, such as increased aggression and the performance of sexual behaviour, which may cause leg and feet injuries leading to lameness. Therefore, raising entire males may require changes in management. Before genetic selection for low boar taint individuals is proposed as a solution to producers, more research is needed to ensure that its welfare implications are thoroughly understood.

This project proposes to determine how breeding for low boar taint potentially affects behaviour, physiology and meat quality.

The MSc student will be co-supervised by Dr. Jim Squires and Dr. Renée Bergeron in Animal Biosciences. The research project will take place at the Ponsonby research station. The position includes a guaranteed stipend of $19 000 per year for two years.

Start date:                   Sept. 2020 or January 2021


  • Bachelor degree in animal science, animal biology or veterinary science
  • A strong motivation for the study of animal behaviour and physiology
  • Knowledge of animal sciences, especially animal behaviour and physiology
  • Basic knowledge of computer (Office) and statistics analysis
  • Good writing skills in English
  • Practical experience with pigs or farm animals would be an asset

For information and to apply for this position, contact Dr. Jim Squires or or Dr. Renée Bergeron at

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