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Teagasc MSc Walsh Fellowship Opportunity

Teagasc MSc Walsh Fellowship Opportunity

Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogens in Sheep

(Ref 2017011)

Start Date: September 2020

This is an exciting research opportunity to investigate the importance of the tick-borne pathogen, Anaplasmosis phagocytophilum for human and animal health in Ireland.  A. phagocytophilum is the causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), and tick-borne fever in ruminants and companion animals. In the USA, HGA is considered a significant emerging zoonosis. In contrast, in Europe, fewer than 100 cases have been reported.  In Ireland, there are no records for human, canine, feline, or equine granulocytic anaplasmosis, however, tickborne fever is frequently reported in livestock.

This study aims to determine the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in sheep grazed in tick-endemic areas and to characterize Irish A. phagocytophilum isolates using molecular tools to determine which strains are present in Ireland.

The project is of public health as well as veterinary interest and the student will benefit from interactions with professionals from both backgrounds as well as multidisciplinary technical training.


The successful candidate will be output- and deadline-focused and willing to learn new lab-based and bioinformatics techniques. He/she must also be available for field-based work and possess a full driving license. Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours primary degree or equivalent in Zoology, Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine or a related discipline.



The student will be based at Teagasc Athenry and UCD as the work demands. He/she will be working under the joint supervision of Dr Annetta Zintl (UCD), Dr Tim Keady (Teagasc) and Dr John Mee (Teagasc).

The fellowship funding is €22,000 per annum and includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum and is tenable for 23 months.

Application procedure

Applications consisting of a letter of interest and CV including contact details of at least two referees should be submitted (as a single PDF file) to:

Dr Annetta Zintl, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, Belfield, Dublin 4. Email: annetta.zintl@ucd.ie

Informal enquiries can also be made to the same contact.

Closing date: 15 July 2020