Applications are invited from qualified persons as Junior Research Fellows at the Department of Biological Sciences of Anchor University Lagos, Nigeria, three (3) of which will lead to the award of Master of Science degree in Microbiology. This project is to commence by March, 2022. The selected candidates will work on the project entitled “Isolation and characterization of Potential Probiotics as Antibiotics Alternatives for Livestock Production: A Sustainable Biocontrol Strategy for Food Safety and Security” funded by Seed Grant for New African Principal Investigators (SG-NAPI) under the auspices of The World Academy of Science (TWAS).
About the Project
Globally, livestock production has been an integral part of human activities, providing a major source of livelihood and food to humans. The use of antibiotics in livestock production has resulted in significant public health problems including the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance pathogens in both livestock and humans, presence of drug residue in livestock products (e.g. eggs, meat and milk), dysbiosis of the gut microbiome and allergies. Furthermore, with the rising demand for organic and chemical free livestock products, identifying natural, safe and economical alternatives such as probiotics (live microorganisms that confer health benefits on their host) for sustainable livestock production is imperative. This project sought to 1) isolate and characterize lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from animals’ milk and faecal samples using high throughput sequencing including 16S rRNA sequencing, 2) isolate and characterize major zoonotic pathogens from animals and food of animal origin and then screening them for antibiotic-resistant and virulence genes 3) evaluate the LAB strains for antimicrobial activity against pathogens and also assess the presence of antimicrobial determinants using PCR, qPCR and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and 3) determine the probiotic properties of the LAB strains for pathogens control and improvement of livestock performance. This project will lead to the discovery of novel indigenous probiotic strains as suitable alternatives to antibiotics in the control of pathogens in both livestock and humans, and the improvement of livestock performance for safe and sustainable food production.
To qualify for this Program, candidates must fulfil the following minimum qualifications:
(a) Candidates must have Bachelor’s Degree/an equivalent Degree obtained from any reputed University in Nigeria or around the World in the relevant and related subjects including Microbiology, Biology, Biotechnology, Medical Laboratory Science, Food Science and Technology, Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology, Veterinary Medicine etc.
(b) Candidates should have a strong academic record with a good second class upper division, and also a minimum of one year post qualification experience as at the time of commencing the research work.
(c) Must have a prior experience in handling bacterial cultures.
(d) Candidates should have basic knowledge of bioinformatics and molecular based techniques and a good knowledge of statistical skills.
(e) The candidates must have good communication skills in both oral and written English.
(f) Personal skills will be emphasized. The candidates should be able to work independently and interactively in a team setting, be motivated and responsible, and also have a strong commitment and enthusiasm for research.
What we offer
• A good, highly dynamic and challenging work environment and research within Biological Sciences to innovative sustainable technology for food production and food safety.
• Candidates will be jointly supervised by Dr. R.C. Reuben, Department of Biological Science, Anchor University, Lagos, and Dr. K. O. Afolabi
• Laboratory facilities for in-depth research
How to apply
Applicants should send their applications until 31st March 2022. Applications should include:
• Cover letter describing the applicant’s motivation for the project, research interests and relevant experience.
• Curriculum Vitae with a complete review of education and professional experience
• Full list of publications and names and contact details of at least three scientific references if any
• Copies of B.Sc certificate (or statement of result) and transcript.
For project-related questions, please contact Dr. R.C. Reuben firstname.lastname@example.org