[MARMAM] Opportunity for a PhD in machine learning to extract marine pathology data- Inverness & Stirling, UK

Andrew Brownlow andrew.brownlow at sruc.ac.uk
Wed Feb 13 10:29:46 PST 2019

Dear colleagues

SRUC are currently recruiting for a PhD studentship to look at techniques
for automating the extraction of data from marine animal pathology archives
to make it analyzable by standard epidemiological techniques. Would suit
candidates with an interest in marine pathology, machine learning, computer
science or data mining:


Scotland’s Rural College
PhD Studentship - Animal health in marine ecosystems: machine learning and
data science to discover structure in unstructured data

A great deal of data has been collected on marine animal health in the UK,
including wild marine mammals and farmed salmon, but this material often
exists in formats that are not amenable to large-scale analysis. These
materials represent a wealth of untapped data for conducting
population-based investigations of marine animal health.

Computing science has led to advances in our ability to search material in
many formats, including natural-language documents. Recent development of
“deep learning” and related techniques are advancing the automated
extraction of context-specific information.

We are seeking a student to develop and apply approaches for deducing the
structure of data from unstructured or loosely structured documents, and
for augmenting this with data from other sources (e.g., photographs or
digital images), to generate useful, context-specific knowledge regarding
the health and welfare of marine animals.

The experimental approach will involve the application of machine learning,
text mining/natural language processing (NLP), signal/image processing, and
artificial intelligence to address problems in context detection and
automated data extraction. The suitability of the approaches developed will
be evaluated based on their ability to provide useful information from
veterinary records for the investigation of spatial and temporal trends in
disease and mortality in farmed salmon and in wild marine mammals.

Specific objectives of this project are 1) to develop and apply methods for
the transformation of existing, relatively inaccessible archives and
formats into data sets suitable for larger-scale analysis; 2) to explore
automated methods for augmenting written data with material from other
sources, such as photographs or digital images; and 3) to evaluate these
methods by applying them to existing loosely structured data resources to
identify spatial and temporal trends in marine animal health.

Applicants should have a Bachelor’s or master’s degree in computing
science, data science, mathematics, or a closely related field, or a track
record of research or work history in such a field in combination with a
post-secondary degree.

The student will be located at Stirling and the SRUC Epidemiology Research
Unit in Inverness and registered with the University of Stirling in the
Division of Computing Science and Mathematics and starting on 1st October

The stipend will be set at UKRI recommended levels for a 3.5 year-period
and the studentship is funded to pay domestic tuition fee levels for UK/EU
students. The student will receive an annual student stipend (of £14,777 at
2018/19 rate). This studentship will fund to pay the tuition fees at home
fees rate only. International students must provide evidence of sufficient
funds to cover the higher international student tuition fee level
(approximately £16,740 per year would be required)

SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College, delivers comprehensive skills, education
and business support for Scotland’s land-based industry founded on world
class, sector leading research, education and consultancy. SRUC’s joint
submission with the University of Edinburgh to the Agriculture, Veterinary
and Food Science subpanel of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014)
ranks top in the UK on research power.

To apply for this studentship, please complete the application and equal
opportunities monitoring forms available by clicking on the relevant links

Completed forms and any questions should be sent to SRUC’s Postgraduate
Administrator pg.research at sruc.ac.uk quoting reference SRUC/2019-06/Reeves.

CVs will not be accepted without a completed application form. If English
is not an applicant’s first language, an approved English language
certificate may be required – see further particulars for more details.

To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Dr. Aaron
Reeves at SRUC (aaron.reeves at sruc.ac.uk or +44 1463 246068) and/or Dr.
Deepayan Bhowmik at the University of Stirling (deepayan.bhowmik at stir.ac.uk
or +44 1786 466407).

The closing date for the return of applications is 5pm on 3rd March 2019.
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