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Multiple Position Openings for Pullets/Laying Hens Project

Influence of embryonic and pre-juvenile experience on the development of the musculoskeletal system and navigational ability in pullets and laying hens

We are currently looking for ambitious and motivated candidates (1x postdoc, 1x PhD student, 2x MSc by thesis student) for a new research project testing for effects of early ontogeny in chickens upon their later phenotype and locomotor capacity. In particular, the objectives of the project are:

  • To advance our understanding of prenatal conditions, training and learning on musculoskeletal health and navigational ability in pullets and laying hens.

  • To identify practices for incubation, housing and management of different strains of pullets to adapt to non-cage housing systems successfully. 

This is a research collaboration between University of Guelph (Drs. Harlander, Widowski), McGill University (Dr. Willie), Utrecht University (Dr. van Staaveren), University of Montana (Dr. Tobalske), and George Fox University (Dr. Powers). The successful candidates will be based full-time at the University of Guelph for the duration of their appointment. 

You will develop skills to successfully

  • Conduct scientific inquiry including design and completion of experiments

  • Apply modern technology to study behavior, anatomy, physiology and biomechanics

  • Manage large data sets and perform statistical analyses

  • Interact with diverse collaborators and supervise student researchers

  • Communicate research results in scientific publications, conference presentation and progress reports for funding agencies 


  • A relevant degree in animal sciences, veterinary sciences, biology or equivalent

  • Demonstrable organizational skills, perseverance and an independent, proactive working style

  • Great work ethic, willingness to learn and enthusiastic mindset as a team player

  • Proficient communication in English (oral and written); Strong interpersonal skills

  • A valid driving license in Ontario (eligible to drive a departmental/rental car)

  • Experience with data collection (behaviour, physiology), integration and analysis

  • Experience with communicating research findings

  • Experience with laying hens/livestock is an asset 

These qualifications should be at an appropriate level for the desired position (MSc, PhD, Postdoc). We recognize that not everyone may have had the opportunity to gain all the skills listed above, and many can be learned on the job. Important info for international/out-of-province applicants.

Application process: International Applicants | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (

Valid driving license in Ontario (eligible to drive a [rental] car): Exchange an out-of-province driver’s licence | 

Are you interested in this topic? 

Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter detailing their motivation and qualifications for the position (please clearly indicate for which position you are applying), their up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) showing a strong academic record (unofficial transcript for MSc applications), and the contact information for two qualified references. Please email your full application by email (all documents merged into one PDF file) to Dr. Harlander (Principal Investigator) at

Subject line: Application –Winging it or not? Note: Only those selected for an interview will be contacted!

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