PhD Research

I'm in the third year of my PhD researching a bacterium called Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) and its impact in the Scottish dairy industry.

M. bovis causes pneumonia in calves and mastitis in cows, both which are difficult to treat. It spreads readily in milk/colostrum, semen, direct contact & can survive in the environment for long periods of time.

We don't know how many farms have M. bovis, therefore my PhD aims to estimate how many dairy farms are affected in Scotland and figure out why some farms are at more risk than others.

My research involves testing bulk milk and blood samples from dairy farms throughout the country to test for the presence of M. bovis.

A day in the life of Jess typically looks like this. Processing samples sent in from farms by post, data analysis, and a bit of thesis writing – boring to some but perfect for me!