Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-PF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Mineralogy and Petrology

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    01/09/2021 11:30 - Europe/Brussels
    HE / MSCA
    Spain, Granada
    International Research Projects Office
    Promotion and Advisory Unit

Professor Alejandro B. Rodriguez Navarro from the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF) in 2021 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (more information about the 2020 call: http://sl.ugr.es/0aNV, the 2021 call is not yet open).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. With over 60.000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 6.000 staff. UGR offers a total of 89 degrees, 110 master’s degrees and 28 doctoral programmes through its 123 departments and 27 centers. Consequently, the UGR offers one of the most extensive and diverse ranges of higher education programmes in Spain.

The UGR has awarded with the "Human Resources Excellence in Research (HRS4R)", which reflects the UGR’s commitment to continuously improve its human resource policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding. UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) (http://sl.ugr.es/0bsW). The UGR is amongst the 201-300 first universities of the world, between 2nd-5th position of Spanish universities and number 1 in the Andalusian Region in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking. Specialties at UGR that stand out are Library & Information Science (position 32) and Food Science & Technology (position 36). Moreover, the UGR is also situated amongst the first 100 universities in Mining & Mineral Engineering between (76th-100th position), in Mathematics (between 76th-100th position) and in Hospitality & Tourism Management (between 76th-100th position). The edition of the ARWU places the UGR in 201-300th position in the world and as the 4th highest ranked University in Spain, reaffirming its position as an institution at the forefront of national and international research.

Additionally, the UGR has 8 researchers at the top of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list in Computer Sciences & Engineering (position 101-150). It is also well recognized for its web presence (http://sl.ugr.es/0a6i), being positioned at 43th place in the top 200 Universities in Europe.

Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of the Framework Programme of the European Union. For the duration of the last two Framework Programmes, the UGR has obtained a total of 67 projects, with total funding of 18.029 million euros, and for H2020, 118 projects with total funding around 29.115 million euros.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group:

The research topic carried out by the group led by Prof. Rodriguez-Navarro is highly multidisciplinary and it is aimed at understanding the mechanisms by which organisms control the precipitation of minerals (biomineralization) and their organization into calcified tissues (bone, teeth, mollusk shells, avian eggshells, teeths) using advanced analytical techniques. In particular, they study how different genetic, nutritional and environmental factors (climate change, water chemistry, pollution) affect tissues mineralization. They work jointly with research groups in UK (Roslin Institute), France (INRA), Sweden and Chile. They also work with animal nutrition companies (Nutreco, DSM) on how to improve the food safety of eggs and bone quality in chickens.

Project description:



Tittle: Improving egg food safety and bone quality in older hens.

Keywords: Egg, eggshell, bone, laying hens, Salmonella

Abstract: Sustainable food production is one of the most important challenges of our society today. Eggs are one of the most complete and inexpensive sources of proteins and vitamins in our diet. However, egg laying is highly demanding for the organism and causes a general deterioration of the hen health during the intensive egg laying period. Particularly, there is a deterioration of skeletal integrity with hen age as large amounts of calcium (about 2 g daily) are exported for eggshell formation coming in part in the diet and from the skeleton, mainly from medullary bone. During the intensive egg laying period, medullary bone is formed at the expense of cortical bone resulting in a progressive loss of structural bone especially if the calcium supply in the diet is not adequate. The development of avian osteoporosis, and the high incidence of associated bone fractures, particularly at the end of the laying cycle, is one of the most relevant welfare problems facing the egg industry today. On the other hand, there is also a decrease of eggshell quality during the production cycle. The number of cracked and damaged eggs can increase up to 20-30 % at the end of the laying cycle (65-70 weeks) being one of the main reasons to limit the production to that age. Poor eggshell quality is a major concern for food safety as eggs with a damaged eggshell are more easily contaminated with bacteria.

Nowadays the industry aims to improve lay persistency until hens are 100 weeks in a single cycle without moulting to make egg production sustainable. However, this could exacerbate skeletal and egg quality problems at the end of lay. It is important to understand the relationship between egg production and eggshell quality with skeletal integrity especially in extended production cycles for which information is lacking.

The aim of the project is to study bone quality and its relationship with egg production and/or eggshell quality in laying hens at the end of an extended production cycle until hens are 100 weeks old. The information gathered could help develop new strategies (based on selection and/or nutrition) to maintain bone quality, egg laying performance and good eggshell quality in older hens.


Research Area:

  • Chemistry (CHE)

  • Environment and Geosciences (ENV)

  • Life Sciences (LIFE)

  • Physics (PHY)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Alejandro B. Rodriguez Navarro (anava@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)


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