The Covid-19 pandemic which has engulfed the world over the early months of 2020 has had inevitable effects on the Molecular Animal Nutrition (MANNA) project in which our eleven early stage researchers are pursuing joint PhD doctorates across six universities in Europe. As lockdown and working from home became a necessity in European countries we have had ESRs self isolating in Italy, Spain, UK, Slovakia, Croatia and Germany. With the benefit of modern communications, Skype and Zoom have enabled students and supervisors to be in frequent contact and consortium wide Zoom meetings have been held to ensure the well being of all and to allow fascinating findings in the project to be shared. Research and training has also continued while at home with data being analysed, papers being drafted and on-line training being undertaken. Plans for the future of research and for secondments are also being adapted to to take into account the disruption caused by Covid-19. A MANNA course on bioinformatics hosted by the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice has of necessity been postponed and is likely to be presented in coordination with the MANNA Summer School to be held in September in Dubrovnik, when current travel restriction will hopefully be lifted. Nevertheless, despite the travails of Covid-19, we look forward to a successful completion of our project to enhance the careers of our early stage researchers in molecular aspects of animal nutrition.
Prof. David Eckersall
Coordinator of the MANNA Project