Welcome to the Kitzes Lab

University of Pittsburgh

Research in the Kitzes Lab focuses on measuring, understanding, and predicting biodiversity loss on a planet increasingly dominated by human activities. The central question that guides our research is

How are species distributed across complex landscapes, and how do human impacts drive these distributions?

Within this broad question, we have a particular interest in the ecology and conservation of rare and hard-to-detect species, which are difficult to study using traditional survey methods. To better understand these species, our work relies heavily on techniques from terrestrial bioacoustics, specifically automated acoustic field recorders and machine learning models for sound detection and classification. We both develop methods and tools to enable bioacoustics research and apply our methods to answer questions spanning natural history, conservation, and ecology.

Our research involves a wide variety of taxa, although our main groups of interest at the moment are temperate breeding birds and anurans. In recent years, our lab has been financially supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, National Geographic, Microsoft, and the Academic Data Science Alliance.

Our lab is part of the Ecology and Evolution group in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. We frequently have openings for postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students to join our lab.