Welcome to the Kitzes Lab

University of Pittsburgh

The central theme in our lab’s research is biodiversity loss and extinction: how to measure it, how to understand what causes it, how to predict it, and ultimately how to prevent it. Broadly speaking, assessing extinction requires us to understand what determines species diversity and distributions in landscapes that are altered by humans, and how human disturbances lead to population declines. We take a somewhat unusual approach to this topic, in that we do not study any particular threatened species, but rather develop and apply theory, models, and measurement techniques that are useful across many taxonomic groups and habitats.

We have several ongoing projects in the lab that integrate spatial macroecology, particularly the relationship between diversity scaling and turnover, data science, particularly the measurement of bird and bat diversity and abundance from acoustic recordings, and conservation, particularly models that inform the design of protected area networks and spatial patterns of management in fragmented landscapes. Our work is heavily quantitative, drawing on mathematical and computational techniques as a basis for our theoretical and field projects.

We are 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. Please get in touch if you’re interested!