Postdoc position in spatial ecology

The Kitzes Lab at the University of Pittsburgh ( is seeking a Postdoctoral Associate to join our lab. Our lab studies species diversity and distributions in human-altered landscapes, primarily using methods drawn from spatial macroecology. Our goals are both to answer fundamental questions about how species organize themselves in space and to inform the practice of conservation in fragmented landscapes.

Our lab is currently involved in both theory-based and field-based projects, and the Postdoctoral Associate will work on at least one of these in addition to potentially developing independent, related projects. Our current theoretical work involves investigating the relationship between spatial scaling metrics, such as the species-area relationship, and point process models. We expect these to lead to new predictions of species turnover patterns as well as multivariate scaling metrics that will predict species diversity in patchy landscapes. Our field projects use autonomous acoustic recorders, placed throughout western Pennsylvania, to study the factors that control bird and bat distributions at landscape scales and to provide data to test our theoretical models. A major portion of this research involves developing algorithms and software to identify the species that are present near each recorder from many terabytes of recorded sound files.

We are seeking applicants with experience in spatial ecology, macroecology, conservation biology, avian ecology, statistics, machine learning, ecoinformatics, and/or data science. Competitive applicants will have programming skills in Python, R, or a related language, and experience with ecological modeling and/or statistics.

The salary for the position will be $47,476 per year (which goes a long way in Pittsburgh). The initial appointment will be for one year, with funding available for a second year pending a positive first year review. Postdoctoral Associates at Pitt also receive benefits including health insurance, access to libraries and recreational facilities on campus, free access to public transit, and paid vacation days.

Interested applicants should send an email ([email protected]) that includes (1) a cover letter describing your interest in this position, prior research, and plans for future research, (2) your CV, (3) the names of three references, and (4) a writing sample. Review of applications will begin in early December and will continue until the position is filled.

The start date for the position is flexible, and applicants may join the lab any time between January and June of 2018. Review of applications will begin in early December and will continue until the position is filled.

Please see our lab website ( and the website of the Department of Biological Sciences ( for more information about the department, other faculty and students, the university, and the city of Pittsburgh.

2017-10-31T09:43:54+00:00 October 31st, 2017|