The Kitzes Lab at the University of Pittsburgh (http://kitzeslab.org) is seeking applications for up to two Research Assistants with experience in bioacoustics, quantitative ecology, avian ecology, machine learning, and/or data science. The ideal candidate will contribute to our long-term goal of developing and applying automated acoustic survey and machine learning methods to study the ecology and conservation of birds, frogs, and other sound-producing taxa.
Along with incoming Postdoctoral Scholars and a graduate student, the candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to many ongoing projects, including a newly funded NSF Global Center on AI and Biodiversity Change and ongoing work supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Potential general research areas include:
- Understanding the factors driving population change in avian species of conservation concern in restored forests across Pennsylvania
- Surveying rare and endangered frog species at field sites across Pennsylvania, California, Panama, and Brazil to assess population recovery after disease outbreaks
- Surveying and modeling populations of secretive marsh birds in the United States and Canada
- Spatially localizing individual birds and mammals in heterogeneous landscapes using arrays of time-synchronized acoustic recorders
- Developing new machine learning/artificial intelligence methods for identifying sounds of interest in field recordings
Our Research Assistant positions are particularly suitable for candidates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees seeking additional experience before considering applying to Ph.D. programs. We are particularly interested in either (a) candidates with quantitative backgrounds (math, statistics, or programming) who are interested in transitioning into conservation and ecology, or (b) candidates with strong field work skills looking to improve their quantitative abilities. These positions include responsibility for leading lab research projects, writing scientific manuscripts, and presenting at scientific conferences.
The successful candidate will join a large research group currently consisting of one postdoc, five graduate students, three research assistants, and numerous undergraduate students. Our lab strives to create a supportive and healthy workplace culture, emphasizing collaborative work, active mentorship, effective communication, and professional development for all of our lab members.
These positions are open immediately. The initial appointment will be for one year with extensions available pending a positive first year review. Our prior research assistants have generally stayed in the position for 2-3 years before moving on to the next stage in their careers, often a Ph.D. program. Salary is expected to be in the range of $35-40,000, approximately comparable to the graduate student stipend at our university. Staff at Pitt 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 to [email protected] that includes (1) a cover letter describing your interest in this position and prior experience and skills, (2) a CV, and (3) a writing sample. Interested candidates are also invited to contact other lab members for information about the open positions and lab environment. Review of applications will begin in September 2023 and will continue until the positions are filled.