The Kitzes Lab at the University of Pittsburgh ( is seeking applications for a fully-funded Ph.D. student with interests 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 Research Assistants, 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

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.

The incoming student will receive five years of guaranteed support, including at least four years of dedicated research funding. Our department provides graduate students with a competitive stipend (currently ~$36,000 per year), tuition waiver, and health benefits regardless of citizenship.

Although departmental applications are due in December 2023, interested applicants should send an email directly to Justin Kitzes ([email protected]) that includes a few paragraphs describing the type of work that you are hoping to do for your dissertation and why you are interested in our lab in particular, as well as your CV. Interested candidates are also invited to contact other lab members for information about the open positions and lab environment.