October 2022

The lab has successfully dragged Justin onto social media (sort of) – check out our lab twitter account for updates and links from our group.

We once again have an opening for a Research Assistant (BS or MS, 2-3 years experience) with experience in programming, math, and/or statistics. Please get in touch with Justin if you’re interested!

August 2022

Tessa’s new publication is out in Methods in Ecology and Evolution – she describes a new continuous-score occupancy model framework for analyzing the output of machine learning classifiers.

Thanks to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Delaware River program for their continued funding of our eastern forest bird monitoring work!

Our group held the inaugural AudioXD (Audio Across Domains) workshop at the University of Pittsburgh this month. Here’s a quick summary from Justin and a blog post from Tessa on what we learned and where to go from here.

Congrats to Sam Lapp and Louis Freeland-Haynes, both of whom are now graduate students in our group!

May 2022

We’ve had quite a lot of growth in our group so far this year – welcome to our new researchers Chapin Czarnecki, Louis Freeland-Haynes, Jatin Khilnani, and Sasha Syunkova!

April 2022

Huge congrats to Tessa Rhinehart for being awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship this year!

September 2021

We are recruiting new members to join our lab! See our current openings for a Postdoc, Research Assistant (MS, 2-3 years experience), another Research Assistant (BS, no experience needed – coming soon), and Graduate Student if you are interested.

I am happy to announce that our group will play a large role in a new Biology Integration Institute known as the Resilience Institute Bridging Biological Training and Research (RIBBiTR). We will be contributing bioacoustic monitoring and statistical modeling for frogs and other species across four field sites in Pennsylvania, California, Panama, and Brazil. Congrats to lead PI Cori Richards-Zawacki, from our very own department!

Our group continues to expand our collaborative avian monitoring work with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, this time with the support of the Delaware River Program. We’ll be using our acoustic recorders to study the populations of seven focal bird species in newly created restored forest blocks in eastern Pennsylvania.

August 2021

Welcome to our newest members of the lab! Pat Lyon and Tessa Rhinehart both joined us as graduate students this month (although Tessa’s been a familiar face around here for quite some time). Lauren Chronister, former undergrad researcher, has also joined us as a Research Assistant. Our lab will continue to grow this year, stay tuned for job postings for postdocs, graduate students, and technicians.

July 2021

We are pleased to announce that our group has received a large grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to support expanding our group’s bioacoustics research beyond species monitoring and into fundamental questions in spatial and community ecology. We’ll be focusing on projects including using multi-taxa acoustic classifiers to investigate the indirect effects of habitat management, evaluating within-species vocalization types for information on behavior and demography, and continuing our work using low-cost localizing microphone arrays in the field.

May 2021

The US Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast has published a blog post describing our work monitoring songbird populations in restored habitats in central Pennsylvania.

March 2021

New data paper in Ecology by our undergraduate researcher Lauren Chronister, who annotated 16,000 bird songs and calls in an acoustic dataset that we collected at the Powdermill Nature Reserve. Congrats to Lauren on her first peer-reviewed paper!

February 2021

Sam Lapp’s new paper on frog call recognition (aptly named RIBBIT) is out in Conservation Biology this month. Congrats to Sam on his first ecology/conservation publication.

January 2021

We are please to announce that our group was awarded a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program to monitor the populations of three target bird species in Dynamic Forest Restoration Blocks in central Pennsylvania. We’re looking forward to joining a great team of researchers and practitioners headed by Dr. Jeff Larkin to work in these restored landscapes.

For those who are interested in the performance of AudioMoth field recorders, Sam Lapp has recently written up some results from his quantitative AudioMoth performance testing, including on and off-axis frequency response, the effects of different housing options, and the effects of attaching the recorders to trees.

July 2020

We are seeking one Ph.D. student to join our lab in the Fall of 2021 (applications accepted in Fall 2020). Please see our lab website ( and the website of the Department of Biological Sciences ( for more information about our lab, the department, other faculty and students, the university, and the city of Pittsburgh.

June 2020

Tessa Rhinehart published a review of acoustic localization methods for terrestrial wildlife this month. This paper is part of our ongoing work to develop a low cost spatial localization platform for estimating songbird abundance.

April 2020

Tessa Rhinehart presented a talk at the ABA Virtual Bird Club about our lab’s work on automated bird monitoring. Her talk Eavesdropping on Birds and her associated article in Birding Magazine both give an excellent introduction to our research.

January 2020

Justin was quoted in a recent article in the Washington Post focused on the use of bioacoustic techniques for surveying bird populations.

October 2019

Our lab is very happy to announce that we were recently awarded a grant under the new NSF Infrastructure Innovation in Biological Research (IIBR) solicitation. The project will focus on developing an inexpensive, open source hardware and software platform for performing spatial localization of temperate bird songs. We will also be starting a new collaborative educational project, in concert with Dr. Sam Donovan and the QUBES project, to develop and share a lab curriculum that teaches machine learning to undergraduate students. The award abstract provides more details on the project.

December 2018

We are happy to announce that the Kitzes Lab has been awarded an AI for Earth Innovation award from Microsoft and National Geographic. This funding will specifically support our development of our open source acoustic classification software, OpenSoundscape, as well as our efforts to release 600 classifiers for North American bird species by the end of the year. Read more from National Geographic, Microsoft, and Pitt.