Identifying birds from their calls is potentially extremely useful, since birds call far more often than they are seen. However, the birds rarely call close to the microphone and there are lots of other sounds (including wind and rain) that are also recorded.

The challenge is to reliably recognise the bird calls under these conditions and to infer the approximate number of birds present in an area from the number of calls. This requires a combination of signal processing, machine learning, study of individual bird species, and statistical analysis.

This PhD project will contribute in some of these areas as part of the AviaNZ project. It would suit either a mathematician/computer scientist with an interest in ecology, or an ecologist with an interest in computing. Some fieldwork with New Zealand species of birds, such as kiwis, will be involved.

Total value
The three-year scholarship covers PhD tuition fees plus a non-taxed living allowance of NZ$27,300 per annum. The starting date can be anytime from 1 November 2017.

How to apply
For further information and to apply, please contact:
Prof Stephen Marsland
School of Engineering & Advanced Technology
Massey University, Palmerston North
New Zealand