Title: Learning from animal signals: new machine learning applications and development inspired by bioacoustics
Funding: The studentship will provide the PhD candidate with a costs of living stipend equal to UKRI rates and cover UK resident tuition fees. International applicants are eligible to apply but they would have to demonstrate they have funding to cover the difference between UK and International tuition fees, that difference is approximately £14,800 per year at time of advertising.
Application deadline: 28th February 2023.
Start date: October 2023
Duration: 3 years (full time)
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: School of Life Sciences
Based at the University of Essex (UoE) with a 1.5 year industry-placement as a Visiting Research Student within Cross Labs, Japan, this PhD project will achieve new insights into animal bio-acoustic signalling and potential industrial applications, using new development and applications of machine learning, including attentional AI.
In turn, the insights gained through these new biological applications will be assessed for novel machine learning developments, such as the classification of human voices and analysis and use of multi-layered signals.
The project will benefit from preliminary resource development including computer code for machine learning from bioacoustic images (spectrograms). Biological data resources for the project will include test datasets of acoustic recordings of marine mammal cetaceans (whales and dolphins).
Project supervision will be provided by Dr Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill (University of Essex) and Dr Olaf Witkowski (Cross Compass, Cross Labs), with additional input from project collaborators.
The PhD candidate will be registered at the University of Essex, with full funding available for UK home student tuition fees and a full UK stipend while at Essex.
As an integral part of the PhD, the student will also undertake a fully funded, 1.5 year placement within Cross Labs, an AI research institute within the company Cross Compass Ltd., Japan (with offices in Kyoto and Tokyo).
Cross Labs is experienced in hosting visiting students and will offer a range of support to the student. This includes additional financial support, relative to a standard UK PhD studentship, with an enhanced stipend for the time in Japan.
The studentship will provide the PhD candidate with a costs of living stipend equal to UKRI rates and cover UK resident tuition fees.
International applicants are eligible to apply but they would have to demonstrate they have funding to cover the difference between UK and International tuition fees, that difference is approximately £14,800 per year at present.
This interdisciplinary project, across biology and computer science, would suit a creative thinker with strong interests in both fields and the capacity and enthusiasm to rapidly learn new things. We welcome applicants with a 1st class or 2:1 BSc (or equivalent) in biology, computer science or any related field.
The project will require strong skills in programming (e.g. Python), machine learning and data analysis, including recent machine learning techniques and computer simulation.
Involving two countries, the enthusiasm and resilience for international travel will also be needed.