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Campus Research Opportunity Postings

Research Opportunities

Animal Behavior / Acoustic Analysis of Amphibian Calls


Our lab is seeking 2-3 highly motivated undergraduate research assistants to contribute to a multi-year project on the effects of suburban noise on breeding amphibians. Amphibians are repeatedly singled out as one of the taxa most severely affected by anthropogenic change, and one-third of amphibian species are at risk of extinction. Landscape conversion (e.g., suburbanization) is considered to be a major driver of amphibian decline.

This project will focus on an amphibian local to the northeastern US, the wood frog (Rana sylvatica). Wood frogs tolerate a range of ecological conditions, including suburban environments. Successful applicants will help to analyze several years of acoustic data of wood frog breeding choruses from Madison, Connecticut. We will provide all training, and no prior experience with acoustic analysis is required. Students will learn how to use Raven (Interactive Sound Analysis Software, Cornell Bioacoustics Research Program) and/or Kaleidoscope Pro (Wildlife Acoustics) to analyze spectrograms of audio recordings. Individual student tasks will vary, but may include (1) detection of individual frog calls and frog choruses, and (2) measurement of call and chorus characteristics, including duration and frequency (minimum, maximum, and overall), chorus daily/seasonal timing, and chorus overall response to noise.

Candidates for this position must be able to work at least 6 hours/week (a minimum of 2 research credits). Due to training involved, a 2-semester commitment is required.

This project is a collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Tennessen at Western Washington University. To learn more about this project, please visit:

Faculty Advisor: Lindsey Swierk, Assistant Research Professor

Academic Department: Biology


Classification: For Credit

Position Availability:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter


  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior

Appropriate Major(s):

  • All Majors

Minimum GPA (if applicable):

Pre-requisite coursework/experience: No experience is necessary, but interest is required. We welcome applicants from all majors, though students with coursework in animal behavior, ecology, evolution, and/or environmental studies will be preferred. Candidates for this position must have int

Application Deadline: 12/14/2018

Application Procedure:

Please send an email with your 1) CV or resume and 2) short statement describing why you are interested in this project and how joining the lab will contribute to your long-term goals to Dr. Lindsey Swierk at

Last Updated: 12/12/18