Senior AI Research Scientist

Remote /
AI /
/ Remote
Earth Species Project (ESP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using AI to decode non-human communication. We believe that unlocking non-human language will transform our relationship with the rest of nature. Along the way, we are building solutions that support real conservation impact today.

ESP partners with biologists and machine learning researchers at leading universities and institutions around the world, and we are honored to be supported by many forward-looking philanthropists and groups, including the Internet Archive, TED Audacious 2020, and the entrepreneur and author Reid Hoffman.

Purpose of role

You will join an incredible and global remote team, and will be responsible for developing pioneering research towards decoding and translating non-human communication, including extending unsupervised translation techniques and tackling cornerstone biological and computational problems on large-scale multimodal behavioral datasets.

You will work with biology and machine learning experts to create understanding from new scopes and scales of data.


Senior AI Research Scientists are responsible for developing and applying techniques in machine learning, bioacoustics, and ethology, disseminating their work in both scientific publications, and collaborating on these efforts with other members of the AI team as well as with external biology partners. In addition to your scientific work, you will be responsible for communicating your results with the team at ESP, as well as with the general public through non-technical publications such as blog posts. As ESP is still a growing team, you will have the ability to help shape our long-term research agenda.

You will have flexibility in the research that you conduct towards ESP’s mission to decode non-human communication. 

Previous and ongoing research projects include:

- End-to-end source separation (i.e., separating simultaneous sound sources in an audio recording into individual tracks) and noise reduction for challenging bioacoustic data
- Use of self-supervised techniques to describe the vocal and behavioral repertoires of different animal species
- Developing generative models for vocalization generation and editing
- Developing large foundation models for application in bioacoustics

You will work with partners at various institutions including Cornell University, University of Oxford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Santa Cruz, University of St. Andrews, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Internet Archive, and the Jane Goodall Institute.

We are a fully remote team and you can be located anywhere in the world. This provides a good amount of flexibility, but you will occasionally be expected to participate in virtual meetings outside of typical working hours in your time zone. Additionally, you must have the willingness to travel internationally (<20%) for events and in-person team gatherings.

Your Background

We are open to traditional and non-traditional backgrounds.

Your areas of expertise might include: machine learning (deep learning, self-supervised learning, generative models, multimodal learning), natural language processing (unsupervised machine translation, language models), (computational) linguistics, bioacoustics, signal processing, data science, statistics, physics, or mathematics.

Additionally, you have experience in the following:

- Research: You have conducted or led research projects, your work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and/or you’ve presented at scientific conferences
- Machine learning: You have a solid understanding of machine learning, math, statistics, probability theory, and computer science
- Programming: You have skills in Python and deep learning frameworks (e.g., PyTorch or Tensorflow)

You might play a musical instrument, do long-distance running, enjoy teaching, knitting, wilderness trekking, or are an incredible parent. We’re excited about full human beings (and remain open to applications by qualified non-primates).

- Competitive pay
- Medical insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance - ESP covers 100% of the premium 
- 401k plan with match (if based in the United States)
- 4,000 USD home office stipend
- Unlimited paid time off, with a recommended minimum of three weeks per year
- Flexible working hours
- Collaborations with top biologists and conservation institutions in the field of behavioral ecology 
- Opportunity to observe and participate in data collection - previous research includes bioacoustic and behavioral ecology fieldwork in Alaska, Monterey Bay in California, and the Congo rainforest
- Biannual team retreats around the world

The Earth Species Project is a fully remote team. We have a dynamic, flexible, and fun working environment with many opportunities for learning and personal growth. We’re excited about working with all kinds of human beings (and remain open to applications by qualified non-primates).

We are committed to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, and criminal history, consistent with legal requirements. We encourage folks of all backgrounds and perspectives to apply.

If you require any accommodations, please email us at and we’ll work with you to meet your accessibility needs.