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PostDoc Position in AI for Remote Sensing

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

Restor Eco A.G. is looking for a postdoc position, based in the DS3Lab at ETH Zurich to support its work in global ecosystem restoration. This exciting opportunity will directly contribute to the restoration of biodiversity and help mitigate against climate change.

Restor is an open data platform, rooted in science that enables everyone, everywhere to engage in the global restoration movement. Founded by the Crowther Lab, a global ecological research group at ETH Zürich, and co-developed with Google, the platform will facilitate transparency and knowledge sharing to bring together many actors to drive change at scale.

Project background

Restor is looking to develop its capacity in the use of AI, Machine Learning and Computer Vision especially in the processing of remotely sensed imagery. This includes imagery from satellites and drones and also from field-based survey data such as LiDAR point clouds and RGB imagery from backpack sensors. The data will either come from both existing inventories and primary collection from a number of pilot sites in 2021.

Job description

The main aim in the processing of this imagery is to automatically extract thematically relevant information (e.g. biomass, number of tree crowns, canopy cover % etc.) to:

  • Improve transparency in the monitoring of ecological restoration especially to donors and funders.
  • Improve the ecological knowledge base of ecosystems undergoing restoration.
  • Help identify cost-effective monitoring tools. 

Your main role within Restor will be to help develop capacity in AI and to provide advice on the capabilities of the technology. You will be directly involved in the following activities:

  • Development of  workflows and machine learning models to extract biophysical and semantic information from imagery and point clouds. 
  • Development of sensor fusion/integration methods to combine multiple sources of imagery into 3D models.
  • Evaluating existing AI research papers in the field of remote sensing in terms of their utility to Restor.
  • Supporting the operationalisation of any methods to be able to scale to the global restoration community.

The position is based in the DS3Lab at ETH Zurich and may involve some international travel. The role offers an opportunity to work with both the lab and a small entrepreneurial organisation with a deep commitment to applying scientific knowledge to improve restoration and conservation outcomes. Start date: as soon as possible, contract type: 2 years, with the possibility of extension.

Your profile

Your background and qualifications should include a PhD in machine learning, with a record of relevant research publications. A background in ecology would be beneficial, but not a requirement. Candidates will be considered if they have skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • Point-cloud processing including filtering
  • Structure from motion analysis
  • Semantic segmentation and classification
  • Sensor fusion/integration
  • Image analysis including object detection
  • Computer Vision using Convolutional Neural Networks

Last bullet point in the profile Research background in forest ecology will be considered a plus.

We look for a highly-motivated candidate with a good understanding of AI technologies and with excellent communication skills. This is especially important in conveying complex subjects like AI to non-specialists within Restor. 

The position is based in the DS3Lab at ETH Zurich and may involve some international travel. The role offers an opportunity to work with both the lab and a small entrepreneurial organisation with a deep commitment to applying scientific knowledge to improve restoration and conservation outcomes.

Closing date: 30 September 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by email to schedule an interview date shortly thereafter

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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Interested?

We look forward to receiving your online application. If you have any questions or need further information please do not hesitate to contact the project coordinator: Daniella Schweizer, daniella@restor.eco.

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

 

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