Drones and Citizen Scientists – the future of ecology

Why are the United Nations advocating for citizen science and technology? Using an Australian case study, let’s see how drones and local communities may be the answer to large scale and ongoing ecological monitoring. In the past, research in inaccessible areas has been limited to either small samples sizes, due to high costs and safety issues, or lower resolution data from satellites. However, drones can … Continue reading Drones and Citizen Scientists – the future of ecology

Tanja Petersen: Uncovering biases in Citizen Science data

Photo © Andreas Frisch In this Q&A, we ask author Tanja Petersen about her team’s research on the GBIF database, and find out a little bit more about the author herself. This article is part of the BES cross-journal special feature on Citizen Science. The research What’s your article about? The article is about skews and biases in GBIF data. Specifically, how the origin of … Continue reading Tanja Petersen: Uncovering biases in Citizen Science data

Catch them if you can! A combined effort by citizens and scientists to monitor mosquitoes in Germany

In their latest research, Pernat and colleagues evaluate the performance of the German citizen science project ‘Mückenatlas’, in comparison to professional mosquito monitoring efforts. Mosquitoes – everyone knows them, hardly anyone likes them, and as carriers of pathogens, they can also pose a threat to the health of humans and animals. These negative connotations associated with mosquitos have been put to use by Mückenatlas, a … Continue reading Catch them if you can! A combined effort by citizens and scientists to monitor mosquitoes in Germany

Can ‘Citizen Scientists’ play a valid role in conservation management?

The emergence of citizen science in biodiversity monitoring has transformed the methods by which biodiversity surveys can be conducted. With the recent development of automatic visual identification tools, Pierre Bonnet and colleagues present two distinct case studies implementing citizen science and the use of Pl@ntNet, an automatic plant identification platform. This article is part of the BES cross-journal special feature on Citizen Science. Effective monitoring … Continue reading Can ‘Citizen Scientists’ play a valid role in conservation management?

How can citizen science help solve environmental crises?

Isabel Bishop (Research Manager) and Toos Van Noordwijk (Science, Policy and Innovation Director) from Earthwatch Europe reflect on discussions from the recent British Ecological Society Annual Meeting about how citizen science can deliver real impact. The session was beautifully captured in the graphic recording above by Holly McKelvey, holly draws.  ‘Citizen science’ and the related terms ‘community science’ and ‘participatory monitoring’ have become buzz words … Continue reading How can citizen science help solve environmental crises?

Call for papers: citizen science Special Feature

*UPDATE: the deadline for this special feature open call has been extended to 28 February 2020* Ecological projects involving citizen scientists have rapidly increased in number and there is now a general consensus that they can produce high-quality data. Citizen science projects generate large datasets that allow novel ecological questions to be addressed, but can require the development of both new analytical tools to handle … Continue reading Call for papers: citizen science Special Feature

Why ecology matters

This week, the British Ecological Society are attending New Scientist Live to showcase Incredible Creatures and bring ecological research to a wider audience. Focused across four zones; jungle, water, nocturnal, and people and nature, we’re excited to share the value of ecology in tackling the biggest challenges faced by our natural world. To celebrate this, we’ve brought together Why Ecology Matters; a selection of articles … Continue reading Why ecology matters

Editor’s Choice 56:10 – How to conduct citizen science that works

Our October Editor’s Choice looks at the value citizen science brings to monitoring programmes and how to ensure that value doesn’t go to waste. Associate Editor, Yolanda F. Wiersma, discusses the selected article, Balancing sampling intensity against spatial coverage for a community science monitoring programme. Citizen science (also termed ‘community science’), the involvement of non-credentialed scientists (‘ordinary citizens’) in a scientific research project, has a … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 56:10 – How to conduct citizen science that works

Conservation optimism: applied ecologists lead the way

Linking to their upcoming summit in Oxford, UK, Conservation Optimism’s E.J. Milner-Gulland brings together a selection of recent research papers that celebrate conservation success and look for solutions. These are both difficult and hopeful times for applied ecologists. On the one hand, the scale and severity of the strain that our ecological systems are under is becoming more and more apparent; a look through the … Continue reading Conservation optimism: applied ecologists lead the way

Measuring the ‘urbanness’ of a bird community

Harnessing the power of global citizen science data sets to improve local understanding, Corey T. Callaghan (Centre for Ecosystem Science, UNSW Sydney) introduces the Urban Greenspace Integrity Index as a means to track restoration efforts in urban areas. Restoring urban biodiversity has many benefits (for examples, see here, here, or here), but what should we actually be focusing on in our restoration efforts? If we … Continue reading Measuring the ‘urbanness’ of a bird community