Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Citizen Science

Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner

Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner
Photo:Soebe

Many people are interested in nature and science and would jump at the opportunity to participate in worthwhile science projects. Writing in PLOSOne, Pocock and Evans* describe the incorporation of the public in a project to study an invasive species in the UK, the Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner, Cameraria ohridella. They created a website where participants could upload photos of leaf damage and submit data. Part of the study was an assessment of parasitism rates that required the public to collect samples and count the insects present in the sample. They received over 2200 records from over 2000 observers. Among the observers were over 1800 school children who participated with the guidance trained volunteers who explained the project.

Validation of the results required some subsampling and correlation of citizen observations with expert opinion. Citizens had a good accuracy rate which helped to make the project a success. Citizen science can be a good way to introduce the public and school children to scientific research on insects.

*Michael J. O. Pocock, Darren M. Evans. 2014 The Success of the Horse-Chestnut Leaf-Miner, Cameraria ohridella, in the UK Revealed with Hypothesis-Led Citizen Science. PLoS One. Published: January 22, 2014
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086226

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Insect Inspired, Invasive Species. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Citizen Science

  1. JMI says:

    Really interesting JJ, thanks​!​

    I think that you would be really interested in some of the most cutting-edge research that I have come across explaining crowds, open innovation, and citizen science.​

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1919614

    And you may also enjoy this blog about the same too:
    https://thecrowdsociety.jux.com/

    Powerful stuff, no?

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