Citizen Science

Started as a hobby, photographer has documented the discovery of 56 new species

Started as a hobby, photographer has documented the discovery of 56 new species

For Robert Whyte, snapping a photo of an unusual spider has eventually led him to his dream job.

The Hermit Crab Caterpillar

The Hermit Crab Caterpillar

Citizen Science, Insects, New Species, Species Discovery January 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm

A caterpillar that was recently discovered in Peru exhibits a behavior previously unknown in caterpillars.  The critter was spotted by Dr. Joe Hanson, the creator and host of the YouTube channel “It’s OK to be Smart.” Hanson, along with entomologist Aaron Pomerantz and guide Pedro Lima, were filming in the Peruvian Amazon when they came across the creature. The caterpillar turned into a Cicinnus moth. Is this also a caterpillar carrying its own house?

With students’ help a tiny parasitic crab is discovered

With students’ help a tiny parasitic crab is discovered

Citizen Science, Crustaceans, New Species, Species Discovery January 24, 2017 at 5:31 pm

During a 2014 Solomon Islands expedition, students studying biodiversity placed a biocube on a portion of the reef off of Njari Island that contained a large chunk of dead coral. “The students extracted the cube, brought it back to the boat and took it apart,” explains Chris Meyer, Natural History Museum mollusk expert and a principal researcher with Biocube.

A new crab genus discovered by a US marine-turned citizen scientist

A new crab genus discovered by a US marine-turned citizen scientist

Celebrity Taxa, Citizen Science, Crustaceans, New Species January 24, 2017 at 2:14 pm

A US marine-turned citizen scientist is honored with the discovery of a new genus of crab, found in Guam.  The tiny crab’s name also refers to the Harry Potter character Professor Severus Snape. Photo: Jose C. E. Mendoza; CC-BY 4.0

A frog discovered with the help of citizen scientists

A frog discovered with the help of citizen scientists

Amphibians, Citizen Science, New Species December 26, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Working with amateur researchers scientists from Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment have discovered a new species of frog, in the southwest coastal region of India.  The frog was first identified through its call, sounding very much like a kingfisher.  The frog belongs to a group known as “skittering frogs,” because of their habit of floating on water and skittering away when disturbed.  

New species of parasitic orchid discovered in Japan

New species of parasitic orchid discovered in Japan

Citizen Science, New Species, Plants, Species Discovery November 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Some plant species have abandoned photosynthesis, instead feeding off the roots of host fungi such as mushrooms and mould. These plants are called mycoheterotrophs. A Japanese photographer has discovered a new mycoheterotoph in the lowland laurel forests of Yakushima and named it Lecanorchis tabugawaensis.  Approximately 50 mycoheterotrophs species have been reported in Japan.

Citizen Science Reveals Annual Bird Migrations Across Continents

Citizen Science Reveals Annual Bird Migrations Across Continents

Citizen Science, News in Nature January 21, 2016 at 9:55 am

Data-driven animation shows routes for 118 species For the first time, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithologyhave documented migratory movements of bird populations spanning the entire year for 118 species throughout the Western Hemisphere. The study finds broad similarity in the routes used by specific groups of species — vividly demonstrated by animated maps showing patterns of movement across the annual cycle.  

Wyoming law against data collection: Protecting ranchers by ignoring the environment.

Wyoming law against data collection: Protecting ranchers by ignoring the environment.

Citizen Science, News in Nature January 14, 2016 at 1:49 am

Source: Wyoming law against data collection: Protecting ranchers by ignoring the environment.

New carnivorous plant species found on Facebook

New carnivorous plant species found on Facebook

Citizen Science, New Species, Plants, Species Discovery July 29, 2015 at 12:00 am

There’s more to Facebook than just posting selfies – it’s also an important forum for scientific discoveries. The second largest carnivorous plant in the Americas has just become the first plant to be discovered through the social media site. The species were discovered by an orchid grower, Reginaldo Vasconcelos, who posted an image on Facebook in 2012. A year later Paulo Gonella, a plant researcher at the Institute of Biosciences at the University of São Paulo came across the image and realised that it was a new species, a species of sundew.

Amateur Observations Help Predict Vast Bird Migrations 

Amateur Observations Help Predict Vast Bird Migrations 

Citizen Science, News in Nature May 28, 2015 at 10:06 pm

IFScience.  Pine siskins are a North American finch that have long puzzled ornithologists. In astonishing numbers, they will suddenly appear thousands of kilometers away from their normal habitat for a season, before disappearing again for several years. Now, a collaboration between zoologists, climatologists and amateur observers has explained the phenomenon, and possibly given us the tools to predict where they will turn up in the future. The findings could prove important to our understanding of the effects of climate change at high latitudes. OTHER REPORTS: Massive southern invasions by northern birds linked to climate shifts University of Utah News Release  MayRead More

Citizen Scientists Find New Reptile Species in Southern California

Citizen Scientists Find New Reptile Species in Southern California

Citizen Science, News in Nature March 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm

These are examples of a sort of scientific collaboration that have become increasingly common. Scientists work with each other all the time, but more and more they find themselves turning to the public for help. An Indo-Pacific gecko in Glen Yoshida’s Torrance yard | Photo: © Jason Goldman