Citizen Science Nature Watch

Citizen Science (CS) is popular to involve the public in nature watch and environ­mental education and has been providing necessary data to the scientific community. Based on complementary scientific expertise on animals and plants, our project aims at identifying phenological match-mismatch by merging corresponding CS sources and at analysing whether spatial variability and food webs are capable to buffer negative impacts. The novel aspect of this project will be to set in value CS also for a human-centred approach risking creativity with (so far) atypical applications. CS observations in combination with other social media data will be used to study spatial-temporal patterns of human activities in nature, modelled as a sort of “digital twin”. This complex relationship between humans and nature/wildlife will reveal critical aspects and thus support the sustainable provisioning of ecosystem services, such as recreation and biodiversity. Recent publications have provided first single examples how government policies adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were visible in altered CS observations.

This Focus Group, which includes Hans Fischer Senior Fellow Prof. Piotr Tryjanowski, his host Prof. Annette Menzel (Ecoclimatology, TUM) and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Peter Mikula, aims at going beyond this anecdotal evidence and will study on the global scale if and how COVID-19 related CS change patterns can be related to conservational status of species.

TUM-IAS Funded Postdoctoral Researcher:
Dr. Peter Mikula, Ecoclimatology, TUM