Submitted Citizen Science research projects

Submitted research projects

Describe your research project in 2-3 sentences: The tree lobster (Dryococelus australis) from the ghost insect family is thought to be extinct. It originally lived on Lord Howe Island east of Australia. The species was decimated by introduced carnivores and was thought to be extinct since 1920, until living specimens were recently found again on the small rocky island of Ball's Pyramid, which belongs to the Lord Howe group of islands. A research expedition succeeded in capturing two females and a nymph of the tree lobster on 5 February 2021. Since then, breeding has been successfully carried out at Melbourne Zoo.


After recreational climbers discovered one dead tree lobster (Dryococelus australis) in 1964 and two more in 1969 on the small pointy rock island of Ball's Pyramid, 23 kilometres southeast of Lord Howe Island, researchers examined the barren rock more closely in 2001.


In the late evening of 5 February 2001, the two Australian scientists Nicholas Carlile and David Proddel found two females and a female nymph at about 65 m above sea level. A further survey on 26 March 2002 between 9:30 pm and 11:30 pm found 24 specimens, including only two males, on a small 6 m × 30 m rock terrace containing a small tea tree of the species Melaleuca Howeana, native to Lord Howe Island.


How this population came to be on this rocky island is not definitively clear. The animals could have been washed up on driftwood or could have arrived on the island unintentionally on nesting material brought by swallows.
It is also possible that fishermen brought the first animals as bait.

What drives us: Searching for, detecting and recording the number of more tree lobsters on the neighbouring islands, as well as further sampling for breeding and refreshing the gene pool. This is to ensure the long-term survival of the endangered insect species Dryococelus australis.

What we need: The numerical recording of animal or insect species threatened with extinction is personnel-intensive and can only be achieved within Citizen Science projects. Approximately 100 Citizen Scientists are needed to swarm out to the islands to search for and record the insects. Documentation and corresponding genetic analyses are carried out on the ship.

Dryococelus australis

Citizen Science Project Insect Census Tree Lobster and Animal Census.

protection of apes

Describe your research project in 2-3 sentences: Research project to scientifically describe the Bwindigorilla as distinct from the Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). Define the Bwindigorilla as 'Gorilla Beringei Bwindi', after its home of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. According to current research, the Bwindigorilla could represent a separate group.

What drives us: The protection of the apes. By researching the Bwindigorilla, we can learn more about the mountain gorilla in general and its distribution.

What we do: Travelling to Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to study the Bwindi gorillas. Observe, record distinctions and differences from the mountain gorilla and protect all gorillas, as there are only 1006 mountain gorillas left in the wild (the subspecies cannot be kept in zoos).


Gorilla Beringei Beringei in Jungle

Coral reefs as important part of the marine ecosystem

Describe your research project in 2-3 sentences: Coral reefs are an important part of the marine ecosystem and suffer greatly from water pollution and excessive diving as well as illegal harpooning. With the help of volunteer Citizen Scientists, we support the rebuilding of coral reefs in Australia, Indonesia or the Philippines. As a Citizen Scientist you can combine diving, marine biology, marine clean-up and research with a holiday. Help protect our oceans and save corals at the same time. Grab your scuba gear and get to work:

What drives us: Volunteer World is the leading comparison portal for flexible volunteering for Citizen Science projects abroad. As a Citizen Scientist, you can protect marine conservation projects and oceans while learning about new countries and cultures. Pollution, overfishing and global warming threaten the balance of the ocean ecosystem. It is time to take action!

For example, as a diver volunteering for a marine conservation project abroad, actively fight against these threats. Help clean up beaches and seas, study ocean health and learn more about marine biology, especially coral reefs and marine animals. The more we know, the better we can preserve the marine ecosystem and protect our oceans.

What we need: We are looking forward to networking with Citizen Science trips and to the research ship. Research volunteers are always welcome. Become a volunteer and help us with marine conservation!


Become a Citizen Science Travel volunteer and come on board for marine conservation

curios about voluntary citizen science?

Curious now? We look forward to receiving your research project:

Submitted research project by our two Citizen Scientists
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