Challenges and opportunities of analysing ecological citizen science data

Monday 10th October 2016

This is a full day meeting, organised jointly by the BIR, RSS ecological statistics section and the BES (British Ecological Society). It is planned to include working group discussion sessions and lunch and will be held at the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge.

Citizen science data are data collected by amateur or non-professional scientists.  Some citizen science schemes are organised in such a way that data collection is regularised so that surveys are consistent from one year to the next – for example the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (Butterfly Conservation), whilst others allow the general public to report sightings throughout the year – for example National Biodiversity Network, Wildlife Trusts and Environmental Records Centre.

Citizen science data can be challenging to analyse due to the type of data recorded and the difference in approaches of collecting and reporting the data.

This meeting will start with a tutorial session introducing the audience to citizen science data and the general difficulties of analysis and then a range of speakers will discuss modern methodological approaches for citizen science data.  Discussion sessions will be incorporated into the day to allow the sharing of perspectives from both ecologists and statisticians.

Registration is via the webpage:



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10:00 - 10:30Registration
10:30 - 11:30People are the data-generating process: the human side of citizen science and its diversity

Michael Pocock, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

11:30 - 12:00What determines spatial bias in citizen science?

Jonas Geldmann, University of Cambridge 

12:00 - 12:30Spatial bias and observer variation in avian citizen science datasets

Ali Johnston, British Trust for Ornithology

12:30 - 13:30Lunch
13:30 - 14:00Hierarchical Bayesian models for messy and biased data

Nick Isaac, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

14:00 - 14:30Comparing trend estimates from unstructured citizen science data & common bird monitoring in Denmark

 Steffen Oppel, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

14:30 - 15:00From novice to expert: modelling the various sources of data on UK butterflies

 Emily Dennis, Butterfly Conservation and University of Kent

15:00 - 15:30Coffee
15:30 - 17:00Discussion sessions
17:30 - 18:30Wine Reception


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