Emerging technologies in citizen science and potential for insect monitoring

Julie Koch Sheard, Tim Adriaens, Diana E. Bowler, Andrea Büermann, Corey T. Callaghan, Elodie C. M. Camprasse, Shawan Chowdhury, Thore Engel, Elizabeth A. Finch, Julia von Gönner, Pen-Yuan Hsing, Peter Mikula, Rui Ying Rachel Oh, Birte Peters, Shyam S. Phartyal, Michael J. O. Pocock, Jana Wäldchen, Aletta Bonn

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Emerging technologies are increasingly employed in environmental citizen science projects. This integration offers benefits and opportunities for scientists and participants alike. Citizen science can support large-scale, long-term monitoring of species occurrences, behaviour and interactions. At the same time, technologies can foster participant engagement, regardless of pre-existing taxonomic expertise or experience, and permit new types of data to be collected. Yet, technologies may also create challenges by potentially increasing financial costs, necessitating technological expertise or demanding training of participants. Technology could also reduce people's direct involvement and engagement with nature. In this perspective, we discuss how current technologies have spurred an increase in citizen science projects and how the implementation of emerging technologies in citizen science may enhance scientific impact and public engagement. We show how technology can act as (i) a facilitator of current citizen science and monitoring efforts, (ii) an enabler of new research opportunities, and (iii) a transformer of science, policy and public participation, but could also become (iv) an inhibitor of participation, equity and scientific rigour. Technology is developing fast and promises to provide many exciting opportunities for citizen science and insect monitoring, but while we seize these opportunities, we must remain vigilant against potential risks. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Towards a toolkit for global insect biodiversity monitoring’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20230106
Issue number1904
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 6-May-2024

Thematic List 2020

  • Data & infrastructure
  • Invasive species

Thematic list

  • Insects

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology

Taxonomic list

  • insects (Insecta)

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