Virtual Workshop - Horizon scanning novel technologies for IAS citizen science - 2021

Workshop organisers: Elena Tricarico and Tim Adriaens

Jointly organized by: Working Group 1: Engaging people in Citizen Science (Peter Brown, Elizabete Marchante) and Working Group 2: Approaches to citizen science, embracing innovative advances in tools and technology (Elena Tricarico, Tim Adriaens)

Dates: 11/05, 25/05 and 15/06 (remote meeting)

Number of participants: 49

Context: The contribution of volunteers in recording invasive alien species (IAS) has been fostered by technological developments such as social media, apps, low-cost sensors, search engines and predictive analytics. These technology developments, an increased attention to citizen science (CS) and a cultural change towards collaboration and openness in research within the policy agenda will increase the contribution of volunteer recording. The use of these novel tools and technologies surely represents motivation in itself to many recorders. The workshop will explore the value of emerging technologies for CS in the context of AS, recognizing the contribution of volunteers. Current and novel tools that hold potential to increase the amount and quality of citizen science data on IAS include data mining (scraping, API programming, database administration), data and image analysis (GIS, clustering methods, spatio-temporal analysis, sentiment analysis), data visualization techniques and diy technology (sensors). Collectively, these technologies have the potential to engage broad audiences, motivate volunteers, improve data collection, control data quality, corroborate model results and ultimately lead to better conservation decisions.

Technologies discussed: At the MC and working group meeting in Cyprus (25 - 28th February 2019) a number of technologies were identified that could be useful to IAS  citizen science, these were revised during the MC and working group meeting in Slovenia (23 - 25 September): Gamification, Social media scraping, Active and passive  crowdsourcing, Machine learning / AI, Image analysis satellites, Google Street view, Augmented reality / Virtual Reality, Neural marketing, Environmental DNA and barcoding, Drones etc, Sensors, Wildlife cameras, Sound analysis, Adaptive sampling, Technologies to increase data quality and reduce uncertainty, Sniffer dogs, Data aggregation software and visualisation and analysis tools, GPS tracking devices, EPI apps, iEcology, Culturomics.

Aims of the workshop: Showcase actual use of some of these techniques for IAS CS through examples within the AlienCSI network

  • To horizon scan novel techniques and showcase examples of their application in related fields
  • To systematically review the potential of these techniques for IAS recording and IAS decision making using an established framework for evaluation
  • The concrete output would be a peer-reviewed paper on the issue.

The recordings of each talk can be found below:

Talk 1: Virtual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop - Introduction to novel technologies for citizen science (Sven Schade, European ommission - JRC)

Talk 2: Vitual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop - Invasive plant species monitoring through an AI-based citizen science platform (Alexis Joly & Pierre Bonnet, Pl@ntNET)

Talk 3: Virtual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop - Scraping social media for IAS observations, (Stefan Daume, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Norway)

Talk 4: Virtual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop - Acoustic detection by citizen scientists - FrogID (Jodi Rowley - Curator, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Biology, Australian Museum Research Institute & Centre for Ecosystem Science, Sydney)

Talk 5: Virtual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop - DNA detectives: engaging citizen scientists in DNA based methods for biodiversity monitoring (Lori Lawson Handley, University of Hull)

Talk 6: Virtual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop – Use of drones for mapping pine processionary moth through citizen science (Arnau Campanera, CTFC Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia)

Talk 7: Virtual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop – Innovations in visualisations for CS and harvesting images from social media as a source of biodiversity records (Tom August, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK)

Talk 8: Virtual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop – Going beyond occurrence and detection: monitoring species interactions (Quentin Groom, Meise Botanic Garden, Belgium)

Talk 9: Virtual Horizon Scanning for Tools and Technologies for Citizen Science Workshop – Wildlife cameras, camera platforms and their application in CS (Jim Casaer, INBO, Belgium)


Pruhonice, Czech Republic - WG meeting 'Increasing understanding of invasion dynamics through citizen science'

Workshop organisers: J. Pergl, I. Jarić, F. Essl, A. Novoa, E. Tricarico, P. Pyšek, J.M. Jeschke 

Location: Pruhonice, Czech Republic

Date: February 17-19, 2020

Number of participants: ca. 25 

The workshop is part of the COST Action CA17122, Increasing understanding of alien species through citizen science (, and is also linked to the Invasion Dynamics Network (, which focuses on temporal changes in biological invasions and their impacts. In this network, we have organized three workshops from 2015 to 2018 that explored various aspects of invasion dynamics. A key aspect that was not addressed but seems very fruitful is improving the understanding of invasion dynamics through citizen science. We believe a workshop focusing on this topic has high potential, e.g. to untap data of citizen scientists that help improving our understanding of the temporal dynamics of biological invasions. An expected output of the workshop will be a publication about this topic. In addition, collaborations focusing on particular research areas can be initiated. 

Please see below meeting presentations kindly provided by our speakers:
  • Gertrud Haidvogl presentation
  • Aileen Mill presentation

Berlin - Alien CSI-EuroScitizen meeting

Where: Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin

When: January 13-14 2020

Joint Workshop of three COST Actions:

• EuroScitizen (CA17127)
• Citizen Science (CA15212)
• Alien-CSI (CA17122)

Research question: How can we use citizen science as a tool in projects that have (or could have) an evolutionary focus to promote scientific literacy in evolution? Working towards a best practice guide for designing and using citizen science projects as a tool for promoting scientific literacy in evolution.

Krakow - Wiki-athon Working Group meeting

Where: Krakow, Poland

When: January 27-29 2020

Organisers: Quentin Groom & Anna Gazda

Trainer: Daniëlle Jansen, Wikimedia Netherlands

Currently, the English language Wikipedia attracts 7 billion page views a month and more than 40 million edits! Altogether the Wikimedia family of platforms, including Wikidata, Wikicommons and Wikisource attract more than 15 billion page views per month. Wikipedia is often the primary source of information for the general public on the internet. Wikipedia, and all the other platforms of Wikimedia, are edited entirely by volunteers many of which would be regarded as citizen scientists. Wikipedia provides information in over 200 languages and therefore is an important international public communication platform.

All species on the List of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern have entries in Wikipedia, but the quality of these pages in different languages is erratic and sometimes the content is minimal. Ideally, an entry for an invasive species would include information on the identification, pathways, impacts and control methods. Furthermore, the content is strongly biased towards the English language and it is arguable that the information should be made available in the languages where these invasive species are most likely to be a problem.

In a recent Short Term Scientific Mission at Meise Botanic Garden, Vanessa Lozano examined the available data for Union concern species in Wikipedia and Wikidata. She found large gaps, particularly for uncharismatic species and for particular languages. As part of her investigation she prepared an exemplary Wikipedia treatment in Spanish for Alternanthera philoxeroides( ). We would like to build on her work and train would-be Wikipedians to fill these gaps for invasive species, but also examine and discuss how to best use the Wikimedia platform to disseminate information on invasive species. We will discuss how professionals can engage with Wikipedia and Wikidata to support their work. Finally, we will also address the demographic imbalances among Wikipedia editors, by inviting diverse demographic to the workshop.

Alien CSI MC and WG Meeting Ljubljana, Slovenia - 23rd to 24th September 2019

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia 2019 

Local organiser: Maarten De Groot

Alien CSI Action organised a bingo in Tivoli park to raise awareness about invasive alien species.

On Tuesday 24th of September 2019 from 12:30 until 14:00, Alien CSI Action organised Alien Bingo at the Tivoli park, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Alien CSI, a European programme funded by the Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) had its second annual meeting at the M Hotel in Ljubljana, September 23 and 24. International experts from 37 countries from Europe and beyond teamed up to discuss the challenges posed by invasive alien species and consider action through citizen science – whereby people are engaged in taking active roles in enhancing understanding and ultimately protecting biodiversity.

Alien CSI is led by Professor Helen Roy and a team of experts from across Europe including Dr Maarten de Groot from the Slovenian Forestry Institute, expert on invasive forest insect species, who hosted the meeting in Ljubljana.

Fourteen thousand alien or non-native species have been introduced deliberately or accidentally by people to Europe.

“Some of these threaten European biodiversity, societies, economies and human health,” and they are termed “invasive alien species”.

Invasive alien species cost Europe €12.5-€20 billion.

“In Slovenia, there are around 1000 alien species in nature from which approximately 150 are considered invasive.”

This was a great opportunity to meet the experts and learn more about invasive alien species and in Tivoli, Park in Slovenia. The international experts discussed and played bingo with citizens, raised awareness about invasive alien species and encouraged the involvement of citizens in biological recording

Contributions of citizens are critical and can greatly help scientists at all stages of the invasion process. By teaming with international experts in invasion ecology, citizens can help to observe and identify species and their impacts while discussing management actions encouraging the public to participate.

Date: 24th of September 2019

Time: 12:30-14:00

Location: Tivoli Park


Action website:

Action Facebook:

Action Twitter: @aliencsi1 COST

A special edition of the “REVIEW” dedicated to: Joint ESENIAS and DIAS Scientific Conference and 9th ESENIAS Workshop

Species, ecosystems and areas of conservation concern under threat from the invasive alien species

Where: Bulgaria

When: 03–06 September 2019 

Please find more information at:


Zagreb, Croatia - COST Alien-CSI Action Working Group meeting

Where: Zagreb, Croatia hosted by University Zagreb, Croatia.

When: 13-14 February 2019


Akrotiri, Cyprus - COST Alien-CSI Action Management Committee meeting and Working Group activities 

Where: Akrotiri, Cyprus hosted by Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre

When: 25-28 February 2019

taken by Siobhan Edney

"Boat & Fishing in Greece" HELEXPO Maroussi, Athens, Greece - COST Alien-CSI

Where: Maroussi, Athens, Greece

When: 29 March 2019







At this year's exhibition "Boat & Fishing in Greece" HELEXPO Maroussi, Athens, Greece Dr. Paraskevi Karachle (Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, HCMR) and Dr. Marika Galanidi (Üstün Energy R & D SME), were hosted at the booth of the Panhellenic Union of Recreational Fishers (PEEA,

The researchers, within the framework of the European COST-ALIEN CSI program, are exploring the socio-economic impact of alien species on fisheries. The survey is conducted with the form of properly formulated questionnaires.

The contribution of recreational fishers to research is essential for recording alien species and their impacts,
with the aim of better management.

This is an initiative of further collaboration between and the Ellenic Network of Aquatic Alien Species (ELNAIS, and PEEA, towards exchange of information with recreational fishers on alien species .πεεα-και-υδρόβιων-ξενικών-ειδών/?fbclid=IwAR3RGW1AU3UdcjYJB8MxrPoog4ShzndPSPNMwCnyJcuZ7jOpcr-fmF7jDgE

JRC IAS-EU Proof of Concept Project and COST Alien-CSI Action Workshop 
Strengthening the link between IAS apps data and policy: 

Development of an appropriate governance framework

Where: European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy...

When: 20-21 November 2018

Please see link for more information.