University citizen science project a Eureka Prize finalist for second year in a row

A University of Tasmania project that collaborates with members of the public to map the distribution of marine species has been shortlisted for an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the second year in a row.

Founded by Associate Professor Gretta Pecl from the University’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Centre for Marine Socioecology, Redmap encourages citizen scientists around the country to spot and log marine species that are uncommon to their local area.

Thousands of unusual or rare sightings have been recorded through Redmap (Range Extension Database and Mapping), providing researchers with early indications of how marine species are responding to climate change.

The team behind Redmap have again been shortlisted for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science.

Redmap Australia national coordinator Dr Jemina Stuart-Smith, a research fellow at IMAS, said the project was an example of large-scale collaboration between over 80 scientists, numerous institutes around the country, and citizen scientists from fishers and divers to beachcombers.

“Identifying possible range shifts by our marine species is critical to assessing impacts of climate change on ecosystems and on our ability to plan appropriate responses,” Dr Stuart-Smith said.

“This shortlisting is an important recognition of the significant contributions made by citizen scientists around Australia.”

The 2017 Eureka Prizes will be announced on 30 August in Sydney.

Image: Ryan Hasson’s winning entry, Sealed with a Kiss (People's Choice Award, Up Close and Personal category), in the 2017 Redmap Diver Photo Comp.

Published on: 28 Jul 2017 11:50am