Community and Social Sciences in Entomology

Program Chairs: Véronique Martel

Community science, defined as scientific research and monitoring driven by local communities, involves not only science and research, but also social learning, collective action and empowerment. This approach has gained popularity in several research fields, including entomology, because it allows for increased sampling efforts at low costs and reduced time investment for the scientists, while adding an extension aspect to the project. This symposium aims at presenting how community science can benefit entomological research and how it can contribute to extension and empowerment of the local communities, worldwide.

Plenary Speakers

Citizen science in Uganda: Why the slow pace of recruiting “disciples”?
Perpetra Akite, PhD

Department of Zoology, Entomology, & Fisheries Sciences, Makerere University
Kampala, Uganda
Twitter: @Perpetra

I am an ecologist and my research focuses on the effects of environmental change on insect populations and communities. I am particularly interested in the dynamics environmental change on insect populations, and how species' attributes determine their distribution patterns, community interactions. My strength is in the areas of biodiversity surveys and monitoring, Pollination Ecology, Climate change effects, Ecology of forest and forest-matrix landscapes, Fresh water monitoring, Sustainable use of natural resources, Biodiversity and ecotourism, The use of citizen science approach in conservation, Environmental and social impact assessment, Data acquisition and management skills, Landscape Ecology, Plant-Insect interactions.

I am the chair for Nature Uganda’s “Dudus”/Insects working group. I lead several field excursions that aims to increase understanding and appreciation of nature through citizen science and this involves both national and international participants. I have the pleasure of leading the National Red-listing of our insect fauna particularly to enhancing communication and understanding, but also prioritising species for risk assessment. I am in the process of developing an alert system for people to report sightings of insects from across the country as a way of documenting insects that occur in my country. Over the last two decades, I have had the privilege of working on several projects and with several environmental consultancies to document butterfly, moths, dragonfly and dung beetle fauna from a range of sites in Uganda and prioritise both nationally and internationally red listed species. This has contributed to the assessing and mapping key ecologically sensitive species in Uganda. 

My contribution on insects’ study has recently led to the naming of a new species of moth after me (Megaherpystis akiteae sp. n.); a recognition that I don’t take for granted. Current, I work full time as a lecturer in the Department of Zoology, Entomology & Fisheries Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Citizen science at school: Can we trust the data?
Bastien Castagneyrol

Inrae, University of Bordeaux, UMR BIOGECO
Bordeaux, France
Twitter: @BCastagneyrol

Bastien Castagneyrol is an ecologist ± entomologist with broad interest in plant-insect interactions. His research addresses the biotic and abiotic drivers of tree resistance to insect herbivores.

Citizen science for mosquito surveillance: Mozzie Monitors and an emerging national program in Australia
Craig Williams, PhD

University of South Australia
Twitter: @the_frogs_pond

Craig Williams graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Zoology and a major in Microbiology from the University of Adelaide. After a few years working in research he took a Graduate Diploma in Education (University of Adelaide) and a PhD (University of South Australia), before working as a school teacher. After post-doctoral research work at James Cook University he returned to an academic position at the University of South Australia. Throughout his academic career of more than 20 years Craig has combined skills in education and communication with his research studying the interface between environmental and public health. This academic work has been recognised through awards such as the South Australian Young Scientist of the Year (2007), an IgNobel Prize in Biology (2005, for science that makes you laugh, then think), and a Commonwealth Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2013). Craig continues to teach undergraduate courses and perform research in citizen science and public health. He is currently the Dean of Programs (Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences) in UniSA: Clinical and Health Sciences.

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