Evolution Megalab

Evolution Megalab

Life on Earth started about three-and-a-half billion years ago. It's the tiny changes accumulating over a long, long time that got us here. Citizen scientists can see some of those tiny steps by joining the Evolution MegaLab.

The main focus of this research is the banded snails (Cepaea nemoralis and Cepaea hortensis), which can be found in almost any part of the U.K. where snails are generally present. Citizen scientists will seek out these snails and keep records of the locations where they are found using maps and satellite pictures on the Evolution MegaLab Web site.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Robert Cameron, professor
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: The Open University
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • LOCATION: - U.K.
  • PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages

    First register with Evolution Megalab's Web site, where citizen scientists will find further instructions about how and where to identify snails as well as how to record these findings.

See more projects in FreeFieldworkAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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