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Citizen Science: UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice

This guide provides case studies, resources and information on relevant events to support UCD staff, researchers, academics and students interested in citizen science.

UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice


The UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice is supported by UCD Library and UCD Earth Institute
It has its own website page here:

Please join our mailing list. We welcome UCD staff and students, members of the public and people from other universities or organisations.

How to join: i) Open your email and start a new message ii) in the body of the email type: SUBSCRIBE UCDCITIZENSCIENCE firstname surname iii) delete any other information such as logos, addresses or links which you might have in your email body iv) send the email to this address:

(firstname surname should be your own name, e.g., James Joyce)

You will receive a reply to confirm that you are a member of the UCD Citizen Science mailing list.

Or if you prefer you can join by adding your details yourself in the UCD Citizen Science mailing list - on the right hand side of the page click on the Subscribe or Unsubscribe option.



The UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice is supported by UCD Library and UCD Earth Institute


Contact: Jane Nolan, UCD Library at:

or Liz Bruton, UCD Earth Institute at:

Students, Staff and Members of UCD are invited to join the UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice  


UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice Past Events

Click on the image above to view the presentation

Network for Insect Vectors in Ireland : How Citizen Scientists can Contribute 

Wednesday 8th May 2024 at 3:00 - 4:00pm
Earth Institute kitchen, 4th floor, O’Brien Science Centre 


In this talk, members of the Network for insect vectors in Ireland (NetVec Ireland) research project will explain how to identify adult mosquitoes and invasive species and how to collect and identify mosquito larvae. Live specimens and microscopes will be made available on the day to illustrate specific characteristics.

You will have the opportunity to get involved as the team will be seeking volunteers to take part in their midge and mosquito surveillance project over the summer.


  • Angela Valcarcel Olmeda from the University Complutense of Madrid, Faculty of Pharmacy, who is in the third year of her PhD project entitled ‘Irish survey of biting midges and mosquitoes and vector-borne pathogens’
  • Thomas Curran, who just completed his PhD on the development of DNA-based methods for the identification of mosquitoes and is employed as a postdoc under the current project 
  • Principal Investigator, Annetta Zintl, Associate Professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine



  • NetVec Ireland is a project funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and aims to establish a national network of expertise in arthropod vectors and vector-borne pathogens. NetVec Ireland aims to investigate the current distribution of biting midges and mosquitoes and vector-borne pathogens. Citizen scientists can make an important contribution by providing local knowledge and expertise and enhancing sampling capacity. A widespread understanding on how to recognise exotic species will help to improve Ireland’s preparedness and reduce the threat of vector-borne disease. 


Exploring Citizen Science Funding Models with
Science Foundation Ireland


Wednesday 28 February 2024   

11:00 am  to 1:00 pm

Library Link 3 of the James Joyce Library


This in-person workshop facilitated by Colette Kirwan and Alison Boyle from Science Foundation Ireland (shortly to become part of Taighde Éireann - Research Ireland) will provide an opportunity for staff, researchers and stakeholders working or interested in citizen science initiatives to engage in a measured discussion regarding funding strategies.

SFI are interested in capturing the requirements and needs of the research community with respect to citizen science funding and how these might potentially be addressed in the planning of new funding streams and models. 

Attendees can expect to contribute to discussions around potential funding models for citizen science activities, with an emphasis on pragmatic considerations, hypothetical challenges, and recommendations from previous projects.

No prior preparation is required. 

Our aim is to capture the experiences and needs of  the UCD research community.

  • If you have previous experience of citizen science projects – we would be delighted to hear your reflections. What are your overarching objectives for funded projects? What sorts of timelines might be needed and what sorts of barriers to participation and running of projects might need to be overcome?
  • If you don’t have previous experience of citizen science projects but are interested – what issues, (if any) do you see as perceived barriers to entry to this field? What might you need help with (e.g. stakeholders, networking, collaborators, technology)?

You can book a place at this event and you are cordially invited to stay for a complimentary light lunch in Library Link 3 from 1pm onwards.


on Wednesday 24th January 2024

Prof Emma Teeling and Dr Niamh Roche's fascinating and hugely enjoyable presentation is now available to watch back. You can view the recording by clicking on the above image.

Two short animations also explain the Bats & Bugs project:

Bats & Bugs part 1 (or you can watch on YouTube)

Bats & Bugs part 2  (or you can watch on YouTube)


For training courses to learn more about our Irish bats, their habitats, how to identify them and the basics of carrying out a bat survey, see:  Bat Conservation Ireland’s Online Training Platform


A captivating exploration into the fascinating world of Irish bats and their vital role in pest insect consumption.  

Delve into the groundbreaking Identifying Irish Bats and their Prey aka Bats and Bugs initiative, spearheaded by UCD's Professor Emma Teeling and Bat Conservation Ireland's Niamh Roche. Their presentation will demonstrate the importance of the contribution made by citizen scientists to this research project.

Begun in 2021, the Bats and Bugs project applied citizen science to get volunteer bat roost custodians to collect bat droppings from sites across Ireland. In this talk:

  • Learn how the project recruited, and trained volunteers and how samples were collected safely and sent back to UCD for state-of-the-art DNA analysis.
  • Hear how the project and samples answered crucial questions about the types of prey bats consume and their impact on crop and environmental health.
  • Discover how the project partnered with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to produce the new field guide  'Identification Guide to Irish Bats' which aims to help readers distinguish bats in their local area.

This project was funded by The Community Foundation for Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.


If you didn't make it to this great presentation given by Gerald and Niamh, or you would like to see it again you can now watch the recorded video back by clicking on the above image




Creating our Future : a National Conversation on Research in Ireland


Thursday 19th October at 2pm in the James Joyce Library (Room Library Link 3), Belfield 

Ali Boyle and Ciara Cotter told the story of what Creating Our Future achieved and how researchers and policy makers may use the findings in their work.

Click the image below for a YouTube recording of the event


In the autumn of 2021, the people of Ireland were invited to consider how research can contribute to the creation of a better future for themselves and their communities. As an all of Government endeavour, the aim was to create an opportunity for the people of Ireland to have their say and contribute to the future direction of Irish research and innovation.

The speakers, Science Foundation Ireland's Ciara Cotter and Ali Boyle, were introduced by UCD Librarian Dr Sandra Collins.



Ali Boyle 

At SFI Ali is responsible for a range of programmes including national Science Week in November and education programmes to help teachers build confidence in inquiry-based learning. Ali is also a Senior Research Associate of the Science Museum, London, where she spent twenty years as a curator, and a member of UKRI’s STFC Advisory Panel for Public Engagement.


Ciara Cotter

Ciara Cotter Public Affairs and Change Manager at Science Foundation Ireland. Her role at the agency involves managing relationships with key stakeholders such as other Government bodies, those within the political system and the research community. Previous roles at SFI involved working in areas such as international relations, industry engagement and corporate governance. Ciara was assigned Creating Our Future Programme Delivery Lead in January 2021.




Microplastic Pollution and Citizen Science

How can we measure marine microplastics in a low-cost and globally scalable way?

The EnderScope is a low-cost, open-source and easy to build microscope that can automatically scan filtered seawater samples to detect microplastics. We want to get this tool into the hands of local libraries, environmental groups and maker spaces in Ireland.


  Click on the image above to view Niamh Burke & Dr Mark Pickering's     presentation delivered on Wed 20th September 2023 in the James Joyce Library 


View Martin Brocklehurst's presentation on YouTube
The decade of Citizen Science is here : be part of it !
Wednesday 3rd May at 11am in the O'Brien Centre for Science



Martin Brocklehurst, co-founder of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) and the Citizen Science Global Partnership (CSGP),  outlined how citizen science can provide meaningful democratic and economic input and buy-in to deliver a liveable future – in terms of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. How for the first time in our history, as a species on this planet, scientists have the technology to connect people and collect research data and information on a scale and density unimagined but a few years ago. Not only to answer research questions but to support international agreements and government policy and to drive behavioural change. That we can do so at a pace needed to tackle the three great challenges of our time: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. We owe it to the next generation to grasp this chance and turn citizens into the generation that changed our wo