Citizen Science

November Citizen Science

Citizen science-led expedition retraces the journey of Charles Darwin: How would you like to spend your next vacation? Biologist Eduardo Sampaio researched octopuses off Cape Verde. He participated in a Citizen Science-led expedition that retraced the journey of Charles Darwin. “If Charles Darwin had had the opportunity to dive off the Cape Verde Islands, he would have been completely thrilled,” Eduardo Sampaio is convinced, because Darwin would have seen a fascinating, species-rich landscape. But he lacked the diving equipment. Thus, in his notes The Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin described Cape Verde as a barren landscape. Eduardo Sampaio, affiliate member of the Cluster of Excellence “Center for the Advanced Study of Collective Behavior” (CASCB) at the University of Konstanz, had quite the opposite experience. He was invited on board the ship Captain Darwin by filmmaker Victor Rault to continue his octopus research. Victor Rault, 30, set sail from Plymouth on the Captain Darwin in 2021, following in the footsteps of Darwin’s HMS Beagle. He wants to explore how the ecosystem has changed since Darwin’s voyage on the HMSBeagle in 1832. Researchers and citizens have been invited to travel along and conduct experiments in the spirit of Darwin. “When Victor told me about his project … It was immediately clear to me that it’s an excellent idea to retrace the path of Charles Darwin. I was more than keen to jump on board,” recalls biologist Eduardo Sampaio from Portugal. Much of the thinking behind this citizen-science project focused on how to update Darwin’s research using modern tools and technology. Eduardo Sampaio and Victor Rault also wrote a report about the collaboration, published in PLOS Biology.

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