On this page we present all our scientific publications and activities on conferences.
At the beginning of February we were invited to the Austrian Citizen Science Conference 2018 in Salzburg to present our experiences with Citizen Science in a peer-review process. Specifically, it was to show how we, from the project Roadkill, have experienced the process of publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
A short summary of the whole really exciting event can be found on Österreich forscht.
In addition, on the third day of the conference, the so-called Aktionstag, we were able to present the Roadkill project to a very interested Salzburg audience at a market stand and show in practice how citizens can help in our project.
For all interested in our experiences, you can see the poster presented here:
We published our third paper in the project in the Journal BMC Ecology yesterday (27 June 2017). The article is open access available, please visit the article webpage to read the fulltext: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186%2Fs12898-017-0134-z
We would also be happy if you read and share our blog: http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcseriesblog/2017/07/07/using-citizen-science-to-monitor-road-kills/
To get an impression, here is our abstract:
Amphibians and reptiles are among the most endangered vertebrate species worldwide. However, little is known how they are affected by road-kills on tertiary roads and whether the surrounding landscape structure can explain road-kill patterns. The aim of our study was to examine the applicability of open-access remote sensing data for a large-scale citizen science approach to describe spatial patterns of road-killed amphibians and reptiles on tertiary roads. Using a citizen science app we monitored road-kills of amphibians and reptiles along 97.5 km of tertiary roads covering agricultural, municipal and interurban roads as well as cycling paths in eastern Austria over two seasons. Surrounding landscape was assessed using open access land cover classes for the region (Coordination of Information on the Environment, CORINE). Hotspot analysis was performed using kernel density estimation (KDE+). Relations between land cover classes and amphibian and reptile road-kills were analysed with conditional probabilities and general linear models (GLM). We also estimated the potential cost-efficiency of a large scale citizen science monitoring project.
We recorded 180 amphibian and 72 reptile road-kills comprising eight species mainly occurring on agricultural roads. KDE+ analyses revealed a significant clustering of road-killed amphibians and reptiles, which is an important information for authorities aiming to mitigate road-kills. Overall, hotspots of amphibian and reptile road-kills were next to the land cover classes arable land, suburban areas and vineyards. Conditional probabilities and GLMs identified road-kills especially next to preferred habitats of green toad, common toad and grass snake, the most often found road-killed species. A citizen science approach appeared to be more cost-efficient than monitoring by professional researchers only when more than 400 km of road are monitored.
Our findings showed that freely available remote sensing data in combination with a citizen science approach would be a cost-efficient method aiming to identify and monitor road-kill hotspots of amphibians and reptiles on a larger scale.
The 10th Annual Meeting of the Macroecology Working Group for the Ecological Society Germany, Austria & Switzerland was held from 19-21 April 2017. This year, the titel of the conference was "Macroecology in Space and Time". Colleagues from the University of Vienna organised the conference with a broad focus on conservation biology, evolution and global change. We took the opportunity of living at the conference venue and presented a poster on our project and some new results.
Today (10th October 2016) we published a new paper in Remote Sensing with the title "Comparing Road-Kill Datasets from Hunters and Citizen Scientists in a Landscape Context".
It is open access and therefore free for everyone to read: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/8/10/832/htm
We really wish to thank all citizen scientists in Project Roadkill for investing time and reporting data.
Here is the abstract of our published paper:
1Institute of Zoology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
2Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
3Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
4Institute of Applied Statistics and Computing, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Road traffic has severe effects on animals, especially when road-kills are involved. In many countries, official road-kill data are provided by hunters or police; there are also road-kill observations reported by citizen scientists. The aim of the current study was to test whether road-kill reports by hunters stem from similar landscapes than those reported by citizen scientists. We analysed the surrounding landscapes of 712 road-kill reportings of European hares in the province of Lower Austria. Our data showed that road-killed hares reported both by hunters and citizens are predominantly surrounded by arable land. No difference of hedges and solitary trees could be found between the two datasets. However, significant differences in landcover classes and surrounding road networks indicate that hunters’ and citizen scientists’ data are different. Hunters reported hares from landscapes with significantly higher percentages of arable land, and greater lengths of secondary roads. In contrast, citizens reported hares from landscapes with significantly higher percentages of urban or industrial areas and greater lengths of motorways, primary roads, and residential roads. From this we argue that hunters tend to report data mainly from their hunting areas, whereas citizens report data during their daily routine on the way to/from work. We conclude that a citizen science approach is an important source for road-kill data when used in addition to official data with the aim of obtaining an overview of road-kill events on a landscape scale.
Poster presentation “Data quality in citizen science projects considering roadkills” by Florian Heigl, Daniel Dörler and Johann Zaller; 1. European Citizen Science Conference in Berlin, Germany; 19. - 21. May 2016. More information regarding the conference: http://www.ecsa2016.eu/
Poster presentation “Citizen Science Project Roadkill – Connecting science, people and habitat fragmentation using European hare as a model organism” by Florian Heigl, Carina Stretz, Wolfgang Steiner, Thomas Bauer, Franz Suppan und Johann Zaller; 45th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland in Göttingen, Germany; 31. August - 04. September 2015.
In recent years citizen science is getting more important in professional science. More and more professional scientists are integrating citizens in their research. However what is citizen science and where does it come from? Which impact does citizen science have on the cooperation of laypersons and professionals? How do citizen science projects work and are there examples in Austria? Can we do something to promote citizen science in Austria and make it easier for laypersons?
Florian Heigl and Daniel Dörler are answering these questions in German in the "Jahrbuch 2015 der Bildung für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung", which was published in June 2015.
More Information regarding the Jahrbuch: http://www.umweltbildung.at/nachrichten/langtexte/jahrbuch-bildung-fuer-nachhaltige-entwicklung-2015-bne-reloaded-soeben-erschienen.html
15th April 2015, Carina Stretz, master student at the Institute of Zoology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna presented the poster Project Roadkill: Defining hotspots in European Hare vehicle collisions using datasets from citizen scientists and professionals at the European Geosciences Union
General Assembly 2015. More than 11000 scientists are attending the EGU GA to talk about latest trends and findings in a variety of scientific fields.
We published our manuscript "Using a Citizen Science Approach in Higher Education: A Case Study Reporting Roadkills in Austria" von Florian Heigl und Johann Zaller; Fachzeitschrift Human Computation - Volume 1, Issue 2 (Citizen Science Special Issue); December 2014
Using a Citizen Science Approach in Higher Education: A Case Study Reporting Roadkills in Austria
FLORIAN HEIGL, Universität für Bodenkultur, Wien
JOHANN G. ZALLER, Universität für Bodenkultur, Wien
Heigl, F., & Zaller, J. G. (2014). Using a Citizen Science Approach in Higher Education: a Case Study reporting Roadkills in Austria. Human Computation, 1(2).
Get the free paper: http://hcjournal.org/ojs/index.php?journal=jhc&page=article&op=view&path=10
Poster presentation “Roadkill of European Hare in agricultural landscapes in Austria: citizen science vs. professional data.” via Florian Heigl, Wolfgang Steiner, Franz Suppan, Thomas Bauer and Johann Zaller; 44. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland in Hildesheim, Germany; 8.-12. September 2014