Gretta Pecl, Les Christidis and Vicki Martin have now published the results for the first Australian Citizen Science Association national survey about public participation in marine citizen science. The results are now online in BioScience at . “Public Interest in Marine Citizen Science: Is there Potential for Growth?” by Martin, V. Y., Christidis, L., & Pecl, G. T. (2016) (BioScience. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biw070) examines the level of public interest that there is in volunteering for marine citizen science and the types of people who are most likely to volunteer.

Here is the ‘online first’ reference and abstract:

“Social studies in citizen science typically focus on existing project participants. We present results from an online survey of 1145 marine users to identify broader public interest in marine citizen science. Although we found considerable community interest, the most enthusiastic tended to have a higher education in science, were under 45 years old, primarily enjoyed SCUBA diving, and had contributed to scientific research in the past. The type of research organization involved in a project played a role in people’s willingness to share information. The discourse of public participation in scientific research encourages public involvement in all aspects of the scientific process; however, we found that the respondents were primarily interested in data-collection opportunities. Feedback and past experiences in research were important considerations for gaining and retaining the volunteers. Our results indicate considerable potential for growth in volunteer recruitment, which can contribute constructively to scientific and public knowledge of the marine environment.”

If you would like a copy of the full article, send an email to .

Another article will be published in the August issue of Science Communication: “Citizens as scientists: what influences public contributions to marine research?” by Martin, V. Y., Smith, L., Bowling, A., Christidis, L., Lloyd, D., & Pecl, G. T. (2016).  This article examines the key drivers and barriers to public participation in a hypothetical sightings-based, digital marine citizen science project (modelled on Redmap).


Facebook: Australian Citizen Science Association – tps://

Twitter: @MarineSciComm

Marine ExChanges Project (Public involvement in marine research):




By Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

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