Citizen science-led expedition retraces the journey of Charles Darwin

Citizen science-led expedition retraces the journey of Charles Darwin

Credit: © Victor Rault / Captain Darwin

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 satisfied, as a result of Darwin would have seen an interesting, species-rich panorama. But he lacked the diving gear. Thus, in his notes The Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin described Cape Verde as a barren panorama.

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Eduardo Sampaio, affiliate member of the Cluster of Excellence “Center for the Advanced Study of Collective Behavior” (CASCB) on the University of Konstanz, had fairly the alternative expertise. He was invited on board the ship Captain Darwin by filmmaker Victor Rault to proceed his octopus analysis.

Victor Rault, 30, set sail from Plymouth on the Captain Darwin in 2021, following within the footsteps of Darwin’s HMS Beagle. He needs to discover how the ecosystem has modified since Darwin’s voyage on the HMSBeagle in 1832. Researchers and residents have been invited to journey alongside and conduct experiments within 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,” remembers biologist Eduardo Sampaio from Portugal

What do octopuses see in a mirror picture?

Eduardo Sampaio spent ten days on the Captain Darwin. The focus was on the dives: The biologist, who works with the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, really wished to look at the joint looking habits of octopuses and fish. However, because it was mating season, the animals not often confirmed themselves. If they got here out, they wished to work together with different octopuses and didn’t hunt in any respect.

So, he spontaneously modified his analysis mission and performed a mirror take a look at as an alternative: “We wanted to determine whether the octopuses could realize that they were seeing another individual in the mirror.” In the night on board, the crew watched the video footage: “When the octopus approached the mirror, it changed color—but only the side facing the mirror changed. That was very fascinating to watch,” says Eduardo Sampaio. In an extra experiment, the researcher now needs to check whether or not the octopuses may even acknowledge themselves.

Citizen science-led expedition retraces the journey of Charles Darwin
Credit: © Victor Rault / Captain Darwin

Bringing Darwin’s analysis type updated

In the evenings, Eduardo Sampaio learn Darwin’s The Origin of Species, as a result of “it inspired me.” Often, he puzzled, “How can we update Darwin’s kind of scientific work with the new methods we have today, like machine learning and computer vision, to better understand how animals move in their natural habitats or use different strategies to exploit social information?” He doesn’t have a solution but, however might discover it the following time he sails on the Captain Darwin.

Great help for scientists who shouldn’t have the mandatory assets

Eduardo Sampaio shall be again on board the Captain Darwin. “This trip, launched as a Citizen Science project, is a great support for researchers who don’t have the means to do this kind of field research, especially for researchers from disadvantaged areas and in countries where research structures are not so well equipped.”

Much of the work that researchers often must deal with themselves was taken over, resembling acquiring permits, buying gear and elevating funds. “I also realized that citizens can play a much more active role in science than just collecting data,” says Eduardo Sampaio, who hopes that this crusing journey shall be a prelude to extra thrilling Citizen Science expeditions.

Eduardo Sampaio and Victor Rault additionally wrote a report concerning the collaboration, printed in PLOS Biology on November 15, 2022.

More data:
Eduardo Sampaio et al, Citizen-led expeditions can generate scientific data and prospects for researchers, PLOS Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001872

Citizen science-led expedition retraces the journey of Charles Darwin (2022, November 18)
retrieved 18 November 2022

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