Citizen Science - Insect Investigators

November 16, 2022

In March Trinity College was one of 50 schools invited to participate in an exciting citizen science project called Insect Investigators. Set up in 2019 by the University of Adelaide, the South Australian Museum and the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics in Canada, the project aims to bring together experts and schools to discover, describe and document Australia’s biodiversity.

Year 7 Science classes at Blakeview and Gawler River schools collaborated to undertake the project on behalf of the College. They engaged in a live-stream workshop with the team of experts at the University of Adelaide to learn more about the project and how to collect, observe and identify insects that live on our Blackham site. A Malaise Trap was set up and students travelled to Blackham to begin collecting and returning trap bottles to the experts.

The samples collected were then sent to the SA Museum and then to Canada for genetic barcoding. The first round of DNA barcoding results has just been released and;

  • 70% of the samples collected by our students were not collected by any other school involved in the project and
  • 49% of the species our students collected do not currently exist in the DNA barcode library - many of these may be species that are new to science!

If a new species is discovered on our grounds, our students will have the opportunity to work with taxonomists to name it! We will keep you updated with the progress of our intrepid Insect Investigators!

Visit the Insect Investigation website to see our full results.