Profile of Notes from Nature Citizen Scientist: “El_Lion”

Name (or userid if you prefer to remain more private): Eliane Escher (userid: El_Lion and I have no idea how my friend came up with that!)

Country of residence: Switzerland. Born and bred. 🙂 Sorry in advance for my English!

What sort of science background or interest do you have? I’m a lab technician at a molecular biology lab at the university. The span of species I worked with range from woody plants to fruit flies. I was always interested in sciences. Probably, I’m curious (no, I didn’t say nosy!) and interested in the “how” and “why” of stuff going on out there.

What do you find most exciting about Notes from Nature? There’s so much arduous work done by so many people to collect all those species. I know how it is to work in the field. It can be fun sometimes but often enough you get to the point where you ask yourself “what am I doing here??”.   Especially, when you’re cold, wet, and feel miserable. And then you need this certain persistence to meticulously investigate and determine the species. I think it’s great that Notes from Nature honors this work by preserving the data and making them available in a digital form, easier to use for nowadays (and future) scientists.

What’s the most exciting aspect of citizen science work from your point-of-view? The “swarm technology” (can I call it that?). I like to compare it to an ant which alone doesn’t get very far but together with thousands of others can build an ant hill. It’s exciting to be part of such a “swarm”. Maybe one day I can proudly say “I contributed to those new results”.

What other citizen science projects (including beyond Zooniverse) have you participated in? I participated only in the ones from Zooniverse. I got to know about Zooniverse through a TV docu in the BBC. However, the Mars project they had portrayed seemed a bit boring to me, so I tried out other ones. So far, I participated in the Serengeti picture project (which turned out to be a bit addictive :-)), in the Seafloor Explorer project and in the Cancer Cell Slides project.

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