Citizen Science

BGE relies on the invaluable help of an army of citizen scientists to help us build the map of European biodiversity. Find out more and considering joining us.

The current rate of biodiversity loss is reaching catastrophic proportions. We need to take urgent action and for that, we need to collect as much data as possible across Europe, building solid reference libraries for biodiversity research. This is an enormous endeavour for which the contribution of citizen scientists is crucial.

Building reference libraries

BGE aims to collect individual specimens for building the barcode reference library as well community samples for the analyses of invertebrate communities in terrestrial and marine realms. For this, citizen scientists are already involved in three different activities:

  1. Amateur specialists collect, identify, photograph and submit individual insect specimens for barcoding.
  2. Citizens and stakeholders (e.g. national park rangers) service and maintain the insect traps for flying insect fauna at mountains across Europe.
  3. Citizens filter sea water near European ports and harbours to capture environmental DNA (eDNA) and help us detect marine invasive species.

Citizens are supplied with sampling kits and detailed written instructions along with a video explaining how the sampling is done.

Lowering barriers

There is no efficient engagement without some groundwork, that is why BGE has been working to map and interview a large number of stakeholders in the field of genomics across Europe. Their perspective is guiding us in the design of two crucial engagement mechanisms: the project’s “Genomic Toolbox” to help science communicators navigate the complexities involved in generating and applying high-quality reference genome, and an immersive video game designed to guide players through the complete pipeline of high-quality reference genome generation, from initial sampling procedures to practical applications.

Become a citizen scientist in genomic research
Join BGE’s Citizen Science initiatives and become part of the unprecedented European effort to apply state-of-the-art genomic technology for the benefit of biodiversity. Learn new techniques, spend time in nature, meet new people, and contribute to making BGE an open, enriching and inspiring scientific experience whilst protecting our plant.


BGE will host a number of training events that will serve as a platform for sharing protocols, methods and expertise cultivated within the project with a broader audience. (You can find information about the first one here). The aim of the training session is two-fold: 1. They will offer instruction in metadata recording and specimen preservation with an eye towards future reference genome sequencing. 2. They will allow participants to engage in hands-on activities involving onsite barcoding, using portable ONT sequencing technology and HMW-DNA extraction.


BGE will engage with citizen scientists through a series of workshops and open days targeting all levels -from school children to students, from employees of national parks to amateur expert taxonomists. The workshops use activities and games to show the crucial role of invertebrates in the environment and make participants familiar with the concepts of DNA barcoding as well as the main field methods for collecting, preserving and identifying insects. These activities are also important to explain the concept of DNA barcode library building and the interpretation of barcoding results. You can see here a summary of some of the workshops that we have conducted so far.


BGE will subcontract research teams from biodiversity hotspots in European widening countries to take the lead in organising bioblitz events following BGE’s guidelines. The primary objective is gathering species for genome sequencing and DNA barcoding purposes.

Biodiversity Genomics Europe Events


Interested in joining us as a citizen scientist? Fill in the form below to tell us a bit about yourself, and we will be in touch. 

Background, scientific interests, scientific groups in which you are involved, etc.