The Leaf Watch app and supporting web site (which is due for release in the first week of Oct 2011) provides a mechanism to facilitate the generation and validation of crowd-sourced, geo-tagged, image-related data to enhance the ease with which quality data may be obtained for analysis by researchers.
The project is funded by JISC and is a collaboration between the Web Futures group of the Institute for Learning and Research Technology, researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Hull, and members of the general public who are interested in the Conker Tree Science project.
Meet the Project Team
Project Manager Dave Kilbey works primarily at the University of Bristol. He trained as an ecologist and is also a Wildlife Photographer (http://www.davekilbeyphotography.co.uk), Digital Media Trainer (http://www.digital-image-training.co.uk/) and freelance natural history writer. He has a good knowledge of the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner moth. He has also worked closely with several other individuals on the project from the University of Bristol.
Dave’s knowledge of ecology will stand him in good stead for acting as a bridge between the team’s biologists and the developers/designers in order to ensure that the application works well both technically and in terms of collecting the appropriate data. Dave is also hoping to draw on his extensive list of contacts within the conservation sphere in order to generate interest and disseminate information about the project, making sure that a large number of people take part in the project. He will also be talking to similar projects (and their users) in order to learn from their experiences.
Ben is a freelance user interface designer. He designs and builds simple, usable interfaces for web applications and websites. Over the past 7 years he has worked as both a graphic designer and front-end web developer. Ben will be concentrating his efforts on the design of the application and will be collaborating extensively with the project’s User Experience consultant, Dr Stuart Church in order to knit the design with the end user’s requirements.
Stuart is the User Experience (UX) consultant for the Nature Locator project, a role in which he has more than 10 years experience. In 2005, Stuart helped to set up and organise the Cambridge Usability Group before relocating to Bristol, where he is now helps to run the Bristol Usability Group (http://bristolusability.ning.com) and is a co-organiser of the forthcoming UXBristol conference (http://www.uxbristol.org.uk). He is also a member of the Usability Professionals’ Association and the Information Architecture Institute. The majority of Stuart’s work has been in academia and the public sector.
Stuart will be making sure that the application is developed to work well for those out in the field doing the data collection, so much of Stuart’s time will be spent with future users of the application. He will also be working closely with Ben Hayes, the developer/s and the biologists to ensure that the application caters for everyone’s needs – a piece of cake then!…
Julian is a Professor of Zoology at the University of Bristol. He is a member of the Steering Committee and was fundamental in setting the project up. His broad experience of the biological sciences and also of the University and it’s intricacies will prove vital for guiding the project, contributing ideas towards sustainability (re-use of the app elsewhere) and giving a big picture view of where the project fits into the bio science landscape.
Dr Michael Pocock is a NERC Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol. He is an ecologist discovering how environmental changes (such as changes in agriculture and climate change) affect species and impact upon the ways in which we benefit from nature. One way he engages people with his research is through ‘citizen science’ projects, where members of the public participate in real ecological research. His latest project is Conker Tree Science (funded by the Natural Environment Research Council) which focuses on a rapidly-spreading insect that damages horse chestnut trees, and in which he ask members of the public record its spread and its natural pest controllers. He’s the expert on the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner moth and the main steer to ensure the app fits the bill.
Chris is a Senior Technical Researcher for ILRT (www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk). He obtain a PhD in Agents and Hypermedia Systems from the University of Southampton and joined ILRT in 2006. He builds, modifies, researches, tweaks & hacks a range of systems including eLearning solutions, Android applications and Drupal CMS sites.
On the Nature Locator project, Chris helped develop the infrastructure (AppEngine backend) and deployment architecture (maven) as well as handle the Android packaging work and implemented the map view on the results page.
Jasper is a Senior Technical Researcher within IT Services R&D / ILRT at the University of Bristol where he has been based for more than 10 years.
He has extensive experience of working on the technical aspects of HE-based software and has worked on many JISC-funded projects. For the Nature Locator project Jasper’s efforts were mainly focussed on the iPhone app and the validation website.
Jasper also holds an MSc in Software Development.