Saving Species with Citizen Science

Presented by Monash Tech School, Science for All and BioQuisitive

saving species with citizen science

Anyone can contribute to science, regardless of their age or experience.

Come and join BioQuisitive and Science For All at Monash Tech School for this hands on workshop about how everyday citizens are working to protect critically endangered species using DNA detection and other advanced technologies.

Science For All and BioQuisitive are currently monitoring three endangered species, one of which is the Leadbeater’s Possum, the focus of this workshop. Using a variety of different technologies, they’re training members of the public to work like a forensics team; going out into the field, collecting samples, and using their mobile lab to analyse the results. Working with partners such as the Australian National University, they’re identifying where these possums live in order to help map out their homes and inform evidence-based policies for protecting these species and their habitats. These technologies include thermal imaging cameras, DNA thermal cyclers, centrifuges, and more.

Observation and data collection is the core of the scientific method. Science for All has values which recognise that knowledge takes many forms – this includes people who are subject area experts, people with traditional, indigenous or local knowledge, and those with big dreams and big ideas. All are welcome to this workshop, no matter how much lab experience you have!

In this workshop you will learn:

  • How you can get involved in collecting data to inform evidence-based environmental management, which protects Victoria’s unique biodiversity
  • About the principles of biodiversity and monitoring techniques
  • How DNA can be used to identify any living organism
  • How to use pipettes and other basic lab equipment
  • How to extract DNA, photocopy it, and analyse it using the special BentoBio portable lab unit.

Part of this event is a hands on workshop in the lab. Please bring closed toe shoes, and if you have long hair, a hair tie. Minors should be accompanied by an adult. Please arrive 15 minutes early to ensure the workshop commences on time.


Science For All is a not-for-profit organisation which helps anyone get involved in shaping the future of human knowledge. They embrace openness, transparency, and have a community centric approach to their work. They are under the auspices of the Royal Society of Victoria and their projects are supported by grants from the State Government of Victoria and public donations. Jack Nunn, Director of Science for All, will be facilitating the session.

A part of National Science Week in 2019BioQuisitive is a charity that runs a community laboratory out of a renovated shipping container in Brunswick, democratising access to science. Also known as ‘do-it-yourself biologists’, they are a combination of everyday citizens, researchers, and professionals that work in mycology, microbiology, genetics, and more. At BioQuisitive, everyday people are put in the position of principle investigator for their own curiosity. Andrew Gray, Director of Bioquisitive, will be running the in-depth sessions on DNA in the lab.

A National Science Week event. Runs on 15, 16 and 22 August.