The Ladybird Experiment - Nyckelpigeförsöket


Humans are affecting nature in different ways and threatening the crucial diversity of plants and animals. To know how to best to tackle the problem, we need more knowledge about what species can be found at different locations at different times of the year. Unfortunately, expert knowledge is often required to distinguish different species, and there are not enough experts to carry out the task themselves.

An app that automatically identifies different species would make the expert’s work a lot easier, as well as enable ordinary people to help investigate ways to protect our planet’s plants and animals.

In the Ladybird Experiment school pupils and volunteers across the whole of Sweden helped collect photographs of ladybirds in the wild and submitted these to a database. The images were then used to train the artificial intelligence.

Participants used a smartphone or tablet, a simple macro lens for taking pictures, and a specially developed app. Photos were taken during the late summer and early autumn.

The Ladybird Experiment was a joint initiative between the Swedish Museum of Natural History, the IT company Savantic and the civil society organisation VA (Public & Science). The experiment was run as part of ForskarFredag – the Swedish events during the European Researchers’ Night.

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The aim of the Ladybird Experiment was to train and create an app that could recognise over 60 species of ladybirds found in Sweden and educate pupils and create interest in biodiversity and nature in Swedwen.

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How to participate

As part of European Researchers’ Night, ForskarFredag in Sweden, each year VA (Public & Science) coordinates a citizen science project that involves schools and the general public across the whole of Sweden. The Ladybird Experiment was the 2018th citizenscienceproject.

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The only thing you needed to take part was a smartphone or a tablet with a camera function.

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