The Big Wasp Survey 2018
Wasp-love has swept the nation like we’d never have predicted! We are overwhelmed with the enthusiasm for the Big Wasp Survey 2018! Thank you, citizen scientists of the UK!
But with so many now registered (oh yes – there is a lot of wasp love out there!), we’ve had to take the difficult decision to close registration for 2018. We’d love to keep going, but we simply don’t have the resources to be sure that we can process all the insects you’re about to send us! For those who have registered, we are HUGELY excited about your sampling and are looking forward to seeing the packages of insects flying via our FREEPOST address to our labs in the next week or so. If you’ve not activated your registration, please do so now to secure your place. (check your emails)
Take a look at the results from the 1,294 traps that were returned to us last year.
The Science Behind The Big Wasp Survey
In a nutshell, we want to find out more about social wasps!
With your help, we aim to find more about which species live where. We hope to use the data you help us to collect this year, and in future years, to find out what factors are affecting wasp populations.
We may also be able to use the wasps you collect to find our more about how individual wasps of the same species differ across the country.
More About the Project
Wasps are ecologically essential insects. Both predators and pollinators, the social wasps (those yellow and black insects that bother us at picnics) live fascinating social lives and are much undervalued, even despised. However, just like their more glamourous cousin the honeybee, wasps are suffering as we change habitats and spray insecticides.
The Big Wasp Survey aims to gather important scientific data to help to quantify wasp species abundance, diversity and distribution.
Dr Seirian Sumner
University College London
Reader in Behavioural Ecology, University College London.
Seirian Sumner is an evolutionary biologist who is interested in understanding how and why animals behave. Her research focuses on social insects – ants, bees and wasps (well, mostly wasps actually!). She combines welly-boot field ecology with molecular analyses to reveal a genes-to-behaviour understanding of social behaviour, ecology and evolution. She recently published the first genome sequence for an aculeate wasp.
She is on a crusade to persuade the public and science communities that we should appreciate, rather than hate, social wasps.
The Big Wasp Survey is her first foray into citizen science!
Professor Adam Hart
Professor of Science Communication, University of Gloucestershire
Adam Hart is an entomologist, broadcaster and writer who combines his interests in research and teaching with a passion for communicating science. He has been involved in a number of citizen science projects including the Flying Ant Survey, a house spider survey and a survey looking at what causes starling murmurations.
Nicola combines her corporate marketing experience with a fascination for wasps. She’s on a mission to rebrand the much-maligned wasp and persuade the great British public of the beauty and ingenuity of this misunderstood group of insects.
In addition to helping with the Big Wasp Survey, Nicola also volunteers at the Natural History Museum developing identification guides including a Beginner’s guide to identifying British ichneumonids, a particularly striking group of parasitoid wasps.