Dr. at the Muséum national d'Histoire Naturelle, France
43 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris
+33 (0)1 40 79 30 81
+33 (0)6 48 00 05 57
Romain Julliard did his PhD (1993-1996, University of Montpellier, France) on the evolution of dispersal through the study of the life history of locally born and immigrant tits (Parus sp) and Evolutionary Stable Strategy modeling, followed by a post-doc (Oslo, Norway) on population dynamic of rodents (regulation through density-dependent survival) and exploited fish (separating natural and fishing mortality). Since 1999, he is working at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris (Professor since 2013).
Now specialized in Conservation Biology, he develops and coordinates biodiversity Observatories at the French scale (Vigie Nature project), based on various widespread taxa (e.g. common birds, butterflies, flower-dwelling insects, etc) and the involvement of voluntary observers (citizen sciences). His researches are on the functional homogenization of biodiversity, its mechanisms (reorganization of communities under the influence of global changes) and its applications (development of biodiversity indicators). Such scientific expertise on so-called ordinary nature lead to original contributions to themes like biodiversity offsets, ecosystem services, and eventually moving toward a more sustainable way of life.
Bottom‐up: citizen science and crowdsourcing in improving natural heritage conservation
To a large extent, biodiversity monitoring depends on Citizen Science and thus, its success on the easiness to implement such schemes at a national scale. Certainly this depends partly on deeply rooted socio-cultural characteristic of each country. Overall, it is quite obvious that citizen science is much more widespread in the Anglo-Saxon cultural area than in Latin countries. Let us see how monitoring biodiversity through citizen science has been implemented in France, through the National Museum of Natural History experience.
A key issue for launching such large scale, long term project is to be legitimate (which here meant building legitimacy). Monitoring started as often with birds, and benefit from the fact that the Museum holds the French bird ringing scheme. Ringing schemes are indeed likely the oldest “modern” citizen science scheme, where modernity reflects the intricate partnership between academic researchers and non-researcher citizen. In 1989, the Museum launched the program entitled “STOC” which translate into Temporal Survey of Common Birds. It is only in 2004 that the first significant scientific paper came out from the STOC program. But this was the start of a considerable expansion of monitoring programs. One factor was the concomitant emergence of the demand for biodiversity indicators ensuring considerable political interest for these monitoring schemes. This was also the time when citizen science started to become fashionable, as a tool to reconnect people to nature.