MonEco: On-campus species identification and localisation in an integrated framework for research and teaching


The Monash University Clayton Campus supports a diversity of native biota, water-bodies, and gardens with rare plant species. These habitats are key learning resources for people interested in the natural environment, with opportunities for long-term and in-depth monitoring. While information about those outdoor learning spaces and their resident species exists in internal and external databases, it is not provided in an efficient, regularly-updated at-hand tool. Further, although environmental studies are common on campus, students are not always able to accurately locate or identify their study species, resulting in misidentification and/or the loss of data. MonEco is a spatial biodiversity guide that centralises internal and external information, allows users to discover sites of biodiversity interest, locate and identify local and migratory species and report their sightings. New data are collected during teaching activities, during research projects and on-campus training and monitoring. The underlying aims of MonEco are to improve users’ learning experiences, enhance their identification skills and enable them to become more effective citizen scientists. In this seminar, Miss Nancy will present the mobile application of MonEco and its rationales. She is also interested in exploring the potential of Monash Malaysia campus as an outdoor teaching lab to provide teaching & learning opportunities on campuses and conservation to students and staff.

Speaker's Profile:

Nancy teaches biology units and manages the MonEco project at Monash University Clayton Campus. She is passionate about designing and delivering innovative science educational tools. With the creation of MonEco, she promotes interdisciplinary collaboration towards biodiversity protection. Her research foci include ecology, conservation and teaching and learning practice.