Linking Citizen Science to Epidemiological Models

WORKSHOP. Blanes 25-27. March 2019.




Frederic Bartumeus (Local Host, CSIC Spain)

Sander Koenraadt (WU, The Netherlands)

Beniamino Caputo (U. Sapienza, Italy)

Local Team / Co-organizers:

John RB Palmer, Roger Eritja, David Alonso, Santi Escartin


INTRODUCTION: Invasive mosquito data collection systems are moving from traditional surveillance, with oviposition and adult traps (e.g. ovitraps, BG-sentinels, sticky traps), and socio-ecological surveys, to massively networked citizen science by means of internet and smartphones. This opens a new opportunity to collect mosquito data in new ways and at an unprecedented level of detail, both in time and space. One critical aspect of citizen science programs is the so-called fitness for use, that is, the fine-tuning of data types, quality, and sampling strategies to address specific research and management purposes. Another challenge is exploit at best digitized information by aggregating large amounts of data from different sources and projects, each one with their own data characteristics (data acquisition methods, accuracy, etc).

Whether they involve minimal training and target a large population of potential volunteers, or require the acquisition of new skills and their application to a specific community and site of intervention, these and similar experiences suggest that innovations in citizen science can effectively enhance mosquito surveillance and, in the process, globalize datasets and create new channels of communication between experts and citizen in affected areas. However, what about the “science” these kind of data can provide? Can we improve models and predictions with citizen science data collection? How do we need to work out data quality, accuracy, and biases? Is it possible to combine authoritative and citizen mosquito-related datasets? How?

OBJECTIVES: The main purpose of this workshop is to identify the challenges of establishing direct links between citizen science data collection programs and epidemiological modelling, with particular emphasis in risk map development and outbreak forecasting. To do so, we will: (i) discuss and revise current data collection systems, both traditional and citizen science, (ii) illustrate potential biases in both systems and potential ways to combine different data types for research (e.g. data calibration, quality assessments, model validations), and (iii) introduce fundamental aspects of epidemiological models in order to discuss data collection “fitness for use” to epidemiological modelling.


  • Organizers will produce an opinion/review work, with explicit acknowledgement to COST ACTION funds and participants, with the outputs of this discussion to guide future and current citizen science programs towards more effective data collecting strategies for scientific modelling purposes.
  • We will also produce an open document with the main conclusions of our meeting. The document will be shared among all the AIM COST ACTION participants, and will be outreached in different web platforms of interest (e.g. ECSA, ECDC, COST ACTION).





Monday 25th
Tuesday 26th
Wednesday 27th
TOPIC Data Collection Types and Strategies Linking Data to Epidemiological Models Interoperability and Calibration
9:30-10:30 Attendants’  Introduction Short Talks Interoperability, Calibration
10:30-11:15 Topic Introduction Sampling Bias: Scales and Strategies Short Talks
11:15-11:45 Coffee Coffee Coffee
11:45-12:45 EU CitSci Programs Statistical Modelling (MaxENT,RF) Funding & Opportunities
12:45-13:15 ECDC and Authorized Data Mechanistic Modelling (Ross-McDonald) Synthesis
13:30-14:45 Lunch Lunch Lunch
15:00-16:30 Data Types, Goals, and Biases Linking CitSci to Epidemiological Models
16:30-17:00 Coffee Coffee
17:00-18:00 Synthesis Synthesis



1 Nadja Pernat Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Germany
2 Kelly Martinou Joint Services Health Unit, Ciprus
3 Tomas Montalvo Public Health Agency Barcelona, Spain
4 Jordi Figuerola Estación Biológica Doñana (CSIC), Spain
5 Miguel A. Miranda U.Illes Balears (Mallorca), Spain
6 Martina Ferraguti Estación Biológica Doñana (CSIC), Spain
7 Rafael Gutiérrez Estación Biológica Doñana (CSIC), Spain
9 Núria Busquets IRTA-CReSA, Spain
10 Sandra Talavera IRTA-CReSA, Spain
11 Beniamino Caputo U. Sapienza, Italy
12 Federico Filiponi Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Italy
13 Mattia Manica Fondazione Edmund Mach. Centro Ricerca e Innovatione, Italy
14 Helge Kampen Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Germany
15 Doreen Walther Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Germany
16 Francis Schaffner AVIA GIS. Consultancy, France
17 Beatriz Fernández Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain
18 Maria Jose Sierra Centro de Coordinación de Alertas y Emergencias Sanitarias, Spain
19 Ignacio Ruiz Centro de Investigación Biomédica de la Rioja, CIBIR, Spain
20 Sarah Delacour U. Zaragoza, Spain
21 Hidde Hofhuis Wageningen University (WUR), The Netherlands
22 Carla Sousa Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical (IHMT), Portugal
23 Frederic Simard Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), France
24 Jolyon Medlock Public Health England, UK
25 Christian Ries Musée national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN), Luxembourg
26 Kamil Erguler The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus
27 Francisco Collantes Universidad de Murcia, Spain
28 Jorge J. López Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain
29 Martin Brocklehurst ECSA, Global Mosquito Alert Consortium, UK
30 Aitana Oltra CEAB-CSIC, Spain
31 Roger Eritja CREAF, Spain
32 Santi Escartin Xatrac, Spain
33 David Alonso CEAB-CSIC, Spain
34 John RB Palmer U.Pompeu Fabra, Spain
35 Frederic Bartumeus CEAB-CSIC, Spain



The workshop will be held at the Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB), which belongs to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). For further information on the general research activity at the Center check the CEAB web page.