Band together and study evolution in action

Published: 01 September 2008

2009 will mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the "Origin of Species".

Across the UK there will be large number of events and activities focussing on every area of Darwin's life, his science and his world. The Evolution MegaLab will be a part of these celebrations, not just in the UK but across Europe, by showing the public (of all ages) they can see evolution at work in the natural world around them.

Evolution MegaLab asks members of the public to contribute to a massive survey of banded snails in gardens and public open spaces right across Europe. Using the internet, people will be able to report their findings to the Megalab project, and they will receive personalised interpretations of their observations in their own language.

The project is supported by the Royal Society and the British Council; the Evolution MegaLab team have digitised over 10,000 historical samples from the British Isles and continental Europe. These data will be compared with samples collected by the general public, to test for evolutionary change in response to climate warming and changes in predation pressure over the last 80 years.

A test version of the Evolution MegaLab website in ten languages is live now, but the survey proper will launch in April 2009 to coincide with the start of the snail season in Darwin year.

The website is available at:

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