In a secret field in Northern Spain, hundreds of cricket burrows are monitored using CCTV. This is the first long-term study on the behaviour of wild insects, run by the Wild Crickets research group at the University of Exeter.
Cricket Tales is a citizen science project we designed and developed where players tag events from the cricket CCTV videos, contributing directly to research on insect personalities. The results will tell us whether some crickets are more active in the morning, while others are more active at night. This tells us how flexible their lifestyles are, and how insects might cope as our climate changes. At the end of each game, the latest results are displayed, including the data just contributed - making the player the first person to ever see the most recent research results.
We're now developing new teaching resources using Cricket Tales, focusing on parts of the Key Stage 3 curriculum including graphs and variation, with support from Janine Bisson (Education Projects Manager, STEM Coordinator, and Nuffield Coordinator South West, at the Cornwall Education Business Partnership and Cornwall Council) and Chris Bisson (Lecturer at Eden Project Learning).
The project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.