Margaret Kosmala

Margaret Kosmala

Graduat Student, University of Minnesota, Ecology
Margaret Kosmala

I am finishing up my Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of Minnesota while on a Smithsonian fellowship at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. I study the effects of human disturbance (agriculture, biodiversity loss, introduced disease, and climate change) on ecosystems. At the Smithsonian, for example, I’m looking at the effects of climate warming on prairie insect community structure.   I have a B.S. in Computer Science from Brown University. My computer expertise has led to some exciting collaborations, including Snapshot Serengeti, a citizen science project that launched in December. At SnapshotSerengeti.org, my collaborators and I ask volunteers to identify the animals in photographs taken by automatic cameras set up in the Serengeti. With a million images coming in per year, we need our volunteers to do the science, but we also want to help them understand the ecological context of our project and the process of science itself. Over 15,000 people have visited our site and we communicate regularly with a core group of several hundred volunteers via a dedicated forum, a blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Research Interests