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Lunch Pitches with Tim Hofmeester and Gabrielle Beans

To encourage cross pollination of ideas between researchers from different disciplines, IceLab hosts interdisciplinary research lunches with the vision of allowing ideas to meet and mate. During the Lunch Pitch Season, the creative lunches take place at KBC every other Tuesday.

Place: KBCon Stora Focusrummet  (KBC Focus Environment KB.F3.01), KBC
Time: Tuesday 10 December at 12:00.


Sign up to get a free sandwich at the lunch pitch


Pitch 1: Tim Hofmeester: Education through citizen science: how to reach those that could learn the most?

Researcher at Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, SLU


Citizen science (CS), or the involvement on non-professional participants in science, is increasingly used as a method in several disciplines. One of the often mentioned benefits of CS is that participants are educated through learning by doing while contributing to research. As such, participation in an environmental CS project could be a way of educating the general public about environmental issues and increasing environmental literacy. However, participants in CS projects are often highly educated and equipped with a lot of knowledge about the subject, while it is difficult to attract participants that have lower education and less knowledge, while those could potentially learn most from participation.

The hundred dollar question is: how to reach and attract those participants?


Pitch 2: Gabrielle Beans: How to communicate CRISPR-Cas9 in a cabinet

Deputy Director at Curiosum, Communications Research Engineer at Icelab,  Umeå University


Science and society depend upon each other in so many ways, yet now there is more and more distrust of science. Vaccinations, global climate change, genetically modified organisms, all present challenges in science communication that need to be carefully considered when approaching the public. Gene editing, the current and emerging field brought on by the realization that the CRISPR-Cas9 system could be harnessed as a versatile biotechnological tool. This discovery is linked to Umeå University through one of the scientists to lead this discovery, Emmanuelle Charpentier, who was working in Umeå at the time. At Curiosum, Umeå’s new science centre, we want to honor that connection by creating exhibits related to CRISPR-Cas9 and related research taking place at Umeå University. I’m looking for researchers working within the field to brainstorm with me on how best to tell this story, in a physical exhibit I am in the initial development stages for. I’ll let you know some of the ideas we have had, the cabinet concept, and what you can do to help along the way.

About the Pitchers

Tim Hofmeester has this to say about his scientific and personal journey:

Seeing a pine marten in a Polish forest just after my 18th birthday changed my life for good. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to study mesocarnivores, and especially Mustelids! This newfound passion led me to do a lot of voluntary mammal research as a student. I wanted to make the study of mammals my profession, but it took a detour doing a PhD in disease ecology at Wageningen University, to get there. I now focus on mammal communities in Scandinavia and abroad, using citizen science and technological advances, such as camera traps and artificial intelligence, to better understand the influence of people on wildlife and vice versa. I strongly believe that we need to include humans in ecological theory and wildlife management and strive for a sustainable human-wildlife coexistence. Next to my research, I have a passion for folk music and dancing, poetry and photography.


Gabrielle Beans is a molecular ecologist turned science communicator.

Her PhD research in New Zealand focused on genetics of ancient and modern Adélie penguin populations. After her PhD, she reoriented herself towards delivering science more directly to the world, through environmental, educational, outreach and other communication programs. Since 2018, Gabrielle has been working with Icelab to improve the research environment’s communications and promote its role as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaborations, as well as collaborating with with Keith Larson of Umeå University’s Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) on the Arenas for Cooperation through Citizen Science (ARCS) project as a researcher developing guides for the use of technology in citizen science projects. In September 2019, Gabrielle took on the role of part time Deputy Director of Umeå’s new science centre, Curiosum, in addition to her other roles, where she is involved, among other things, in developing the scientific exhibits.



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