At a glance
Collect microorganisms for DNA analysis by Museum scientists.
Type of activity: Outdoors
Who can take part? Students (Key Stage 5+), science clubs, community groups
When? Registration is now closed
How long will it take? About 1 hour
More than 120 schools and community groups have joined in cutting-edge scientific research to uncover the diversity of microscopic life in urban environments.
Why we are doing the project
The Microverse project will discover which species are living on UK buildings and what factors affect their diversity.
While there's a lot of research exploring microbes inside our homes and on our bodies, little research has looked at the microbes living on the outside of our buildings.
Although invisible, microorganisms provide many ecosystem services: recycling nutrients, producing oxygen and digesting pollutants. Investigating which microorganisms are present in our built environments will help us better understand how they support and interact within our ecosystem.
Lead researcher Dr Anne Jungblut explains the laboratory methods Museum scientists are using to analyse the microbial samples collected by our citizen scientists:
How to take part
The sign-up deadline has now passed. We hope to run the research project again in future, so keep checking back or follow our citizen science blog for updates.
Thank you to everyone who took part. At the end of the project you will receive a research report summarising the results and findings of the whole project. We will also present key findings here.
Resources to help you take part
Participating schools received a free participation pack that included:
- full instructions
- all the equipment needed
- suggested lesson plans and supporting resources
Explore the UK coastline and submit your seaweed observations to help vital marine research.
How do human activities affect the ability of earthworms to create healthy, carbon-rich soils?
Students work alongside Museum scientists to generate DNA sequencing data.