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and follow the project along!

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Hello EchidnaCSI participants!

One of our Honours students is currently working on their thesis. They hope to find out the best ways for citizen science projects like EchidnaCSI to communicate with their members. Hopefully this will help small projects get people interested and involved in their studies.

The title of this project is, ‘A picture or 1000 words? Science communication and engagement in the online age’ (HREC Approval Number: H-2021-017). For more information, contact Professor Frank Grutzner on

So if you have 15 minutes to spare, please take the time to fill out this survey. It would be much appreciated! Follow this link:

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Project update

It's a new year! We hope everyone had a great summer holiday. It has been a busy start to our year, we only announced reaching 10,000 submissions in December and we're already past 10,700 - so there's been a lot of echidna sightings this summer!
To top it off, our research group were involved in an international collaboration to publish the first echidna genome and Tahlia has submitted her PhD thesis! So there's lots to celebrate and discuss in this update.

Congratulations Tahlia!

In December 2020 Tahlia submitted her PhD thesis! If you don't know Tahlia, she is the leading force behind EchidnaCSI, which was developed by her and the EchidnaCSI team as a major part of her PhD. As well as designing the project, Tahlia has developed protocols to extract the DNA present in the echidna scats that are sent to us, she analyses the complex genetic data and is very active with the public engagement side of EchidnaCSI too.

All of Tahlia's thesis chapters have been sent for publishing, so we will let you all know when they are available if you're interested in seeing where all of your useful data and material has gone!

Echidnas in Aussie Summer

An echidna was found “having a great time” paddling around in this bucket of water! Have you spotted an echidna in water before? We usually get quite a few photos of echidnas sent to us over summer found in water buckets, bird baths, swimming pools, lakes and even beaches. However, this year has been a bit quiet on the echidna-in-water front. If you’ve got any fun snaps or videos let us know 🌊🤩

You wouldn’t think of echidnas as an animal you find at the beach, however, they spend quite a bit of time there especially in the summer! Echidnas have a much lower body temperature than most mammals and will seek out water to cool down when it gets too hot, so if you’re lucky you might see an echidna catching a wave 🏄‍♂️ 😉 Also fun fact - if an echidna is eating along coastal areas then their scats are also full of sand! 💩

First Echidna Genome Sequenced 

Members of the EchidnaCSI team were involved in an international collaboration to sequence the first echidna genome, alongside creating a very high quality platypus genome (the first platypus genome was published in 2008). Our lab head Professor Frank Grutzner was one of the driving forces for this collaboration, providing the physical material and expertise on echidna and platypus genetics and biology.

Having these reference genomes opens a whole world of possibilities for future research and will be a valuable resource for many years to come.

You can read the paper here! 

Thank You for Donating

We want to say a big THANK YOU to all of those who have donated to EchidnaCSI so far, in just a few months we have raised over $2,500, which is incredible and we are so grateful. Due to our University's policy, the generous donators have remained anonymous to us, but we would love to thank you personally. So if you have donated, or if you do in the future, please do email us at

Donations are going towards our bushfire recovery work, as well as continuing our laboratory work on echidna scats, providing outreach material and opportunities, and making improvements to our app. Most importantly, these donations will help in our fight for conserving echidnas!

If you would like to donate, please click the button below 🥰

Donate Here

Photo of the Month!

If this isn’t the sweetest face you’ve ever seen I don’t know what is! 😇 What an incredible shot this was, submitted from the outer suburbs of Melbourne.

Keep them coming!

A big thank you to everyone who continues to follow EchidnaCSI and contributing to our research.

If you have any questions about the project or echidnas please don't hesitate to contact us - either through email or our social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

All the best, from EchidnaCSI

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