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Philipp is the founder of the SPOTTERON Citizen...

From Twitter

08 December 2021
Project reports
To continue with experiments in the lab, we needed more Japanese beetle larvae, a lot more. So we decided to go on a field trip on the 7th of December 2021.   It was the first train of the day which took me to Agroscope where we headed off to Mo...
23 November 2021
Pest management
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) are naturally occurring in the environment and make their living by infecting, killing and propagating in insects. They can be used as biological control agents against Popillia japonica larvae. The mass production is...
12 November 2021
On the 28th and 29th of October 2021 members of the IPM Popillia consortium came together at the TUM campus in Freising, Germany, for the yearly General Assembly of the IPM Popillia project. The event provided the possibility ...


In our Citizen Science design studio in Vienna, Austria, SPOTTERON creates an advanced Citizen Science platform for providing reliable and high-quality apps for crowd-based data collection and community engagement. Coming from various backgrounds, our team designs and develops interactive applications in close collaboration with research projects and provides support and ongoing maintenance during their whole runtime

In the IPM Popillia project, SPOTTERON is developing tools to help farmers and interested Citizen Scientists to monitor and collect data on the invasive P. japonica and other pests in a custom design phone App.

The IPM Citizen Science toolkit will open the project to the public and offer European citizens the possibility to contribute data via smartphone, tablet, and web browser and be active in the project. The strength of Citizen Science lies within both, monitoring on a broader scale, and communication and community-based engagement. The toolkit for the IPM-Popillia project will include the public via interactive smartphone apps for Android and IOS and a web application for the browser, which is also directly included in the project's website. Successful Citizen Science tools need to be accessible and allow broad, ongoing user participation. The project's apps are planned, therefore, not be restricted to Japanese beetle monitoring alone. They enable the user to contribute data to a broader array of agricultural pests and observation types about food safety, food production, and invasive species in Europe.

 Dissemination and User Participation

At SPOTTERON, we believe that Citizen Science is more than just a crowd-sourced data acquisition method. Therefore, the IPM Popillia Citizen Science toolkit will also focus on community building between citizens and project scientists. Implementing modern app features for communication, the app's reach, activity level, and data contribution will benefit and lead to better data quality. Other features include e-learning tools and content, which will teach users about food safety, invasive species and the impact of P. japonica and other invasive pests. The apps will integrate a prototypical machine learning component for species identification support, which provides classification suggestions for the Citizen Scientists after taking a photo in the field. Background information panels about the primary key species in the app, with P. japonica being one of them, will provide detailed descriptions, reference photos and facts for the users. The apps are multi-lingual and will be translated to all European languages to maximize the impact. The project's apps will be publicly released on the major App stores and promoted via the partner's channels and via Citizen Science online portals along with social media as part of the IPM-Popillia dissemination activities. To ensure ongoing app compatibility, security and stability in the fast-changing world of mobile technology, the smartphone apps and the interactive web app will be maintained and updated by SPOTTERON's team for at least five years after the project has ended.

 Our Team

Philipp J. Hummer

Design & Project Lead

Already since his childhood, Philipp has been fascinated by nature, especially by entomology and ecology. He had many aquariums and terrariums in his kids-room to observe and learn. Philipp's background and know-how of design come from over 20 years of practical experience.

Rainer Holzapfel

Development Lead

Rainer does not only speak code; he also studied Software Engineering & Internet Computing at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien). Rainer has been part of the SPOTTERON team from the very start. He also contributes to the design process.

Agnes Milewski

Media & Community

After studying languages in Vienna, Agnes worked for several NGOs. Being passionate about nature and its protection, she is an active participant in Citizen Science apps and takes care of community administration and user support at SPOTTERON. She is also an active musician, singer and songwriter.

Stefan Holzapfel


As a graduate of the software development master's program at the FH Technikum Vienna, Stefan is enthusiastic about cutting-edge web technologies. He joined the development team to support SPOTTERON in delivering the most innovative toolset for citizen scientists.

Dominik Essletzbichler

Design & communication

After attending the Masterclass for Graphic- and Communication design in Linz, AT, Dominik worked in advertising for 15 years before joining the Citizen Science App design team. With his all-round-experience, he completes the creative department of SPOTTERON.

Stefan Nachtnebel


Stefan, better known as "Steve", enjoys building high-quality systems and services working in the background. Coming from the telecommunication industry, he joined SPOTTERON to craft something for a good cause.
How to "breed" your own Japanese beetle
A review of the progress made by PESSL

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 EU Flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 861852