Why Professor and National Geographic Explorer Cagan Sekercioglu Uses Twitter

Çağan Şekercioğlu is a conservation ecologist, ornithologist, tropical biologist and nature photographer (check out his photos on Instagram). He was also named a National Geographic Explorer. His doctoral research focused on the causes and consequences of bird extinctions around the world.

“I started on Twitter in 2009, mainly to archive and share interesting articles on ecology, conservation and biodiversity that I was already emailing some friends and colleagues anyway. As a conservation ecologist, my motivation was professional and Twitter has increasingly become a part of the citizen science component of my research.

I’m still on Twitter for the education, outreach and sharing the beauty of the world’s biodiversity and wild places. As a National Geographic photographer, I also share my wildlife photography on Twitter, but I now mainly use Instagram for that. Social media is a critical part of my educational mission as a professor and conservationist. I rarely use social media personally but as an educational tool that can reach millions. Including my lab and my environmental organization KuzeyDoga, we have over 72,000 followers, which means as a scientist, educator and environmentalist I can reach millions of people to change hearts and minds. In the past 28 days, I had 101,000 Twitter impressions, so that’s a daily reach of 3600 people on my Twitter alone. Citizen science is a major component of my research, education and conservation work. For example, after seeing my Facebook video of greater sage-grouse mating display in Utah, previous dean of science Pierre Sokolsky was inspired to create the University of Utah Citizen Science Award. Twitter and other social media expands my reach greatly.

I tweet about scientific and popular articles on environment, ornithology, ecology, conservation and biodiversity; wildlife photos I have taken on my expeditions and travels; interesting world news, some humor and occasional photos of my avocado toast.

I follow scientific journals and organizations, especially in ornithology, ecology, conservation, as well as world news and some colleagues and intellectuals whose work I enjoy.”