ForBio and MEDUSA course: Zooplankton Communities – Taxonomy and Methods

ForBio (Research School in Biosystematics), University Museum of Bergen, and the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences jointly offer an International Course on Zooplankton Communities – Taxonomy and Methods.

Course scope

                                                        Photo: L. Martel

This course combines field and lab work with lectures to provide students with tools for studying zooplankton community composition. The course aims to give the students basic taxonomic skills, as well as methodological knowledge that will allow them to choose zooplankton sampling protocols best suited for their specific purposes and critically evaluate published studies. Specialist lectures will introduce important zooplankton groups (e.g. copepods, euphasiids, amphipods and other crustaceans, chaetognaths, pelagic tunicates, cnidarians, ctenophores and meroplankton). Live and fixed samples collected during the course will be used for supervised taxonomy work in the lab. Various sampling methods will be introduced in theory and during sampling trips with a small research vessel. Traditional net based sampling and novel optical methods will be compared. Various approached to processing the retrieved samples will be introduced and evaluated, and pros and cons of common fixatives will be discussed. After the course, students should have the necessary skills to plan and conduct a small zooplankton survey, as well as an understanding of how the chosen sampling and processing methods can cause bias and affect the results.

Learning outcomes

  • Learn different sampling protocols and other types of documentation of zooplankton diversity and abundance
  • Learn how to work with live and fixed specimen/samples of zooplankton organisms
  • Become familiar with diversity and identification techniques of main zooplankton taxa
  • Obtain knowledge on main types of planktonic larvae

Course venue

Espegrend Marine Biological Station has excellent laboratory and accommodation facilities. The station is located close to Bergen airport (Flesland) and is also within a short drive to the city centre, where the main University Museum of Bergen facilities are located.


Aino Hosia - University of Bergen

Ksenia Kosobokova - Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences

Sanna Majaneva - Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Elena Temereva - Moscow State University

Luis Martell - University of Bergen

Joan Soto Àngel  - University of Bergen

Alexander Semenov - Moscow State University

Elizaveta Ershova - UiT - the Arctic University of Norway


Min 12, max 20 students. Participants will be selected based on the registration form, which includes a paragraph for motivation and importance of the course for your study/work.

Priority will be given to the participants from Russia and Norway, as required by the funding rules. Participants from other countries may also apply, they will be accepted if there will be vacant places.

Course fee

There is no course fee required from ForBio members or associates.  Find out about how to become a ForBio member/associate here.

Accommodation costs

Shared accommodation (double rooms with a private bathroom) - NOK150/night; bench fee - NOK50/day, bed linen and towels are provided - prices are from 2018 and are subject to change.

Financial support

The course is co-financed by the Cooperation Programme between Norway and Russia “Multidisciplinary EDUcation and reSearch in mArine biology in Norway and Russia (MEDUSA)”, funded by the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education – DIKU

ForBio members and associates from Norway and Russian participants enrolled in a MSc or a PhD program are supported in full, including travel. 

Accommodation is covered for non-Norwegian ForBio members (i.e. MSc and PhD students from other Scandinavian countries)

Meals are covered for all course participants.


Travel to and from Bergen will be arranged by the University of Bergen for Norwegian ForBio members and associates and Russian participants enrolled in a MSc or a PhD program. Other participants should arrange travel  themselves.

Transfer from/to the Bergen airport (Flesland) will be arranged for all course participants at no cost.

Students are expected to arrive on April 25th and depart on May 5th. Working days with full time classes will be April 26-30 and May 2-4. 1st of May will be a half day with classes until 12:00.


Participants are requested to arrange own travel/medical insurance valid in Norway. Non-Norwegian participants should send the proof of the insurance to the course organizers prior the course.


English, with limited support in Russian.

Assignment and credits

The course is equivalent to 3 ECTS. ForBio will provide certificates for those successfully completed the course assignment.


Please fill in the online application here

Application deadline February 15th 2019

Results announced by e-mail by February 22nd 2019

Contact Nataliya Budaeva ( - ForBio coordinator

Published Dec. 19, 2018 12:51 PM - Last modified Feb. 18, 2019 5:47 PM