ForBio and STI course: Biosystematics, ecology and applied science of flies and midges (Insecta: Diptera)

ForBio and the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative invite applicants to “Biosystematics, ecology and applied science of flies and midges (Insecta: Diptera)”. The course will be held at the charming and well-equipped Sletvik field station, about two hours drive from Trondheim, Norway.

Photo: Torbjørn Ekrem, NTNU University Museum, CC-BY-SA 4.0.

The order Diptera is one of the most abundant and diverse groups of insects. Dipterans are distributed all over the planet and have shown a remarkable ability to adapt to all kinds of environments, even marine habitats. In this course, we will dive into the world of Diptera and give participants the theoretical background and practical experience in collection, preservation, identification and analysis of flies and midges. The course will involve field and lab work in addition to lectures on a variety of topics related to Diptera systematics, biology and diversity.

The following themes will be covered:

  • Effective sampling of Diptera (traps, baits and techniques)
  • Preservation techniques and labelling
  • Databasing and online resources
  • Taxonomy and systematics of dipteran families
  • Phylogeny and biogeography
  • DNA barcoding and molecular identification
  • Medical, veterinary and forensic dipterology
  • Ecology and ecosystem services

The course is suitable for students and early-career researchers that want to learn more about this fascinating group of insects. Basic background knowledge of insects and the characteristics of major groups (orders) is necessary in order to fully appreciate the course.



Patrycja Dominiak is an experienced entomologist focussing on alpha taxonomy and biodiversity of extant and fossil biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Having both her educational and work experience background from Poland, she is currently working at the University of Tromsø. Patrycja is a sub-editor in Zootaxa and co-author of the recently published “Catalog of the Biting Midges of the World (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)”.

Torbjørn Ekrem is professor of biosystematics and curator of entomology at the NTNU University Museum in Trondheim. His taxonomic expertise lies within the family Chironomidae and he has considerable experience with molecular systematics and DNA barcoding of multiple organism groups.

Emily Hartop is a specialist on phorid flies and has spent the last four years working on the evolution, discovery, and spatiotemporal distribution of the Swedish fauna. She is particularly interested in developing methodologies for the study of hyperdiverse taxa, including large-scale barcoding and integrative taxonomy.

Trude Magnussen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Natural History Museum in Oslo. She is an entomologist and has primarily been working with integrative taxonomy, DNA barcoding and systematics. Her taxonomic expertise is mainly on the Diptera family Mycetophilidae, but she has also worked with parasitic wasps and bird lice.

Thomas Pape is associate professor and curator of Diptera at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. He works primarily on the taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny and evolution of calyptrate flies but is also spending time on zoological nomenclature. He has extensive field experience from most parts of the world.

Elisabeth Stur is researcher and ForBio coordinator at the NTNU University Museum in Trondheim. She is an entomologist and has been working with integrative taxonomy, biogeography and DNA barcoding. Her taxonomic expertise lies within the Diptera family Chironomidae, and has also worked on biting midges and water mites.

Frode Ødegaard is associate professor at the NTNU University Museum in Trondheim. He has extensive experience with entomological projects on biodiversity, taxonomy and community ecology in Scandinavia as well as in Central America and Australia. He is a specialist in Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Regarding Diptera he has also worked on the Norwegian fauna of lower Brachycera, Syrphidae, Conopidae and Tachinidae.  


Maximum number of participants: 12 students, in case of more applicants, participants will be selected based on the scientific, educational and/or professional merit, motivation and usefulness of the course for the applicants, with priority given to ForBio members. Results of the selection process will be announced via e-mail shortly after the application deadline.

Target group: PhD students, master students, postdocs, researchers, consultants, government officials with relevant background in biology.

Working language: English.

Assignment and credits: The course is equivalent to 3 ECTS. A written exam will follow the lessons at Sletvik. ForBio will provide certificates for those who successfully pass the exam.

Registration: Please fill in the online application form here. There is no course fee for ForBio members or associates. Travel is covered for ForBio members based at Norwegian institutions. Joint transport from Trondheim will be organized by ForBio.

Find out about how to become a ForBio member/associate here.

Application deadline: May 30, 2021

Contact: Elisabeth Stur, ForBio, for more information.

Published Apr. 13, 2021 4:11 PM - Last modified Apr. 22, 2021 1:11 PM