ForBio and MEDUSA course: Evolution and Diversity of Meiobenthos

The University Museum of Bergen (University of Bergen, Norway), Moscow State University (Russia), and ForBio (Research School in Biosystematics) jointly offer an International Course on Evolution and Diversity of Meiobenthos.

Course funding

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

Course scope

                                      Image: G. Kolbasova, MSU

Meiofauna (organisms with size between 32 μm and 500 μm) plays fundamental role in marine ecosystems both in the coastal areas and in the deep sea being one of the most abundant and diverse components of marine benthic communities. The course aims to provide students  with knowledge on morphology and diversity in main groups of marine meiofauna, evolutionary processes such as progenesis and miniaturization taking place in the interstitial environment, and ecological and biogeographical aspects in meiobenthic studies.

The course will consist of a 4-day symposium with keynote lectures and student presentations and  3 hands-on workshops. 

Participation in the symposium is free and open for everyone after registration. Workshops will have limited number of participants (up to 14). Selection of the workshop participants will be based on the information provided in the registration form. Students presenting a talk during the symposium will be prioritized in the selection process for the workshops.

Presenting participants and applicants to the workshops should register as ForBio members or associates. Read how to become a ForBio member/associate here.

Assignment and credits

Students that wish to earn credits are expected to attend all 4 days of the symposium, however the credits will be given only to those who either present a talk or participate in a workshop. 

Presenting a talk during the symposium is equivalent to 1 ECTS.

Participation in each workshop is equivalent to 1 ECTS if the student delivers the home assignment which should be approved by the workshop instructors.

Course venue

The course will be taught online using Zoom. The links will be provided to the registered participants.

Language

English

Symposium 

September 13-16, 2021

The symposium will include keynote lectures and student presentations. We also plan two virtual social events and a discussion session. The topic of the latter will be decided based on the received contributions from the students.

Student presentations

All course participants are invited to submit contributions to present their research. You will be asked to upload your abstract as a Word file when registering for the course. Please use the provided abstract template to format your abstract. All contributions will be oral. Talks will have 10-15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions.

The selection of student presentations will be based on the evaluation of the abstracts by the symposium committee. Presenting students will be prioritized for the workshop participation. The three best student presentations will be awarded with prizes.

Keynote speakers

Torsten Struck, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

Vadim Mokievsky, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences

Alexei Tchesunov, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Moscow State University

Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, Center of Natural History, University of Hamburg

Rony Huys, Natural History Museum, London

Martin Vinther Sørensen, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen

Jon Norenburg, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Katrine Worsaae, University of Copenhagen

Lesya Garlitska, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences

Alexandra Savchenko, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Moscow State University

Anna Zhadan, White Sea Biological Station, Moscow State University

Daria Portnova, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences

Alejandro Martinez Garcia, Water Research Institute (IRSA), National Research Council of Italy (CNR)

Katharina Jörger, SNSB-Bavarian State Collection for Zoology

Glafira Kolbasova, White Sea Biological Station, Moscow State University

Alexander Tzetlin, White Sea Biological Station, Moscow State University

 

Workshop 1: Basics of Adobe Illustrator - how to create a vector line drawing

September 17, 2021

Instructor: Anna Mikhlina (MSU)

Scope: The aim of this workshop is to introduce the Adobe Illustrator workspace and to explore some of the options for creating vector drawings of animal objects for scientific illustrations. The workshop aims at the beginners who have little or no experience with Adobe Illustrator and who want to learn a set of tools most frequently used in preparing scientific illustrations for publication in peer reviewed journals.

                                                                        Image: A. Mikhlina, MSU

Requirements: All workshops participants are required to have Adobe Illustrator installed on their private computers (a free 7-day trial version is available on Adobe website). Workshop organizers do not provide access to an Illustrator license. We will not be able to support practical exercises in any other free software suitable for making vector graphics.

All participants should have a graphics tablet (preferred but not required) or a mouse. Using a touchpad only is not sufficient.

Content: Each participant will receive a photo or a sketch of a meiofaunal organism that will be used as a starting point in creating a vector line drawing. We will combine short talks and demonstrations with practical exercises that the participants follow along and complete during the workshop.

Learning outcome: At the end of this one-day workshop, you will be able to used basic Adobe Illustrator tools  and will create your own simple line drawing of a meiofaunal organism.

Quota: Max 14 participants. Participants will be selected based on the registration form, which includes a paragraph for motivation and importance of the workshop for your study/work. Priority will be given to MSc and PhD students affiliated with Norwegian or Russian universities/institutes. Students applying for the workshop are also encouraged to present a talk during the symposium since this will be one of the additional selection criteria.

Workshop 2: Taxonomic identification of harpacticoids – benthic copepods par excellence

September 20-21, 2021

Instructor: Rony Huys (Natural History Museum, London)

Teaching assistants: Alexandra Savchenko (MSU)

Scope: The objective of the workshop is to provide participants with a comprehensive and state-of-the-art introduction to the diversity, morphology, systematics and biology of benthic, planktonic and symbiotic harpacticoid copepods, including training in using identification keys. The workshop will cover marine, brackish and freshwater forms as well as their interactions with invertebrate and vertebrate hosts.

         Image: G. Kolbasova, MSU

Content: The workshop will run over two days and will comprise an introduction to the main harpacticoid families in the form of one or several lectures, a practical session on how to identify them to species level using tabular keys, and informal, problem-solving discussions. Flexibility will be maintained to encourage the development of an intense group dynamic through interactions between participants and workshop organizers. The lectures will provide an overview of harpacticoid copepod morphology and diversity, and introduce participants to the range of body forms and appendage types across the group. Trainees will be introduced to the standardized terminology used in the description and identification of free-living and symbiotic harpacticoid copepods. A brief overview of the basic functional morphology of the reproductive, locomotory and feeding systems will also be presented, and the importance of the various sensory structures encountered in copepods will be discussed. If time permits, participants can present material that is of special interest or significance in their own work – particularly their problem species – in the form of graphic information (photos, line drawings etc.). As this is an on-line event the practical session focusing on actual identification will necessarily not be based on real specimens but on good quality illustrations of undisclosed species. Relevant identification keys will be provided.

Learning outcome: We envisage that upon successful completion of the workshop, participants will have familiarized themselves with the major harpacticoid families, significant morphological shortcuts facilitating identification, and will be able to distinguish between females and males, and recognize the different life cycle stages in the postembryonic development of harpacticoid copepods.

Quota: Max. 14 participants. Applications will be selected based on previous experience of working with copepods, current project, what one expects from the workshop and how it will advance your current research. Priority will be given to MSc and PhD students affiliated with Norwegian or Russian universities/institutes. Students applying for the workshop are also encouraged to present a talk during the symposium since this will be one of the additional selection criteria.

Workshop 3: Introduction to phylogenetic methods

September 22-23, 2021

Instructor: Torsten Struck (UiO)

Teaching assistants:  Miguel Meca (UiB), Nataliya Budaeva (UiB)

Scope: The aim of this workshop is to provide an introduction in the phylogenetic methods for beginners. Additional, we want to make you more familiar with the general analytical steps required in a phylogenetic analysis and the minimum standard expected from phylogenetic analyses, even be it in a different research field like ecology, developmental biology or genomics.

Content: As a starting point, the workshop will assume that you in some way got your assembled, quality-checked sequences of interest already. Sequencing strategies and processing reads from sequencing are not covered. We will begin with learning how we can retrieve sequences from public databases such NCBI GenBank to compile dataset for the research question at hand. The next steps will then be to learn how to align the sequences and check the quality of the alignment including masking strategies. Before the actual phylogenetic analysis, two different datasets will be combined into one. Finally, we will reconstruct a Maximum Likelihood tree using IQtree including bootstrap values and determination of the best model and the partition scheme. If time allows, we will also conduct a Bayesian analysis.

Learning outcome: At the end of this two-day workshop, you will have learned about the different steps to consider when doing a phylogenetic analysis and which resources are available for this. You will also have gotten a first introduction in how to conduct such analyses. However, the workshop is intended only as an introduction and hence cannot provide more than a starting point.

Quota: Max 14 participants. Participants will be selected based on the registration form, which includes a paragraph for motivation and importance of the workshop for your study/work. Priority will be given to MSc and PhD students affiliated with Norwegian or Russian universities/institutes. Students applying for the workshop are also encouraged to present a talk during the symposium since this will be one of the additional selection criteria.

 

Please register for participation in the course here.

Registration deadline: August 16, 2021

Contact  Nataliya Budaeva (nataliya.budaeva@uib.no) - ForBio coordinator and Alexandra Savchenko (as.savchenko1@gmail.com) - coordinator from MSU

Published June 16, 2021 11:20 AM - Last modified July 22, 2021 5:17 PM