ForBio and NorHydro course: Diversity, Systematics and Biology of Hydrozoa

[This course has been rescheduled to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.]

The University Museum of Bergen (University of Bergen, Norway), Artsdatabanken project NorHydro, and ForBio (Research School in Biosystematics) jointly offer an International Course on Diversity, Systematics and Biology of Hydrozoans

Course financial support

Ventromma halecioides and Bougainvillia sp.
Pictures: J.J. Soto, NorHydro

The course is co-financed by ForBio, project NorHydro (Norwegian Marine Benthic Hydrozoans – funded by the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre), 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

Hydrozoans are a common and widespread group of cnidarians with high economic and ecological importance in aquatic environments. The group includes hydromedusae and hydrocorals, siphonophores and hydroids, in a taxon highly diverse in terms of life-cycle strategies, ecological roles, and habitats. In this course, we aim to provide the participants with an overview of the diversity of the group, as well as to offer a unique opportunity to get state-of-the-art knowledge in hydrozoan biology and hands-on experience in laboratory and field work with these animals.

Leuckartiara octona and Solmundella bitentaculata. Pictures: HYPNO
Leuckartiara octona and Solmundella bitentaculata.
Pictures: HYPNO

By combining field and lab work with specialized lectures (addressing various theoretical questions in hydrozoan systematics, ecology, and evolution), the course will provide students with tools for the study of hydrozoans under ecological and evolutionary frameworks. We will cover both the benthic and planktonic hydrozoans, including jellyfish and polyps and giving the students basic taxonomic and methodological skills that will allow them to implement specific sampling protocols best suited for different habitats and taxa. After the course, the participants will have the necessary knowledge and skills to identify relevant research questions in hydrozoan biology, plan and conduct a small study focused on these organisms, and identify the most common hydrozoan species occurring in the North Sea and Eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Learning outcomes

  • Become familiar with the diversity and diagnostic characters of the main hydrozoan taxa, both in benthos and plankton.
  • Acquire in-depth understanding of the modern systematics, phylogeny and evolution of Hydrozoa.
  • Gain hands-on experience in identification of hydroids, hydromedusae and siphonophores, including the analysis of cnidome and the use of current scientific literature.
  • Learn varied sampling and rearing techniques for different groups of hydrozoans in the marine environment.

Course venue

Lensia conoidea eudoxia and Physophora hydrostatica. Pictures: HYPNO
Lensia conoidea eudoxia and Physophora hydrostatica. Pictures: HYPNO

The location of the Espegrend Marine Biological Station in the proximity of deep and shallow Norwegian fjords (as well as close to Bergen airport and within a short drive to the city centre) will provide access to a diverse marine hydrozoan fauna from benthic and pelagic environments, while keeping the logistics of the course on track. The station has excellent laboratory and accommodation facilities and is well equipped with aquaria, an auditorium, stereomicroscopes, and running sea water.

Teachers (to be confirmed for 2021)

Luis Martell – University Museum, University of Bergen, Norway

Aino Hosia – University Museum, University of Bergen, Norway

Joan Josep Soto Àngel – Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Norway

Peter Schuchert – Natural History Museum of Geneva, Switzerland

Igor Kosevich – Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Marta Ronowicz – Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Sofia Pyataeva – Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia


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.

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 2019 and are subject to change.

Financial support

ForBio members and associates from Norway and limited number of Russian participants enrolled in a MSc or a PhD program are supported in full, including travel. Participants from other countries or outside academia may apply for financial support. Decision on full or partial support will be announced in one week after the application deadline.

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.



Assignment and credits

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

Contact  Luis Martell ( for course content and general logistics or Nataliya Budaeva ( - ForBio coordinator for practicalities. 

Published Aug. 21, 2019 3:03 PM - Last modified Feb. 9, 2021 12:39 PM