ForBio invites applicants to the course Taxonomy and DNA barcoding of soil organisms: nematodes (Nematoda), mites (Acari), and springtails (Collembola). The course will be arranged at the NIBIO Svanhovd Research Station in Finnmark, Norway.
Soil organisms are one of the most diverse groups globally and they account for 25% of global biodiversity. Yet, large knowledge gaps exist particularly in northern regions of Eurasia that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Soil micro-and mesofaunas are generally much understudied and taxonomic groups such as nematodes, mites, and collembola are showing comparatively low levels of species identification rates. Therefore, morphological species identification combined with DNA barcoding is a critical step to develop soil biodiversity research and monitoring methods in these regions where elevated climate change might potentially lead to fundamental changes in species composition and diversity shifts in these groups. This course introduces participants to field methods, taxonomy, ecology, and morphological species identification of three groups of soil organisms that are critical to the functioning of northern ecosystems. In addition, an introduction to molecular species identification via DNA barcoding is provided and the role of both morphological and DNA-based approaches is discussed.
The following topics will be covered:
- The importance of soil organisms for ecosystem functioning and food webs.
- Common methods for the collection and extraction of soil organisms, including field collection of soil samples around NIBIO Svanhovd.
- Taxonomy and morphological species identification of three major soil organismic groups: nematodes (Nematoda), mites (Acari), and springtails (Collembola).
- The use of DNA-based methods for species identification.
The course programme is available here
Teachers: Cornelya Klütsch, NIBIO, email@example.com, Anna Seniczak, University Museum Bergen, firstname.lastname@example.org, Arne Fjellberg, email@example.com, Oleksandr Holovachov, Swedish Museum of Natural History, firstname.lastname@example.org, Galina Gusarova, TMU, email@example.com
Maximum number of participants: 16 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 ForBio members. Results of the selection process will be announced via e-mail shortly after the application deadline.
Target group: PhD students, MSc students, postdocs, researchers, consultants, government officials with relevant background in biology.
Working language: English
The schedule of the course and important practical information are available here.
Assignment and credits: The course is equivalent of 3 ECTS if an additional written report is completed after the course. The reports are graded with "Pass/Fail". ForBio will provide course certificates stating the number of credits to those who passed the exam. We can also provide course attendance certificates (without credits) for those who do not take/fail the exam.
Financial aid: Participation of the Norwegian-affiliated students/researchers will be covered by ForBio. Other applicants will need to secure their own funding to cover travel to Svanhovd field station (see more details on travel under the practical information), as well as accommodation and subsistence for the course duration.
Registration: Please fill in the online application here.
Find out about how to become a ForBio member/associate here.
Application deadline: May 15, 2022.