ForBio and UiB course: Systematics and Evolution of Marine Invertebrates

This course is offered jointly by ForBio and the University of Bergen (UiB)

Course scope

Systematics and Evolution of Marine Invertebrates» is a voyage through the tree-of-life of metazoans offering a comprehensive overview of the diversity of invertebrate animals (phyla), morphological traits, and latest hypotheses of evolutionary relationships based on molecular phylogenetics. A suit of laboratory activities gives students a truly hands-on experience and opportunity to explore the morphology of a large ensemble of major representatives of the Animal Kingdom, through the observation of life and preserved specimens, anatomical dissections, interpretation of anatomical slides, and optical microscopy.

Credit: Arthur Anker,

Learning outcomes

  • To describe the morphology and anatomy of the different phyla of invertebrate animals and how they are adapted to the living environment.
  • Acquire knowledge on taxonomy and phylogeny of marine animals, from sponges to protochordates.
  • Explain the concepts and terms that underlie phylogenetic classifications and hypotheses.
  • Acquire competences on basic anatomical dissection and drawing techniques.
  • Acquire competences to understand and discuss conflictive hypotheses on the evolution of the Metazoa tree-of-life.
  • Develop a critical attitude towards scientific literature (papers).
  • Understand the dynamics of the scholar process that underlies the "making" of Science.

Find preliminary course schedule here (to be updated).

Course venue

The course will take place in the teaching labs of the Biological Institute, University of Bergen. Each student will have a personal stereomicroscope and a compound microscope, study materials and dissecting tools will be provided. Students are expected to bring own lab journals suitable for zoological drawings (high quality white paper), pencils and erasers.


Prof. Manuel Malaquias (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway; course coordinator)

Ass. Prof. Nataliya Budaeva (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway; course coordinator)

Prof. Andreas Hejnol (University of Jena, Germany / University of Bergen, Norway)

Ass. Prof. Aino Hosia (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway)

Dr. Luis Martell (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway)

Prof. Elena Temereva (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia)

Dr. Nina Mikkelsen (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway)

Ass. Prof. Andreas Altenburger (The Arсtic University of Norway)

Prof. Henrik Glenner (University of Bergen, Norway)

Dr. Kenneth Meland (University of Bergen, Norway)

Ass. Prof. Nicolas Straube (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway)

Dr. Mohammed Ahmed (Natural History Museum of Stockholm, Sweden)

Dr. Antonina Kremenetskaia (P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia)

Dr. Jon Hestetun (NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS, Norway)

Dr. Francisca Carvalho (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway)

Teaching assistants

Monisha Bharate, PhD candidate (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway)

Miguel Meca, PhD candidate (University Museum of Bergen, UiB, Norway)


The course is organizes jointly by ForBio and the University of Bergen (UiB). Total number of students: 20. Maximum 10 students can apply via ForBio. UiB students must apply for a place in the BIO232 course through UiB. ForBio applicants will be evaluated 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

Financial support

ForBio members (MSc and PhD students) from Norway are supported in full, including travel and shared accommodation in Bergen. Local transportation and food are not covered but provided accommodation will have cooking facilities. ForBio associates and members outside Norway are not supported, but we can advise on cheap accommodation options in Bergen. 



Assignment and credits

The course is equivalent to 5 ECTS (includes full attendance and lab journal assessment). ForBio will provide certificates for those successfully completed the course assignment.

Please apply for the course here.

Application deadline: June 17th, 2022

Contact  Nataliya Budaeva ( - ForBio coordinator in Bergen.

Published Feb. 25, 2022 3:56 PM - Last modified July 18, 2022 10:50 AM