Training in Tropical Taxonomy

2006 Courses

Taxonomy and Ecology of Caribbean Sponges

Sponges

Sponsored by SENACYT

Dates: July 17-28, 2006
Instructors:   

Dr. Cristina Diaz
Smithsonian Institution
CV in PDF

Dr. Robert Thacker
University of Alabama at Birmingham
CV in PDF

Organizer:  Dr. Rachel Collin
STRI

 

In July 2006, 13 students representing 9 countries participated in a 12-day course on the taxonomy and ecology of Caribbean sponges. This course worked synergistically with the Smithsonian Institution's DNA Barcode initiative. Lecture material included discussions of the current taxonomy of marine sponges and tunicates, an overview of the morphological characters that differentiate families, recent developments of cytological characters, and applications of molecular systematics to questions in taxonomy. Field surveys of mangrove and reef communities allowed students to gain experience with field identification and with several survey techniques. During the class instructors and students collected multiple samples of 100 sponge species with the goal of providing proof of concept for rapidly and efficiently generating high quality DNA extractions for DNA barcoding as samples are identified by experts at the point of collection. Students conducted independent projects on assaying the diversity of cryptic interstitial sponge fauna, diversity of sponges of mangrove islands and the development of resources on sponge biology for educators.

Particpants

Course participants

 

Student   Information
 

Georgia Southern University- USA

I am studying the chemical ecology and biochemistry of sponges from Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, a temperate hard-bottom reef off the coast of Georgia. In particular, I am interested in the defensive chemicals that these sponges use to deter predators. I am using a combination of analytical chemistry to quantify the concentration of the these compounds and field and laboratory feeding assays to investigate their deterrent ability.


Renata Goodridge

rgoodridge@uwichill.edu.bb
 

University of the West Indies - Barbados

I am the coordinator of field projects for CERMES, University of the West Indies, including coordination of and technical support for students and staff. As a marine scientist and the chief diver for research and contracted work through CERMES and the Office of Research, I have been involved in coral reef assessment projects throughout the Caribbean for over 15 years. My favorite underwater creatures are sponges, and so I find myself delving ever deeper into the sponges of Barbados' varied reef systems.

Ivan Alberto Ramirez
iramirez4@hotmail.com
  Venezuela
Lisa Becking
lebecking@gmail.com
  Netherlands
Estrella Villamizar
evillami@hotmail.com
  Venezuela
Alex Mercado
amolinapr@yahoo.com
  Puerto Rico
Steve Kimble
sjkimble@gmail.com
  USA
Lianna Jarecki
LJarecki@email.hlscc.edu.vg
  British VI
Gisele Lobo Hajdu
lobohajdu@oi.com.br
  Brazil
Matthew Forrest
mjforrest@ucsd.edu
  USA
Christina Elmore
christinaelmore@islandschool.org
  USA
Maria Amaro
meamaro_2000@yahoo.com
  Venezuela
Lorenzo Alvarez
lorenzoalvarezf@yahoo.com
  Mexico

Course Materials

Please access this page for reprints.