Training in Tropical Taxonomy

2012 Courses

Taxonomy and Ecology of Caribbean Sponges

July 16 - July 30
Bocas del Toro Research Station

Dr. Robert Thacker
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Robert Thacker

Dr. Cristina Diaz
Smithsonian Institution.
Cristina Diaz


Dr. Rachel Collin

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Sponsored by

National Science Foundation

This course is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0829986 to R. W. Thacker, "PorToL - The Porifera Tree of Life Project." Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Course Description

The course is aimed at graduate students, post-docs, or professionals who are interested in learning and applying knowledge about the diversity and ecology of one of the most conspicuous organisms in tropical benthic marine ecosystems. The students participating in this course will:

This course seeks to give the participant the necessary tools to continue studies on the taxonomy and /or ecology of sponges. The course will last ten days, with four days dedicated to taxonomic training, including the characteristics and identification of the various sponge orders. Common taxa at Bocas del Toro will be identified to species. Four days will consider the general ecology of sponges, including topics such as feeding, reproduction, competition, chemical ecology, and biogeography. We will conduct surveys of sponges at several field sites near the Bocas Research Station to collect baseline data for conservation and for future studies. The remaining five days will be dedicated to an independent project, and its presentation. Daily activities will include: morning and afternoon lectures, a field trip, lab work, and discussion sections or talks.


List of participants