Training in Tropical Taxonomy

2011 Courses

Pan American Advanced Studies Institute: Advanced Tunicate Biology: Integrating Modern and Traditional Techniques for the Study of Ascidians

In Memoriam
Charles Lambert

Charles Lambert
Sadly due to his untimely death in early June, Charley was unable to attend and we dedicate this course to his memory.


Participating Experts   Information
Dr. Rosana Rocha
Dr. Rosana Rocha
Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil
  Full professor, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil - has 15 years of experience with ascidian taxonomy, especially in the West Atlantic. She has conducted numerous ascidian taxonomy classes for graduate students, including two at Bocas del Toro Research Station. She has also coordinated the Zoology and the Ecology and Conservation Graduate programs of her University. Dr. Rocha is an associate editor of the biodiversity database World Register of Marine Species (WORMs) and is the author or co-author of over 40 publications on ascidians, encrusting community ecology, bioinvasions and educational materials.
Dr. Euichi Hirose
Dr. Euichi Hirose
University of the Ryukyus, Japan
  Professor at University of the Ryukyus, Japan – has 25 years of experience on ascidian biology, especially on the colonial species in temperate and tropical waters in Japan. He is a microscopist and has expertise in self-non-self recognition, photosymbiosis and tunic function and anatomy. He is the author or co-author of over 80 publications primarily on ascidians.
Xavier Turon
Xavier Turon
Spanish Research Council (CSIC), Spain
  Spanish Research Council (CSIC), Spain - has been working on ascidians for the last 25 years. He has studied ascidian taxonomy using both traditional and molecular techniques, and also worked on ascidian reproductive biology, population dynamics, chemical defense and population genetics. He has identified ascidians worldwide for several institutions, and is a permanent consultant for PharmaMar SA (Madrid). He has taught invertebrate zoology for 20 years at the University of Barcelona. He has supervised 11 doctoral theses, 4 on ascidians, and published 80 papers and chapters on ascidians
Billie Swalla
Dr. Billie Swalla
(University of Washington)
  Professor of Biology and Friday Harbor Laboratories at the University of Washington, USA – is a leading expert on the evolution of development in ascidians as well as being at the forefront of recent research on tunicate phylogenetics and genomics. She has taught actively in marine laboratory field courses for over 10 years in Comparative Invertebrate Embryology, Evolution and Development, and Chordate Origins. She has special expertise in the stolidobranch ascidians, especially the molgulids ascidians. She has had two Ph.D. students who have established their own labs, working on ascidians - Dr. Brad Davidson at the University of Arizona and Dr. Federico Brown, another co-instructor in the course. Dr. Swalla is an Associate Editor of the Biodiversity database World Register of Marine Species (WORMs) for tunicates and hemichordates.
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Federico Brown
Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
  Professor at the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia – leads research in evolutionary and developmental biology of invertebrate species, with a particular focus on regeneration and budding processes of colonial tunicates. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, and has teaching experience in field and marine stations. He has authored several articles and reviews about stem cells, regeneration and precursor lineages in ascidians.  
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Amy Driskell
(DNA barcoding) Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA
  Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA. Driskell coordinates and directs the DNA barcoding program at the Smithsonian Institution and has a great deal of experience working with the DNA of animals and plants. She has successfully DNA barcoded ascidians, sponges, and red, green and brown algae collected from Bocas del Toro, and has developed methods for the field application of DNA methods for multiple groups of organisms. She has also developed the bioinformatics framework to track, analyze, and transfer the tens of thousands of DNA barcode sequences produced annually in her laboratory.
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Steve Paton
STRI, Panamá
  Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama – Leads STRI’s Office of Bioinformatics which is responsible for the dissemination of STRI’s scientific results through online databases, GIS support, and dissemination of information to the public.
Dr. Gretchen Lambert
Gretchen Lambert
University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories, USA
  University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories, USA - has over 40 years of experience in ascidian taxonomy worldwide. She has conducted numerous ascidian identification workshops in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere, and has been a member of many rapid assessment surveys for invasive species. She is currently a consultant on ascidian taxonomy and biology for a number of governmental agencies including the Smithsonian Institution, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. She is the author or co-author of over 60 publications on ascidians.
Dr. Rachel Collin
Rachel Collin

I am a STRI staff scientist and the director of the Bocas del Toro Research Station. In this capacity I have worked to develop the outreach programs, biodiversity database, and the Training in Tropical Taxonomy program at the station. With my other hat on, I am a systematist working on the evolution and life histories of calyptreaid gastropods.


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