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Dates: July 7, 2015 - July 21, 2015
Location: Bocas del Toro Research Station
Organizer: Dr. Rachel Collin
Registration Fee: $850 (includes STRI registration, room and board)


Maria Pia Miglietta

Stefano Piraino

Course description:

The students in the course will:

  • Learn how to collect polyps and medusae
  • Learn basic rearing techniques for polyps and medusae
  • Lear general biology and ecology of the group, including life cycles
  • Familiarize with Hydrozoa phylogeny
  • Gain hands on taxonomic experience with tropical Hydrozoa

Student background: We expect students to have a basic familiarity with marine invertebrates and marine systems. However, the course will target graduate students early in their career. All applicants should be able to swim proficiently. The course will be taught in English.

Application: Please e-mail your CV, 1 letter of recommendation, and a 1-2 page statement explaining your background and reasons for taking the course, to before January 15th, 2015. Limit 12 students. To be considered for a need-based fellowship, applicants should send a description of their need, their efforts to obtain funding from other available sources, and a travel budget. For more information see Taxonomy Training.


Davide Maggioni

University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
I am a Ph. D. student at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. My main interest is the study of coral reef symbioses involving hydroids and other organisms like scleractinian and soft corals, sponges and bryozoans. My current research activities are principally focusing on the ecology and systematics of the family Zancleidae, by the integration of ecological, morphological and molecular data.

Pooja Nagale

Bombay Natural History Society, India
I am a research student at Bombay Natural History Society, India. My major was Biotechnology but now interested and focusing my career in taxonomy of hydroids, study of rocky shores, sandy shores and mangroves. I will be perusing my Ph.D. in hydroid taxonomy from coasts of Ratnagiri and Gulf of Kutch, India. Current research work includes taxonomy of hydroids from various coasts from Maharashtra and Gujarat states, with some ecological work on population of sea slugs and hydroids. I am looking forward this workshop to grasp the precise knowledge about systematics and biology of hydrozoans.

Andrea Moncada

Central University of Venezuela
My name is Andrea, currently I`m working in taxonomy of planktonic cnidarians at the Laboratory of plankton from the Institute of Zoology and tropical Ecology (IZET) attached to the Central University of Venezuela. During my bachelor thesis I had the opportunity to learn a little about the taxonomy of these organisms and I was amazed. Now I want to continue my academic and professional training with this fascinating group.

Sornsiri Phongphattarawat

Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand
I am currently a research assistant at Marine Ecology Laboratory in the Department of Marine Science at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. My undergraduate research project focused on examining taxonomic diversity of hydromedusae, and their seasonal abundance and distribution in the Gulf of Thailand. Also, members of our laboratory are using various morphological and histological techniques to reveal which species of jellyfish periodically bloom in the Gulf of Thailand. The goal of this research is to establish long-term datasets on jellyfish blooms to predict the occurrence of jellyfish blooms, which is of great interest to environmental managers and policymakers.

Luis Martell

University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
I am a fresh PhD graduate that has worked with hydrozoans from the very beginning of his scientific career. My PhD thesis was centered on some study cases related to non-indigenous hydroids and hydromedusae in the Mediterranean Sea; but previously I have explored the dynamics of a parasitic relationship between a hydromedusa and a trematode in a hypersaline lagoon (for my Bachelor’s degree thesis), and worked with mesoscale hydromedusae and siphonophores distribution in the Gulf of Mexico (for my Master’s degree thesis). I am very interested in hydrozoan taxonomy, systematics, and analysis of distributional patterns, as well as life cycle studies including both the medusa and polyp stage.

Jonathan Lawley

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil
I am a recently graduated biologist from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC-Brazil), now pursuing a Masters at the Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP-Brazil). As an undergrad I have had many different research experiences, with succession of fouling communities in harbors (UFSC-Brazil), population genetics of a box jellyfish (Alatina alata) (Smithsonian-US) and with biogeography of marine invertebrate life histories (Monash-Australia). Therefore, it has been hard to discern my main areas of interest within ecology and zoology. Nevertheless, my passion remains with cnidarians, especially medusozoan cnidarians and their evolution, in which I intend to focus on my Masters.

Magdalena Alpizar

University of Costa Rica
I am an undergraduate student at the University of Costa Rica. My research interests involve cnidarians and ctenophora. I consider of main importance the description and new reports of species, as well as the study of behavior and connectivity between marine blooms. The role of medusae blooms in Costa Rica’s both pacific and caribbean coasts.

Sarai Jeronimo

Universidad Nacional Autonóma de Mexico
I´m a Master degree student at the program of Posgrado de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia of the UNAM. My passion: marine life, the bentonic fauna specificly. The last couple of years I´ve focus my carrer in the knowledgde of the biodiversity of hydroids in México, I´ve been working in the taxonomy and systematics of this thrilling organisms and I expect to learn even more about this group and bring to my country all the learned knowledge.

Yui Matsumoto

Texas A&M University in Galveston, U.S.A.
I am a M.S. student in the Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Program at Texas A&M University in Galveston. My main interests lie in the systematics, development and genomics of cnidarians, particularly of tropical Hydrozoa. For my thesis project, I am interesting in identifying genes that are involved in the reverse development of Turritopsis dohrnii (Immortal Jellyfish) using comparative transcriptomics. I am also interested in the causes and effects of invasive cnidarians and medusa blooms in tropical regions.

Susel Castellanos

Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil
I work with Cnidaria since I graduated at the Havana University. I worked as Reef Check coordinator in the Marine Protected Area Rincon de Guanabo in Havana in 2000-2002. After that, I started to work in the Oceanology Institute of Cuba where I belonged to the monitoring and research team of coral reef and related ecosystems in department of benthic studies. Recently I participated as coordinator of research expeditions of coral reef and seagrass of the UNDP/GEF Sabana-Camaguey III project: “Assessments the impact of three productive sector over critics habitat and marine biodiversity along Cuban coastal shore. Besides, I participated in some projects on benthic organism studies like meiofauna. Because of that, I had the great opportunity to participate in the Meiofauna study at the STRI Smithsonian in 2011, with Professor Jon Norenburg. I did my master degree in the taxonomy study of thecates and athecates hydroids in 2004-2006. To continue my studies of Cuban hydroids I am doing my thesis PhD project, in the Zoology postgraduate program of the UFPR, in Paraná, Brazil under the advisory of Dra. Maria Angélica Haddad. I am working with taxonomy and the ecology of hydroids of shallow water, mainly related to environmental factors in protected areas and others that are impacted because of socioeconomic development of shores in Cuba.

Joan Josep Soto

Universitat de Valencia, España
PhD student at Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva (Universitat de València). My previous experience with hydrozoan biology includes a participation in a research project on benthic hydroids from Antarctic waters and adjacent regions (since 2009), with a focus on biodiversity, ecology and biogeography. Tropical hydrozoans, however, have always been of interest to me since I firmly believe that hydrozoan research in temperate and cold waters must be done within a wider framework including tropical regions, which often act as a source of invasive species to other parts of the world.

Carolina Sheridan

Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica
I am currently a student at Universidad de Costa Rica, pursuing the bachelor’s degree in biology, and also an assistant at Zooplankton laboratory at the Center for Research in Marine Science and Limnology (CIMAR). As a former biologist I see the relevance of taxonomy in every single study because determining species identities helps us describe a whole lot of other relationships and phenomena that occur at a higher scale, and stating that species are the basic unit of an ecosystem reinforces the importance of taxonomy in this field.

Alena Sukhoputova

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
I am a Ph.D. student at the department of biological evolution at Lomonosov Moscow State University. My Ph.D research project aims to describe and characterize morphogenetic mechanisms of the asexual reproduction in cnidarians at the cellular and ultrastructural level. Using in vivo observations, histology, electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry we investigate the asexual reproduction and perform it’s comparative analysis in several cnidarian species. Up to now I focused my investigation on the asexual reproduction of scyphozoan species (e.g. Aurelia aurita, Cyanea cappilata, Cassiopea xamachana, C. andromeda) and hydrozoan species accessible at White Sea Biological Station. However, I strongly need broader taxonomic sampling to get more holistic view of cnidarian biology, life cycles and reproduction.

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Environmental Biology through an award titled “Advancing Revisionary Taxonomy and Systematics: Integrative Research and Training in Tropical Taxonomy” (DEB-1456674). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.