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Dates: August 1, 2011 - August 14, 2011
Location: Bocas del Toro Research Station
Organizer: Dr. Rachel Collin


Darryl Felder

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Fernando Mantelatto

Universidade de Sao Paulo

Course description:

This course is directed towards advanced international graduate students, post-docs, and young investigators, and will be conducted in English. 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 Rebecca Rissanen at before February 28, 2011. 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.


Nathaniel Evans

University of Florida
I am a PhD student at the University of Florida. For my thesis I am investigating the systematics and evolution of the brachyuransubfamily Thalamitinae. Among these crabs I will focus much of my effort on clarifying the phylogenetic relationships between and within the genus Thalamita. I will use both molecular and morphological data to investigate the evolutionary history of this clade. I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in the decapod short-course and am looking forward to meeting everyone.

David Hudson

University of Connecticut
I am a PhD Candidate at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology. I am interested in the interface between physiological ecology and behavior, and how physical factors can influence changes in distribution of marine and aquatic animals. I am currently investigating the effects of salinity changes and the presence of members of the same species on shelter preferences of invasive crab species in New England. During my time in Colombia as a U.S. Student Fulbright Fellow beginning August 2011, I will be researching the effects of temperature on the behavior of freshwater crabs, in order to predict their likely changes in altitude with climate change. In the long term, I hope to develop predictions of migration of decapod crustaceans and other invertebrates with changes in temperature and salinity, in both an altitudinal and latitudinal context. I would like to apply these predictions to policy decisions for fisheries and conservation management.

Ana Lagos

Universidad del Magdalena
I am an undergraduate student in the Biology Program at University of Magdalena (Colombia) currently working with hermit crabs and shrimps from the continental shelf of the northern Colombian Pacific. The overall goal of my undergraduate thesis is to assess the diversity of hermit crabs and shrimps from the northern Colombian Pacific as well as their distribution along spatial and bathymetric (70-150 m depth) gradients. After my thesis, I want to continue working with decapod crustaceans because they are a very diverse group with complex community structures and ecological importance for many ecosystems.

Kate Lavelle

Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
I am a MS student in marine biology at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. I am interested in the ecology of deep-water communities. For my thesis I will focus on detecting patterns in community assemblages on deep-water corals in Honduras. In addition to quantifying coral and epifaunal diversity, I plan to determine if there are unique assemblages associated with each coral species and if these assemblages occur on a depth gradient. I would also like to investigate agonistic interactions between coral epifauna.

Tatiana Magalhães

University of São Paulo
I am M.Sc student at University of São Paulo (USP) located in Ribeirão Preto – São Paulo. I am studying taxonomy of marine crabs of the genus Persephona. These animals have distribution in the Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific. I plan perform a taxonomic revision of species of the Western Atlantic and if possible I intend to perform a broader review, with the seven species of the genus. Furthermore, I plan to establish the phylogenetic relationships between them, with the aid of morphologic and molecular data, thus contributing to a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the family Leucosiidae.

María Paz Sal Moyano

Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata
I am a PhD student at the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina. My research focuses on the mating system and reproductive strategies of the burrowing crab, Neohelice granulata, comparing two populations inhabiting contrasting habitats: the Mar Chiquita Coastal Lagoon, an oligo-polyhaline estuary; and San Antonio Oeste bay, an eu-hyperhaline habitat. In particular, I study and characterize the sites of the reproductive activities (burrows), the period of females’ receptivity and the factors affecting it, the female’s spermathecae through histological studies to evaluate hypotheses on sperm competition, and the reproductive behavior through field and laboratory experiments.

Mariana Negri Pereira

University of São Paulo
I am a student of the last year of undergraduate program in Biological Science at University of São Paulo, Brazil. The purpose of my current research is to check the taxonomic status of two similar hermit crabs species, Clibanarius sclopetarius (Herbest, 1796) and Clibanarius vittatus (Bosc, 1802), by the comparison of genetic sequences and morphological characters of individuals from different populations of both species. Next year, I will be studying taxonomic and systematic aspects of another Decapoda group.

Emma Palacios Theil

University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA
I am a PhD student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. My research focuses on the taxonomy of the brachyuran crab family Pinnotheridae, commonly known as pea crabs. At present I am focused primarily on the phylogenetic relationships at all levels - from family to species - within the group. In addition, I am interested in aspects of evolutionary ecology, especially in marine ecosystems; therefore, additional aspects of my research focus on the evolutionary ecology of some selected pinnotherids.

Simon Pecnik

Adriana Rebolledo

I am a Master’s student at University of Costa Rica. My main focus is marine biology and through the years I have become interested in decapod crustaceans. I find specially interesting the behavior, anatomy and physiology of this group. Currently, I am working on my thesis about the population dynamics and reproductive biology of the mangrove crab Aratus pisonii on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica.

Natália Rossi

University of Sao Paulo
I am from Brazil, a Master's student at University of Sao Paulo, in the Laboratory of Bioecology and Crustaceans Systematics in the Biology Department. The aim of my research is to study the morphological and molecular variability of the freshwater shrimp Macrobrachium olfersii, and compare this species with other within the M. olfersii complex. These species have a great distribution in coast areas from Mexico, Central America and America of the South. Additionally, I’m comparing the phylogenetic relationship and the genetic distance among the species within this group using mitochondrial and nuclear genes, in order to elucidate them limit taxonomic. I hope to expand my study to infer about biogeography and flow gene of these shrimps.

Adam Wall

Lineth Tuñon Avaria

Universidad Metropolitana de Educación, Ciencia y Tecnología, Panamá