Short Course: Introduction to Plankton

Short Course: Introduction to Plankton

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The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

The Laboratory

Citadel Hill


United Kingdom

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Thank you for booking your place on the training course: 'Introduction to Plankton'. If you need any further information, please contact us. or 01752 633336

Plankton are captivating organisms that spend some or all of their lives drifting in the sea currents. Join our experts to learn more!

About this event

Plankton are captivating organisms that spend some or all of their lives drifting in the sea currents. They play vital roles in marine food webs, how the planet functions, and are incredibly diverse and beautiful. It is easy to collect and observe plankton from the shore in the UK with some relatively inexpensive equipment. Join us for a weekend of learning about and studying these amazing organisms here in Plymouth.

Course Tutor: Marianne Wootton is a Senior Analyst at CPR Survey and Training Coordinator for the Global Alliance of CPR Surveys. Having worked for the organisation as a Plankton Analyst since 2002, she has a wealth of experience in phytoplankton and zooplankton analysis from around the world. Marianne’s taxonomic expertise is regularly used to teach plankton identification to a wide range of learners, from university students to other research scientists. She is co-author on a plankton guide to the North Atlantic and, in collaboration with the NE Atlantic Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme (NMBAQC), is the lead developer of a national zooplankton quality assurance scheme for zooplankton.

Description of Course: A two day series of talks and practical sessions aimed at giving a very broad introduction to the wide range of planktonic organisms, both phytoplankton and zooplankton, which can be sampled by towing a fine-mesh net in the sea, their identification, biology, distribution and importance in the global ecosystem. A short excursion to collect live samples is included

Some of the Topics and Activities Included: Why we sample plankton; sampling equipment; collection and microscopic examination of live plankton; using descriptions and illustrations, see how good your identification skills are on sets of preserved plankton specimens; sub-sampling and counting of organisms; literature and identification guides; identifying the developmental stages of key groups; seasonality and production; distribution and biodiversity; biodiversity of Plymouth Sound; economic importance; alien species and parasites; light in the sea; plankton photography; local plankton time series studies including the Plymouth Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey.

Who Might Attend? This two-day course caters for those interested in plankton at beginner level, but welcomes students and more experienced naturalists, as there is always something more to be learned. Also suitable for teachers and marine educators wishing to incorporate plankton in their lessons and activities.

What is Included? The course fee includes course materials, parking at the laboratory, packed lunch and tea and coffee. By paying to participate in this course, you will be supporting the wider educational work of the Marine Biological Association.

MBA members receive a generous discount on all MBA organised training courses. If you are not already a member, you can join here before registering to receive a discounted rate.


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