11th Advanced Phytoplankton Course - APC 11: Taxonomy and Systematics

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General information

The Course is organized by the Stazione Zoologica in cooperation with the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and the IOC Science and Communication Centre on Harmful Algae. APC 11 will cover morphology, taxonomy, and phylogeny of marine phytoplankton species. The aim is to increase and update the expertise of the students in the taxonomy and specific identification of diatoms, dinoflagellates, coccolithophores and other phytoflagellates, with emphasis on light microscopy and integrating molecular data and new approaches to the study of microalgae.

The programme will consist of lectures and practical sessions. During the latter, a diverse collection of preserved and live material will be offered for examination in light microscopy. Selected material will be observed in electron microscopy. The selected participants will receive relevant publications and information material to be studied before the course. A mandatory distant learning activity is planned starting next spring.


  • methods and criteria for species identification
  • taxonomic classification and phylogeny
  • molecular identification
  • methods for light and electron microscopy
  • single cell isolation and cultivation, serial dilution culturing
  • specialized literature
  • toxic and harmful species
  • general and specific aspects of phytoplankton biodiversity and biogeography
  • lectures on historical aspects and advanced approaches to the study of phytoplankton diversity (e.g.,    automated imaging systems, high throughput sequencing, meta-DNA barcoding)
  • tutorials on new species discovery and description.
Contact Person: (apc11@szn.it)


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.


Venue: Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Naples, Italy

Villa Comunale, 80121 - Napoli



The registration fee is 600€ and will cover course tuition and materials, as well as social activities (welcome party, social dinner, excursion and refreshments during daily breaks). An average cost of 70-80 €/day is estimated to cover double-room accommodation and meals in Naples during the course time. Accommodation options will be communicated to the selected participants next spring.


Participation is limited to 20 participants with PhD, MSc degree or equivalent, and with documented experience in phytoplankton identification. A good knowledge of the English language is necessary. APC is an advanced course for participants that already have a good expertise in phytoplankton taxonomy and identification. More than 50% of the course time is devoted to the observation of live and fixed specimens of single species and of mixed samples from different areas. The amount of samples observed and the details of the information provided may be neither suitable nor beneficial to participants who are not already fairly familiar with phytoplankton taxonomy and identification, or who have so far focused only on some species or groups.

Application Procedure:

The application form can be downloaded here.

Application Deadline: 15 November 2014 


Academic level: Master, PhD
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