Identifying all the species that exist in the sea requires a great deal of experience and an excellent knowledge of animals. A knowledge that is beginning to die out. Several of our Swedish species experts will soon be retiring and recruitment of younger researchers is largely non-existent.
It will become increasingly difficult in future to carry out marine investigations in Sweden and monitor changes in the marine environment if nothing is done about the current shortage of experts within most marine animal groups.
This is why the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences is organising a combined course and workshop for postgraduate students and researchers in the field of marine macrofauna, or species that are visible to the naked eye. The course will take place at the field station on Tjärnö, approximately 10 kilometres outside Strömstad.
Sea squirts, bristle worms, moss animals…
The species of animals that will be covered include echinoderms, bristle worms, sea squirts, molluscs, cnidaria, sponges, moss animals and ribbon worms. Maybe new finds will be made among these and other species when tomorrow’s experts start compiling material out in the abundant Kosterhavet.
Over a period of eleven days in September, prominent experts from New Zealand, the United States, Norway, the UK, Brazil, Germany and Sweden will be sharing their unique knowledge with 12 postgraduate students from five different countries. The experts will talk about how to recognise the animals, their structural make-up, ecology and related species, as well as how to collect, examine and preserve them.
Report to Swedish Species Information Centre
When the preliminary results from the workshop are complete, the most important finds will be reported on the website of the Swedish Species Information Centre. All data on finds will also be presented on Species Gateway. The material that is compiled will be incorporated into the marine collections at the Gothenburg Museum of Natural History.
The course and workshop is a collaboration between the research school Sustainable Marine Ecosystems at the University of Gothenburg, the Swedish Species Information Centre and the Norwegian Research Council’s research school. The main purpose is to transfer both practical and theoretical knowledge of our fascinating and important underwater fauna from one generation of researchers to the next.
The media will be given the opportunity to follow the postgraduate students out to Kosterhavet to gather species and observe them sorting and classifying the material they have collected. Times: workshop 6-17/9, postgraduate course 9-17/9.
Caption: Bristle worm. Photo: Arne Nygren