[Coral-List] marine biodiversity methods course
paulay at flmnh.ufl.edu
Mon Jan 18 16:22:06 EST 2016
Please excuse the cross-posting. Attached is the yearly course flyer from Friday Harbor Labs (full descriptions are here: https://depts.washington.edu/fhl/studentSummer2015.html). This summer we will be teaching a course on marine biodiversity methods, which will cover much of the nitty-gritty of how to work with and document diversity at the specimen and community levels. The course description for this is below.
Thanks - Gustav
This course will cover methods for documenting species-level diversity of non-microbe taxa in marine systems, and applications in ecology, evolution, resource management, etc. Typical marine ecosystems hold thousands of multicellular species, and our knowledge of much of this diversity is poor. However, new morphological, imaging, molecular, and computational tools, together with online resources, make research on biodiversity increasingly tractable. The objective of this course is to introduce a suite of methods and resources for working with marine biodiversity at both specimen and community levels.
At the specimen level, we will cover efficient and rapid approaches for species delineation, characterization, and identification. Students will learn how to sample diversity broadly and rapidly, how to recognize, sort, and document taxa at the species level using morphology, and how to test species limits with integrated morphological-molecular methods. They will use varied biodiversity resources and interact with specialist taxonomists to improve the identification of species in a taxon of their choice. Through group and individual projects we will document all available species in selected taxa morphologically and genetically, building a "biocode" - genetic library - for the FHL biota.
At the community level, we will focus on determining diversity and species composition in bulk samples, such as plankton, infauna/meiofauna, and gut contents through metabarcoding. DNA will be extracted from environmental samples, amplified for a DNA barcoding marker, and products sequenced in parallel on an Illumina sequencing platform. Students will become comfortable with the core computational skills necessary to process large genetic datasets generated via massively parallel sequencing, including basic ecological analyses in R. Along with generating and analyzing their own metabarcoding sequence data, students will compare their data to that of ongoing Puget Sound-wide metabarcoding studies.
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