Due to Covid-19 we have had to cancel this course, we hope you will find an event later in the year that you can attend.

We have teamed up with Ocean Ecology to deliver an intensive multi-day marine vertebrate course aimed specifically at those who have aspirations of studying marine invertebrates either in a commercial or research laboratory setting and will provide attendees with the base level understanding of taxonomy and practical laboratory skills needed in such roles. The days will be broken down into three independent sessions with delegates having the choice of attending either the full programme or just the first two days.

This two-day course introduces the identification of major phyla, orders and classes, their basic morphology and taxonomy. The course will be classroom led with a major hands-on portion to enable students to identify specimens using preserved material.

The third independent session will provide an Introduction to Marine Invertebrates (Annelida) – book here
The final independent session will provide an Introduction to Marine Invertebrates (Amphipoda) – book here

Tutor: Bryan Wasson

Bryan acts as Principal Marine Taxonomist at Ocean Ecology and holds over twenty years of experience in the field of taxonomic identification of marine and estuarine benthic macrofauna. Through working at numerous commercial laboratories during this time alongside publishing research papers documenting new taxonomic records and descriptions of new species, Bryan has built a reputation as one of the industry’s leading figures in his field.

Tutor: Adam Jenkins

Adam is an experienced taxonomist acting as a Senior Benthic Taxonomist at Ocean Ecology where he works on a range of benthic projects from offshore, coastal, estuarine and deep-sea habitats for both development related and applied research purposes. A key part of Adam’s role includes running a range of taxonomy courses to Ocean Ecology’s team of benthic taxonomists as well as bespoke courses for PhD students, ecologists and undergraduates.

  • Psolus squamatus
  • ophiura ophiura
  • Nymphon hirtum
  • Lepidochitona cinerea

The main aims for the course are:

  • To familiarise students with basic anatomy of a wide range of invertebrate animals from shallow to deep sea habitats.
  • To allow students to gain experience in identifying a wide range of phyla and an appreciation of the diversity of marine life.
  • To enable accurate identification to Phylum, Order or Class.

Example Timetable


18:00: General outline of the Course and Introduction
18:15: Introduction to Porifera
18:45: Introduction to Cnidaria
19:15: Introduction to some minor Phyla


10.00: Introduction to Annelida, Sipuncula, Priapulida and Echiura
10.15: Introduction to Arthropoda
11.15: Tea break and discussion
11.45: Introduction to Mollusca
12:45: Introduction to Echinodermata
13.00: Lunch
13.45: Practical Session - Identifying preserved fauna from covered phyla
16.00: Course Ends

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

  • All lab equipment including forceps, microscopes and petri dishes will be provided, though feel free to bring along any personal dissection kits.
  • Keys and lecture notes will be provided but please bring a notepad and pen/pencil for taking notes/sketches.
  • If you’re used to any particular keys bring them along and our taxonomists will help you through them.