Беломорская биологическая станция МГУ имени М.В.Ломоносова
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23 января, 2014

Schools and seminars

White Sea Biological Station invites to the field workshop in marine biology, 1-10 September 2014

White Sea Biological Station invites to the field workshop in marine biology

This is the classics of university practical field courses, which has been elaborated in detail during the last 40 years at the faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University. The course is obligatory for students of environmental and biology scienses.

Location: Nikolai Pertsov White Sea Biological Station, Northern Russia 

Schedule time: 1–12 September 2014

Current status: Registration is open, First call

Critical deadlines:

15 April 2014 – Application deadline
1 May 2014 – Participants announcement

Official language: English 

Group size: approx. 10 students in group 

Key institutions:

  • Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia;

  • University of Tuscia, Italy; University of Bary, Italy;

  • University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, U.K. 

Key lecturers:

  • Prof. Massimiliano Fenice, microbiologist, microbial ecologist. Department of Ecology and Biology, University of Tuscia, Viterbo Italy;

  • Prof. Angelo Tursi, Ecologist: Department of Biology, University of Bary, Bary Italy;

  • Prof. Pieter van West, eco-pathologist, mycologist: Institute of Medical Sciences Foresterhill, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, U.K;

  • Prof. Alexander Tzetlin, invertebrate zoologist, polychaete specialist, Lomonosov Moscow State University, LMSU White Sea Biological Station, Russia;

  • Dr. Vadim Mokievsky, invertebrate zoologist, meiobenthologist, head of Laboratory of ecology of coastal bottom communities, P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

  • Dr. Anna Zhadan, invertebrate zoologist, polychaete specialist, LMSU White Sea Biological Station, Russia;

  • Dr. Artem Isachenko, invertebrate zoologist, benthic ecologist, LMSU White Sea Biological Station, Russia;

  • Dr. Olga Grum-Grjimaylo, marine mycologist, LMSU White Sea Biological Station, Russia

    The course aims at:

    • Consolidating previously gained theoretical and practical knowledge of major groups of sea invertebrates;
    • Getting acquainted with basic local biotopes;
    • Getting into the peculiarities of the invertebrate fauna of the White Sea;
    • Mastering the skills of collecting and identifying the animals, species-specific sampling and monitoring techniques general principles of marine research organization and biodiversity description overview via case study

    Some of the genera typically studied are: Mytilus, Littorina, Jera, Arenicola, Gammarus, Aulactinia, Buccunum, Balanus, Aeolida, Buccinum, Mya, Crangon, Priapulida, Pectinaria, Halocynthia, Molgula, Calanus, Aglantha, Sagitta, Aurelia, Cyanea, Bolinopsis, Hyperia.

    Normally academic day would be 7–10 hours with lunch and tea breaks. This would include daily field excursions of variable duration (1–4 hours of walk or/and boat trips); lectures; guided work with collected animals and individual independent work. 

    Comparison and advantages:

    A unique opportunity to get acquainted with the Arctic: Kandalaksha Bay in the White Sea is a unique Arctic estuarine system containing a continuum of shallow sea environments, ranging from separate basins where water exchange is severely restricted to different types of estuaries (fiords, skerries, etc.) that have free exchange with shelf waters. Characterised by unique biota, the bay is part of the famous Kandalaksha State Reserve.

    White Sea Biological station has well-developed infrastructure needed for successful special training and research work. Despite to relatively remote location, station has all facilities needed, including housing, cafeteria, library, sauna. A branch of different research laboratories and facilities offers fully equipped surrounding for both field and advanced molecular biology studies. Station has its own diving center and fleet.

    Workshop programme overview:

    Workshop training course will include three general parts:

    • Field practical course: students will be taught  to use equipment and modern marine research techniques. Course will include trawls and bottom grab sampling, collection plankton samples using remotely operated underwater vehicles training. Shore excursions will explain intertidal zonation of the White Sea shore habitats.

    • Laboratory practical course: this training will be an introduction to macro- and meiofauna and planktonic organisms of White sea via identification of species sampled during previous field studies.

    • Theoretical course: a set of lectures will be conducted by leading researchers in the field.

    Course will overview:

    1. hydrological regime of the White Sea;
    2. description of the main habitats and biological diversity of the White Sea;
    3. Traditional fishery and modern White Sea natural resources management;
    4. main methods of marine research, including both traditional oceanographic methods and modern remote sensing methods (remote operating vehicles);
    5. use of satellite imagery for marine study;
    6. use of marine species on biotechnology;
    7. general marine research organization overview and biodiversity description techniques. 


    The course is for students who have already taken a university course in general zoology or zoology of invertebrates. Skills of practical work with a microscope are an advantage. 

    Tultition fee will be announced later. It will include 12 days of instruction, boat trips and pedestrian guided trips & housing 

    Additional expenses:

    • Hot meals provided three times a day + hot tea on request; at ~400 RUR per day. Unfortunately, special meals, like Halal or Kashrut, or dietary meals like diabetic, low-cholesterol or gluten-free, etc. cannot be provided due to limited capacity.

    • What is provided is a standard Russian meals. However, vegetarian meals could be provided on request (to be discussed ahead).

    • Train tickets ~7500 to ~10000 RUR (from/to Moscow) depending on train class; additionally local taxi starting at 600 RUR per person might be required depending on route selected

    • Optional boat excursions (sightseeing, trained while whales, etc.) at ~1000 RUR per person available

    • Limited selection of foodstuff  and essentials might be delivered to the Biostation on request twice per week

    • Diving opportunities to be specially discussed ahead

    • Optional one-night stay in Moscow to be specially discussed ahead 


    Artem Isachenko, Ph.D., Moscow state university, Russia.
    Denis Ilyushin, Ph.D., Moscow state university, Russia.

    Application and Visa:

    The Faculty of Biology shall issue formal visa invitation for visiting WSBS, Moscow, St.-Petersburg (depending on the airports of arrival/departure). Please fill in the supplied application form, optionally supplement it with a CV/motivation letter (recommended) and return to us by May 15, 2014.

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