Course: Sponge Identification

Field Studies Council

Orielton, Pembrokeshire
Thursday 21st March - Monday 25th March 2019

www.field-studies-council.org enquiries.or@field-studies-council.org 01646 623920

Cost: From £340

Sectors: marine conservation


The course will introduce participants to species that are found on the shores of Pembrokeshire in the lower intertidal zone. Many sponges are very difficult to identify with any degree of certainty in the field, therefore the emphasis will be placed on learning how to collect samples, make a spicule preparation, and examine their ‘skeleton’ under a microscope. You will also be taught how to tell similar species apart in-situ by looking at key features, and learn about the different habitats that occur in the intertidal and sub-tidal zones. This course can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in marine sponges wishing to learn more about them, and in particular how to identify them. It can be as easy or advanced as you choose, and will be suitable for both keen amateurs and professional surveyors interested in either intertidal or sub-tidal species. The aim is for you to become skilled at preparing samples for microscopic examination and successfully identify a sponge by learning how to recognise the different types of spicules present in each species. During the lab sessions, as well as looking at the samples collected by you on the shore each day, there will be preserved specimens from the sub-littoral to work on.

Marine Biological Association (MBA) Members and Marine Conservation Society Members - 10% discount 

If you are a Member of the MBA or the MCS you can enjoy a 10% discount on this course.

Please use the appropriate voucher code at the checkout:

MBA Members - MBA10

MCS Members - MCS10

You will be asked for proof of membership before we take the money.

Jen Jones works as a freelance marine biologist and has taken part in numerous intertidal and sub-tidal surveys for Natural Resources Wales, Natural England, Ulster Museum and various independent contractors. For the last five years she has also been employed by NRW for a six month period each year to assist the Skomer Marine Conservation Zone team with their monitoring programme. From 2004-2010 Jen took part in extensive surveys all around the UK and Sark in the Channel Islands to collect, study and research sponges, which resulted in the discovery of many new species. She is a 'Seasearch' tutor and co-author of two papers describing new sponge species from the Falkland Islands.


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