International Summer School on Bryozoa:

Diversity and evolutionary trends in colonial animals

Dates and place: 18-31 August, 2018; Educational and Research station “Belomorskaya” (SPbSU), White Sea


Tentative list of instructors:
Olga Kotenko (Department of Invertebrate Zoology, St. Petersburg State University, RUSSIA)
Piotr Kuklinski (Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, POLAND)
Andrey Ostrovsky (Department of Paleontology, University of Vienna, AUSTRIA & Department of Invertebrate Zoology, St Petersburg State University, RUSSIA)
Joanne S. Porter (Heriot-Watt University, SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM)

Natalia Shunatova (Department of Invertebrate Zoology, St. Petersburg State University, RUSSIA)


Course scope:

The main objective of the course is to demonstrate biodiversity and evolutionary trends in Bryozoans as an example of colonial animals basing on various aspects of their biology, morphology and evolution, as well as their role in the freshwater and marine environment. The course is intended for those who wish to expand their knowledge of bryozoans.



Target group: Master and PhD students and young postdoctoral researchers.

Course description:

During the school we plan daily lectures and an extensive field work, including boat and ship trips to diverse habitats. The lectures will address various theoretical questions in bryozoan biology, morphology, development, systematics, phylogeny and evolution. Special attention will be paid to the general principles of struture in colonial invertebrates as well as common and specific traits of colony organization in all major bryozoan groups. We will examine all three bryozoan classes – gymnolaemataes, stenolaemates and phylactolaemates and explore the diversity within them based on the rich biota of various marine and freshwater habitats in the vicinity of Research and Educational Station of SPbSU at the White Sea. We will learn different sample techniques and methods of bryozoan cultivating in the lab. Special attention will be given to the complex morphological characters, variability in colony shape and color, zooid’s exoskeleton and presence of polymorphic zooids. Students will learn how to use classical zoological illustration techniques to document bryozoan traits. Students will also have the opportunity to learn how to get the larvae and trace the early development, settlement, metamorphosis and colony budding of selected species. We plan to discuss species-specific substrate preferences and inter- and intraspecific space competitions. During the school, the students will do small experiments and prepare a small report for discussion in the class.

All planned activities will be made basing on reach and diverse bryozoan fauna of the White Sea as well as an extensive museum collection including both total preparations of bryozoan colonies from various habitats of Russian Arctic and slide preparation of adult zooids and larvae of various species.


Learning outcomes
Upon completing the course the students will:

  • have an idea of basic principles of colony organization in invertebrates
  • know specific traits of colony organization in different bryozoan classes
  • know morphological characters and functions of different zooid types
  • know modern Bryozoa system and taxonomic structure of major groups
  • know features of bryozoan distribution in marine and freshwater habitats
  • be able to collect samples in nature and deal with living animals in the lab
  • be able to identify bryozoans to the species or genus level using a key
  • be able to recognize common bryozoan species


Educational and Research station “Belomorskaya” has well equipped laboratory and accommodation facilities. This field station is located on one of the islands of Keret Archipelago and is surrounded by beautiful landscapes.
Preliminary programme
The course will be given in English. No textbook is required.
Course fee:

  • Local transfer at the White Sea and lodging: ~18500 RUB (~250 €)
  • Board: ~7000 RUB (~105 )
  • Return train to the White Sea: ~ 6000 RUB (~90 EUR)

Visa: International students are required to have entry visas to travel to the Russian Federation. Russian entry visas can be obtained at a local Russian Embassy or Consulate. All supporting materials will be sent upon acceptance to the course.
Medical Insurance: All students enrolled in the class are obligated to have personal medical insurance including medical evacuation coverage.
For information about the station see
Application process: please, fill in the following forms and send by e-mail to:

  • Application form
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A one-page motivation letter, including description on experience (if any) within the topics covered by the course and research area (the maximum limit of 2500 characters (ca. 250 words) refers to manually typed text (spaces included).
  • A letter of support from a person most familiar with applicant’s work.

Application deadline: extended till 1 March 2018
Acceptance announcement: 2 March 2018
If you have any questions, please contact Natalia Shunatova ( or Olga Kotenko (