Sponge Identification

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 certain features, and learn about the different habitats that occur in the intertidal and sub-tidal zones. The dates cover the lowest tide of the year in Pembrokeshire. 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.

Jen Jones works as a marine biologist and sponge taxonomist, and is a ‘Seasearch’ tutor. She is co-author of two papers describing new sponge species from the Falkland Islands.

How to Apply

To book a place on this course, please visit the FSC website or contact the centre directly on 01646 623 920.

Please mention ConservationJobs.co.uk when enrolling in this Course!

Key Information

Start date:

28th February 2018 at 4:00pm


From £330


Field Studies Council




Biodiversity, Biology, Ecology, Marine Conservation, Nature & Wildlife


Orielton, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom

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