Marine Sponges of California

The Marine Sponges of California website is now hosted by the Porifera Tree of Life. Thanks to Welton Lee and the team at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary for creating this valuable resource! Please note that we are still updating code for the multi-character sponge finder.

2019 STRI Sponge Course

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Bocas del Toro Research Station presents:

Understanding Basal Metazoan Relationships: Sponges

Dates: June 24 – July 15, 2019
Location: Bocas del Toro Research Station, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Registration Fee: $1000 (includes room and board, STRI registration fee, etc.)
Some need-based fellowships are available

Dr. Rachel Collin, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Dr. Cristina Diaz, Nova Southeastern University, USA
Dr. Cole Easson, Middle Tennessee State University, USA
Dr. Cara Fiore, Appalachian State University, USA
Dr. Chris Freeman, College of Charleston, USA
Dr. Eduardo Hajdu, Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Dr. Giselle Lôbo-Hajdu, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Dr. Thierry Perez, CNRS, IMBE, Station Marine d’Endoume, Marseille, France
Dr. Robert Thacker, Stony Brook University, USA

This course is intended for graduate students, post-docs, or professionals who are interested in learning and applying knowledge about the taxonomy, evolution, and ecology of one of the most conspicuous organisms in tropical benthic ecosystems, marine sponges. The students participating in this course will: (1) learn to describe and identify the most common sponges living on the mangroves and shallow coral reefs of the Bocas del Toro region; (2) learn general biological and ecological characteristics of marine sponges; (3) gain hands-on ecological and taxonomic experience with tropical marine sponges; (4) learn basic ecological survey techniques; and (5) learn how to conduct physiological experiments with sponges. This course seeks to give the participants the necessary tools to continue studies on the taxonomy, systematics, ecology, and/or evolution of sponges. This edition of the course will also include discussions of the origins of Metazoa, and the relative phylogenetic placements of sponges, cnidarians, and ctenophores. The course will last 21 days, with seven days mostly dedicated to taxonomic training, seven days to evolutionary and ecological work, and seven days dedicated to a selected project, and its presentation. Daily activities will include: morning and afternoon lectures, field trips, laboratory work, and evening discussions or talks.

Application: This course is directed towards advanced graduate students, post-docs, and young investigators, and will be conducted in English. Please e-mail your CV, 1 letter of recommendation, and a 1-2 page statement explaining your background and reasons for taking the course, to before January 31, 2019. To be considered for a need-based fellowship, applicants should send a description of their need, their efforts to obtain funding from other available sources, and a travel budget.

For more information see

This course is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science & Engineering through award number 1828949 to Dr. Rachel Collin.

Demo Version of Porifera OneZoom

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