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Freshwater Phycology

Event date: 
Monday, October 21, 2013 - 9:00am to Friday, October 25, 2013 - 5:00pm


Gubbi Labs in association with University of Colorado at Boulder, and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment will conduct a field and laboratory based five-day course on “Freshwater Phycology” with main focus on diatoms, green algae and blue green algae. The remarkable biodiversity of algae provides the foundation for most aquatic ecosystems around the world. This course emphasizes taxonomy and ecology of major groups of algae to illustrate relationships between their form and function in pristine and polluted environments. 

This course is exclusively designed for highly motivated young biologists from INDIA and SAARC countries. The course consists of teaching methods such as lectures, discussions, museum work and field collecting, followed by laboratory classes covering taxonomic diversity of algae through the use of field surveys of local rivers and lakes, and experiments using our diatom slide collection. Participants are welcome to bring along their own material too e.g. plankton samples, sediment samples, slides etc. for personal sessions or to get their samples identified if we have sufficient time. The Course will also help the participants to gain and sharpen their skills in both traditional and modern aspects of algal taxonomy. The Course will consist of 3 lectures (2 on taxonomy and 1 on research projects) everyday, followed by equal duration of practical/demonstrations/hands-on training.

Course Outline:

Day 1: Introductions – Classifications of Algae

  • Blue-Green Algae
  • Traditional versus modern approaches
  • Taxonomy of Blue-Greens
  • Research talk
  • Departure to field collection - Central Western Ghats

Day 2: Field Collection

  • Demonstration of sampling techniques from different habitats
  • Back to Bangalore
  • Laboratory Session: Sorting and cleaning of samples.

Day 3: Green Algae

  • Evolutionary Perspective
  • Taxonomy and ecology major groups
  • Research talk
  • Laboratory Session: Identification of Green Algae and Blue Green Algae

Day 4: Introduction to diatoms - 1

  • Diatom Evolutionary Perspective
  • Taxonomy and ecology of major group – Part 1
  • Taxonomy of major group – Part 2
  • Research talk
  • Laboratory Session: Diatom slide preparation and diatom counting

Day 5:  Introduction to diatoms – 2

  • Taxonomy and ecology of major group – Part 3
  • Research talk
  • Discussion and Identification of participant samples

Target Audience:

PhD students and college/university/research institute faculties who are interested in current trends in freshwater phycology, algal biofuels, bioindicators and using diatoms in forensics. 

Course fee will be Rs. 7,500 (US $ 300 for SAARC country citizens other than India) for participants from universities/research institutions and Rs. 10,000 (US $ 500 for SAARC country citizens other than India) for participants from industries. Course fee includes course materials, laboratory equipment, working lunches (5 day), field expedition and boarding and lodging during field expedition. Space is limited to 15 members who will be selected on the basis of potential impact.


Based on the application, three candidates will be selected as Gubbi Fellows and will be eligible for a 50 % course fee waiver. Scholarship is limited to participants from universities/research institutions. Deserving candidate will be selected based on their application.


We had an overwhelming response to the call and we are not accepting any more applications. We thank thank all applicants to the Freshwater Phycology course. Short-listed participants will be notified of acceptance by 15 September 2013.

Course Resources:

  • Karthick, B., Hamilton P B and Kociolek, J.P. An Illustrated Guide to Common Freshwater Diatoms of Peninsular India. Gubbi Labs Press.
  • Monograph of checklist of the Diatoms of India.
  • Guide to the common genera of Freshwater Algae.
  • Digital Algal taxonomic and ecological resources.
  • Generic guide to freshwater diatoms.

Resource Persons:

Prof. Patrick Kociolek (University of Colorado, USA), Prof. Rex Lowe (Bowling Green State University, USA), and Dr. B. Karthick (Gubbi Labs & North West University, South Africa), will teach the course.

Course Coordinators


This course is open to participants from engineering and sciences domain who use algae as a research tool. Participation is limited to 15 applicants.

Course Venue:

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE),
Royal Enclave,
Sriramapura, Jakkur Post, Bangalore - 560 064, India.