Course: Ecology and Evolution of Arachnids

Hello all,

Below is a brief description of the Organization for Tropical Studies’ Ecology and Evolution of Arachnids, an upcoming graduate-level specialty course which will be taught in Costa Rica from January 3-17, 2014. The course is worth 2 graduate academic credits transferable to all institutions within the Organization for Tropical Studies consortium, which includes over 50 universities in the , Latin America, South Africa and . This course is relevant for all graduate students interested in arthropods and upper level undergraduates interested in being exposed to tropical research.

For more information go to

Your circulation of this material among graduate students in different departments and programs would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!

Ecology and Evolution of Arachnids

Unbeknownst to most biologists, the (mostly) predatory group of arthropods known as arachnids encompasses eleven extant orders, many of which can be found in the tropical forests of Central America. Within this incredibly specious group we observe tremendous diversity with respect to sensory systems (many of them unique to particular groups); morphological adaptations/ specializations; foraging strategies; mating strategies; communication systems; and interactions (among others).

Course Content

This course will incorporate field-based observations, inquiry-based learning programs, hands-on experience, and interactive lectures to inform students of the basic natural history, structure, and function of all arachnid groups. Building upon this foundation, and in conjunction with knowledge gained through primary literature discussions and synthesis, students will develop their own research projects. Through fieldwork and laboratory analyses, this course will help students gain basic knowledge and hand-on experience in the following diverse fields as they pertain to arachnids: anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, evolution, and systematics. Additionally, students will be exposed to pedagogical tools that will augment their academic toolbox.

Course Objectives:

Delve into current scientific research and discover the cutting edge questions and approaches implemented by leading arachnologists.

Obtain fundamental understanding of arachnid evolution, with a focus on relationships among extant and extinct chelicerate groups.

Develop basic skills in arachnid collection, preservation, and identification


All participants should be fluent in English. A working knowledge of Spanish would be useful. This course is relevant for all graduate students interested in arthropods and upper level undergraduates interested in being exposed to tropical research.

Course Instructors:

Eileen Hebets, Ph. D. University of Nebraska.

Jason Bond, Ph. D. Auburn University.

Ingi Agnarsson, Ph.D. University of Vermont.

Greta Binford, Ph.D. Lewis and Clark College.

Jay Stafstrom, M. Sc. University of Nebraska. Teaching Assistant.

Invited : Gilbert Barrantes, Ph.D. and William Eberhard, Ph.D, from the University of Costa Rica.

Course dates: January 3-17 (arrive January 2, depart January 18)

Application Deadline: October 1, 2013. (For priority consideration, followed by open enrollment until filled).

Tuition: OTS consortium applicants $2000; non-member applicants $2800

Tuition includes: all lodging (hotel and biological research stations), all meals, all transportation within Costa Rica, all course (sample equipment and lab). Does not cover personal expenses or airfare.

Partial need-based scholarships are available; priority given to OTS consortium and Latin American applicants.

For more information please consult the OTS website

or write to Andrs Santana or Barbara Lewis for application information

Andres Santana
Graduate Education Department
Organization for Tropical Studies
San Pedro, Costa Rica. 676-2050
(506) 2524-0607 ext. 1511
Al asistir a nuestra Cena de Gala, el 29 de junio, 2013, Ud. comparte la celebración del 50 aniversario de la OET, apoya nuestra misión a favor del ambiente y contribuye a la sostenibilidad de nuestras estaciones biológicas. ¡Sea el ingrediente indispensable de una cena muy especial!

Share This:

Related posts