Summer Course - Evolutionary Anatomy of Fishes
We will be offering a graduate-level course in "Evolutionary Anatomy of Fishes" (3 graduate credits) from June 4th – 21st, 2012 at the Eastern Shore Laboratory (ESL) of Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), School of Marine Science at the College of William & Mary. Participants in this course will be introduced to the variation of morphological structures of ray-finned fishes. The primary goal of this course is to impart knowledge about the morphological diversity of fishes, but it will also help students learn to approach anatomical problems in an evolutionary context and incorporate the morphology of fishes into their own research.
The focus will be on the musculoskeletal system of fishes due to their immense character richness and importance in systematic ichthyology; sensory, nervous, circulatory, and other organ systems will also be covered. This course will have both lecture and laboratory sections. Through dissection of fresh and preserved specimens, students will examine several taxa, including the bowfin (Amia calva), ladyfish (Elops saurus), and striped bass (Morone saxatillis). Additional dried skeletons, cleared and stained, and histological material of a wide variety of taxa representing the diversity of actinopterygian fishes (and beyond!) will be used to demonstrate the diversity of important anatomical complexes, such as the neurocranium, jaws, gill arches, suspensorium, the caudal skeleton, and median fins. Labs will also cover approaches and methods of anatomical study, including specimen preparation, study and care. Additional discussions and reading will be focused on approaches to homology assessment and other principles of comparative anatomy.
The course is open for graduate students as well as professionals; advanced undergraduates (i.e., between undergraduate and graduate programs) may also be considered. The course is limited to 12 participants. The approximate costs for tuition & accommodation amount $3.300,-.