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Summer school: Microbes-Macrofauna Associations and their role in the Nitrogen Cycle

Postponed to spring of 2021

Summer school on “Microbes-Macrofauna Assiociations and their role in the Nitrogen Cycle” will be held in the modern laboratories of the Marine Research Institute at Klaipeda University, Lithuania. This summer school will provide participants with sound theoretical and practical foundation on geochemical and molecular approaches used to investigate the ecological and quantitative contribution of microbe-macrofauna associations in benthic nitrogen cycling.

Only 12 motivated students will be invited to join this summer school. Each day will start from introduction to theory and methodological approaches, and continue with a laboratory work in the afternoon. There students will spread into 4 small groups (3 pers.) to achieve better knowledge transfer. The groups will work in parallel, following the same protocols, but with different functional group of macrofauna. This allow to explore and compare of associations among different functional traits.

    Summer school will feature:

  1. Theoretical classes on:
    • microbial ecology in coastal and estuarine sediments;
    • macrofauna ecology and fundamentals of physiology;
    • microbial nitrogen transformations and their environmental regulation;
    • introduction to 15N-based biogeochemical measurements;
    • approaches to characterize N-cycling microbes in sediments and macrofauna.
  2. Laboratory work on:
    • sampling and preservation of sediment and biological samples;
    • 15N-based incubations for denitrification, DNRA and N2 fixation measurements;
    • extraction, analysis and statistical tools for DNA and RNA samples.


  • Dr. Aurelija Samuiloviene, Klaipeda University, Lithuania
  • Dr. Mindaugas Zilius, Klaipeda & Ferrara Universities, Lithuania and Italy
  • Dr. Ulisse Cardini, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn Napoli, Italy
  • Dr. Stefano Bonaglia, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Dr. Marco Bartoli, Parma & Klaipeda Universities, Italy and Lithuania.

Where: Marine Research Institute, Klaipeda University, Lithuania (adrsess: Universiteto al. 17, Klaipeda, Lithuania)
Requirements for students: Master and PhD students can apply with minimum background in basic biogeochemical and molecular techniques.

Summer school is a part of the “Invertebrate–Bacterial Associations as Hotpots of Benthic Nitrogen Cycling in Estuarine Ecosystems (INBALANCE)” project, which is funded by the European Social Fund (project No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0069) under grant agreement with the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT).