The first PacMAN scientific training course is announced. This hybrid course containing both online and on-site training will develop the capacity of local stakeholders in Fiji in marine biosecurity and the use of molecular methods in monitoring marine biodiversity. The course will be hosted on the Ocean Teacher Global Academy e-learning platform, and at the USP Suva campus.

More specifically the training course will provide an introduction to sample collection and sorting, including taxonomy and processing for DNA extraction, eDNA and qPCR analyses, as well as a quick guide on the use of bioinformatics for sequence analysis to in-country (Fiji) managers and technical staff.

By the end of the course the participants should be able to:

  1. Collect samples through the various methods used in PacMAN
  2. Understand the benefits and challenges of eDNA sampling and its use in biodiversity monitoring.
  3. Understand the processes involved in taxonomy (e.g. gross sorting, routine simplified processing and identification steps to group organisms and record this information appropriately).
  4. Know how to conduct DNA extractions on 3 different marine sample types as well as troubleshooting any problems
  5. Know how to conduct PCR amplification and understand the principles of metabarcoding
  6. Run qPCR analyses for target organisms using established probes
  7. Run a query search on global databases after sequence information is received
  8. Entering data and understand the basics of sequence analysis with bioinformatics

The call for applications for the training course on Marine Invasive Species Early Detection: Utilising Molecular Tools (blended training course) is now open until 23 September 2022.

All the details as well as the link to the online application form can be found on the UNESCO/IOC calendar, direct link https://oceanexpert.org/event/3631

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