Training courses and workshops

We offer a series of training workshops throughout the year providing essential training in plankton identification and technical CPR Survey operational skills. In addition to the courses listed below, we also offer bespoke training across all levels, from 1-2 day courses to 6 months or longer. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any training requirements.


Introduction to fish larvae identification

A practical 3 day workshop focusing on both commercial and most abundant species found in north east Atlantic waters, covering:

  • Introduction to fish larvae and egg identification
  • Lifecycle and development
  • Sampling and preservation methods
  • Key identification features
  • Relevant literature and available resources
  • Fish policy in the UK

The course will include a combination of lectures and practical laboratory based workshops. Fish larvae specimens will be provided, however, participants are also encouraged to bring their own in addition.

International Marine Zooplankton Workshop

This workshop is aimed at early career scientists, technicians, postgraduates and marine ecologists with a basic knowledge of marine zooplankton. This interactive workshop focuses on the identification of key marine crustacean zooplankton found in North Atlantic and European waters.  

Internationally renowned experts deliver lectures and hands-on laboratory practicals in classical morphological identification and cutting edge molecular techniques, including DNA barcoding and bioinformatic analyses.

Plankton identification training

This six week intensive course is aimed at new CPR analysts from new or existing surveys, who have a basic knowledge of marine plankton. Delivered by experienced SAHFOS analysts, using methodology aligned with the NE Atlantic Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme (NMBAQC) best practice, this unique course covers the entire analysis process:

  • cutting and processing CPR silks
  • assigning Phytoplankton Colour Index (PCI)
  • phytoplankton and zooplankton analysis, using internationally recognised SAHFOS methods
  • training in using Console, our specialised CPR database software
  • opportunity to join the international CPR community through the Global Alliance of CPR Surveys (GACS), for on-going support and training news

This course is available on request, contact us to find out more.

Ship liaison course

This five day course is aimed at managers from established surveys and scientists wishing to start a CPR survey. The course includes:

  • liaising with the shipping community
  • sourcing a volunteer ship
  • maintenance plans and legal responsibilities
  • tow arrangements suitable for volunteer merchant ships
  • introduction to CPR software for sample tracking and positioning

This course is available on request, contact us to find out more.

IMarEST accredited CPR technical course

This five day practical course is aimed at new technicians from established CPR surveys and scientists/technicians wishing to operate a CPR from a research vessel. Taking a hands-on approach the course covers:

  • preparation of filtering silks
  • setting up and maintaining a CPR
  • record keeping of CPR tows and samples
  • CPR unloading and processing
  • sample preservation

This course is available on request, contact us to find out more.

Plankton Art Masterclass

SAHFOS is delighted to be working with local artist Debby Mason to offer a special day of plankton and art

  • Discover the secret world of plankton
  • Be inspired by nature's beautiful designs
  • Learn insider secrets to improve your drawing skills
  • Explore techniques to produce a printing plate
  • Create your own printed masterpiece

£45 includes a day of tuition, all materials and lunch

Open to all ages and abilities

We are hoping to run further workshops in 2017, if you would like to register your interest please email

International Marine Phytoplankton Taxonomy Workshop

A few spaces have become available for the 4th International Phytoplankton workshop this July at SAHFOS – email for more details and to apply

SAHFOS is pleased to announce this popular workshop will be taking place 3rd - 14th July 2017 in Plymouth, UK. 

Classification and taxonomy of the major marine microalgal groups will be covered in this interactive workshop.

Practical elements using a variety of methodologies and techniques will cover sampling, settling and slide preparation, cell counting, isolation, microscopy and culturing.

A team of international experts will deliver the programme through a combination of seminars and hands-on practical sessions.

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