MeioScool - Virtual

Dates: 28 November 2022 – 2 December 2022

Registration is now closed for MeioScool 2022.

MeioScool 2022: a dive into the microscopic world of meiofauna

Welcome to MeioScool 2022 – New Zealand edition! 

Meiofauna are an important component of marine and freshwater seabed communities. They are common in ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, beaches, and even the deepest ocean, however relatively few researchers worldwide have the skills required to study them, which limits our ability to better understand these fascinating organisms.

The aim of MeioScool is to bring together meiofauna experts, researchers and students from around the globe, to:

1) train the next generation of meiobenthologists by providing training on the identification and description of different meiofaunal groups, and

2) exchange knowledge on the biology, evolution and ecology of meiofauna.

Programme Format
Due to the current uncertainty with COVID, the 2022 MeioScool will be run as an online only event. We are currently finalising details of the format and will update this website soon with more details. As with 18IMCO, the timing of the live sessions will be determined once we have a full list of participants and their locations, so that we will make it as easy as possible for all to attend. 

It is free to take part in Meioscool, we just ask that you follow the link above to sign up so that organisers and experts can plan the times of the sessions, and know who to send the virtual access link to closer to the event.

Please contact Daniel Leduc with any enquiry –


Click here to view the provisional programme for MeioScool. 

*Last updated 11 November. The committee reserves the right to update the programme as required.



Daniel Leduc


Daniel is a nematode taxonomist and benthic ecologist based at NIWA in Wellington, New Zealand. He has described over 100 new nematode species from shallow and deep-sea marine environments using morphological and molecular approaches. He has conducted research on the ecology of benthic communities from intertidal to hadal habitats, and is interested in community ecology, food webs, and benthic ecosystem function.


Daniela Zeppilli


Daniela Zeppilli is interested in benthic ecology and taxonomy of meiofauna from deep-sea and extreme environments, exploring how nematodes and associated micro-organisms interact in these unique environments. In her research, she combined several visualization and genetic techniques to show association and function of microbiome in extreme nematodes. Daniela’s research also focuses on finding new techniques for advancing the description of meiofauna biodiversity, including new 3D imaging techniques, genetic probes and artificial intelligence approaches. In this context, she is coordinating the project  BLUEREVOLUTION. Since 2018, Daniela is the head of the Deep-Sea Lab at IFREMER, Brest, France.


Martin V. Sørensen


Martin V. Sørensen explores the taxonomy, morphology and phylogeny of microscopic invertebrates. Through more than two decades in research, he has studied a broad range of “lesser known invertebrate group”, inclusive Gnathostomulida, Micrognathozoa, Loricifera and Kinorhyncha. His taxonomic studies focus on highlighting the large amount of information preserved in specimens of museum collections, and in combining this with modern microscopical methods. He is furthermore an active driving force in the Scalidophora research community, and works towards expanding the community and other researchers’ interest in the more neglected ecdysozoan phyla. Martin is associate professor and curator of microscopic invertebrates at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. 


Valentin Foulon


Valentin Foulon is a research engineer at Brest National School of Engineering, working in collaboration with Ifremer Deep Sea Lab and Station Biologique de Roscoff. His main research interest is to adapt quantitative imaging methods for sediment samples exploration, with a special focus on meiofauna. He use complementary 2D and 3D microscopy technics from low to high resolution to contribute of the identification of meiofauna by machine learning. This work take place in the context of the BlueRevolution project, with the objective of increasing the speed of taxonomic identification and of ecological description of benthic compartments


Pierre-Antoine Dessandier


Pierre-Antoine Dessandier is a researcher at Ifremer in the Deep Sea Lab, expert in foraminiferal taxonomy and ecology. His main research interests focus on the use of benthic foraminifera in deep sea and extreme environments as bio-indicators of ecosystem health. He explores the foraminiferal assemblages from hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and abyssal plains to investigate their contribution to the marine biodiversity and their interaction with microbial and meiofauna communities. Pierre-Antoine’s research also focuses on mineral resources and impact of their potential exploitation on marine biosiversity. He is contributing to the BlueRevolution project as foraminiferal expert.


Catherine Borremans


Catherine Borremans is the Biology and Imagery Engineer of Ifremer’s Deep Sea Lab since 2017. She participates in the processing and analysis of imagery data acquired by submersibles and observatories for marine habitats and fauna studies, and more recently by microscopy imaging of microfauna. She is particularly involved in images and videos annotation, development of analysis methods and tools, students training on these techniques and also in imagery data management and standardisation. One important aspect of her work consist in developing new approaches based on machine- or deep-learning algorithms allowing for automated detection and classification of organisms and habitats on images, and this through collaborations with computer vision and artificial intelligence experts (e.g. BLUEREVOLUTION project). Among other projects she is interested in participative sciences initiatives engaging citizens in the image annotation process (e.g. Deep Sea Spy). She has been co-chair (with D. Pelletier) of the Ifremer Imaging Working Group since 2018, initiating and organizing collaborative imagery-related actions and information exchanges within Ifremer, and beyond. She is a member of the International Marine Imaging Workshop (MIW) committee (since 2019) and is coordinating the organization of the MIW in 2022.


Diego Fontaneto


Diego Fontaneto works on patterns and processes in biodiversity including origin and coexistence of species, mostly using rotifers as a test case. The main goal is to attempt to understand how species evolved and originated and how they live together. Rotifers offer the possibility to explore unusual scenarios, such as speciation without gene flow and biogeography with high dispersal. The evolution of distinct species in animals has often been considered a property solely of sexually reproducing organisms. Regarding biogeography, patterns of diversity in microscopic organisms are hypothesised to differ from macroscopic ones, as small size, desiccation tolerance, and dispersal capability should allow microorganisms to achieve global distributions. Diego tests the predictions of these hypotheses in microscopic animals using different tools from morphology, phylogenetics, and genomics. He is a researcher at the National Research Council of Italy, Water Research Institute, in Verbania Pallanza, Italy. 


Nuria Sánchez


Nuria Sánchez is a researcher focused on the taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology, and biology of meiofaunal animals. Over the last years, she has investigated the effect of ecological factors on the benthic community using several meiofaunal groups as models, such as nematodes, kinorhynchs, tanaidaceans and halacarids. She has explored meiofauna communities in a large variety of ecosystems, from shallow waters (i.e. Posidonia oceanica meadows) to deep-sea extreme environments under human pressure either due to future risk of exploitation (i.e. polymetallic nodule fields and seafloor massive sulphide formed by hydrothermal vent activity). Nuria is assistant professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.


Simone Nunes Brandão


Simone is an ostracod taxonomist and micropalaeontologist based at State University of Santa Cruz, Brazil. She has described over 130 new ostracod taxa mostly from deep marine environments. She has conducted research on the macroecology, phylogeny, paleobiogeography and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions all based on ostracods. Last but not least, Simone is very much interested in biodiversity databases, being the chief editor of the World Ostracoda Database, and taxonomic editor and a member of the Steering Committee of the World Register of Marine Species.


Nancy F. Mercado Salas


Nancy is a researcher and the curator of the Crustacea collection at the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) in Germany. Her research focus in understanding the evolutionary processes that have shaped the crustacean diversity, especially those processes related to the colonisation and establishment in new habitats. She is particularly interested in environments that represent `living laboratories' ' (e.g. phytothelmata, anchialine caves, deep-sea) that let us to follow a variety of questions related to speciation, biogeography, population genetics, and evolution. Nancy´s taxonomic expertise is on the subclass Copepoda, particularly on members of the order Cyclopoida and selected groups of Harpacticoida. She is also interested in finding new imaging techniques (e.g. CLSM microscopy) and molecular tools (e.g. barcoding, metabarcoding) that will help to accelerate the description of meiofauna species and communities.

With the support of: 


Conference Organisers

Conferences & Events Ltd
 +64  4 384 1511

Conference banner images and website images credits:

Brandão, S.N.; Karanovic, I. (2021). World Ostracoda Database. Accessed at on 2021-03-02. doi:10.14284/364; Martin Sorensen, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark; Hidetaka Nomaki, JAMSTEC, Japan; Jisu Yeom, Hanyang University, South Korea; Daniel Leduc, NIWA, New Zealand

This event is organised by Conferences & Events Ltd, Wellington, Auckland, Nelson & Nationwide.  We are a New Zealand business.