Face to face


from £799


8-12 July 2024 SOLD OUT


UKCEH Wallingford, Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK

Wallingford location and accommodation guide (update April 2024)

At a later stage, we may run this training in Bangor & Lancaster on request (subject to enough expressions of interest)


Students £899    
Professionals £999


Group discounts are available!


SOLD OUT 8 - 12 July 2024 (lunchtime start & finish)

Express your interest here so we can fix another date!

Short course description:

This four-day course over 5 days will cover the following activities:
Day 1 Introduction to freshwater phytoplankton groups, theoretical concepts about photosynthetic pigments and analytical methods
Day 2 Exploration of phytoplankton groups and analytical methods from UKCEH pond samples
Day 3 Field trip to a lake, sampling and microscopy
Day 4 Field trip to the River Thames, sampling and microscopy
Day 5 Comparative analysis of the phytoplankton communities of pond, lake and river habitats.
You will spend the majority of the time in the lab, looking through the microscope and identifying freshwater phytoplankton.

Learning outcome:

By the end of the course, you will have experience with various methods for sampling and analysing freshwater algae, and have acquired practice and knowledge about microscopic identification.


1.    Learn the different techniques used for sampling freshwater phytoplankton from different habitats
2.    Gain knowledge of the different phytoplankton groups and how to identify and count them using microscopy.
3.    Explore other methods of analysing phytoplankton, including flow cytometry and photosynthetic pigments analysis
4.    Introduction to rotifers and zooplankton


The maximum of learners is 10 per event.

Target audience:

•    Water companies
•    Monitoring agencies such as the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales  and SEPA
•    Rivers Trusts
•    Consultancies engaged in river monitoring and assessment work
•    Academics, including MSc and PhD students


Beginner (previous experience of using microscopes and scientific ID keys will be helpful, but is not necessary)

Hardware and software requirements:

You do not need to bring any equipment. You may wish to bring a laptop for taking notes and your phone to take pictures.


The cost of accommodation is not included in the price. You may find the Wallingford location and accommodation guide (update April 2024) useful.

Course leader:

Dr Isabelle Fournier, Freshwater biogeochemist, UKCEH.
Isabelle’s expertise is the response of freshwater micro-organisms to changes in their environment, caused by both natural variation and anthropogenic perturbations.
Isabelle has been identifying freshwater algae for 7 years. She learned from experience and through a workshop by John D. Wehr (author of the book Freshwater Algae of North America: Ecology and Classification). 

Other information:

UKCEH will provide lunch and refreshments. 
We will ask learners to use their own vehicle (or use car sharing) to drive to the nearby sample sites.