This residential course incorporates everything you need to know to be able to accurately identify and record earthworms to species.
With a mix of classroom presentations, laboratory-based sessions, and field-based activities our expert tutors will guide you through the lifestyles, ecology, and morphology of UK earthworms. Attendees will be provided with detailed information on sampling equipment and techniques with practical hands-on opportunities to collect live specimens.
Attendees will use preserved specimens from our tutors' teaching collection for identification to species-level using microscopes and identification keys; and our tutors will demonstrate best-practices for curation of a reference collection.
Information on earthworms, submitting records and connecting with schemes, societies and groups will also be provided.
- Certificate upon course completion.
- Access to microscopes, specimen collection, lab equipment, field equipment and identification resources.
- Tuition from tutors specialising in earthworms.
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
- Please note that this course will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.
- 2 nights of accommodation.
- Meals for the duration of the course.
See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections on the Field Studies Council website for more information about this course.
What will be covered in this course?
- British earthworm taxonomy and ecology
- The use of external (morphological) features for species identification
- Various collecting techniques for a variety of habitats and species
- Practical experience using field guides and identification keys to determine specimens accurately to species-level
- Practical experience observing invertebrate ID features using a microscope
- Burating your own personal reference collection
- Guidance on how to take your interest further and contribute to the National Earthworm Recording Scheme
Tutor: Keiron Brown
Keiron Derek Brown first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.
Keiron now manages the FSC BioLinks project, with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten and rarely recorded. He teaches our Discovering iRecord and earthworm courses. In his spare time, he is chair of the Ecology & Entomology Section of the London Natural History Society and is the National Recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain).