This two weeks training course is part of the Master course program of UPMC (Université Pierre et Marie Curie) and is organised at the Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche (OOV) by the Laboratory of Developmental Biology de Villefranche (LBDV) next to the Mediterranean sea (Côte d’Azur). The aim of the course is to illustrate conceptually and practically the diversity of the marine organisms which have long been exploited as models to better understand the key mechanisms controling embryonic development (sea urchins, solitary and colonial ascidians, cnidarians, amphioxus). It also offers the opportunity to observe the diversity of the planktonic organisms which characterizes the ‘rade de Villefranche’, one of the deepest natural harbours.
The first part is devoted to tutorials and short practicals to introduce the participants to the life cycle and development of each organism, to the related experimental techniques and to recent research projects. One of the prominent and distinctive features of this training course in the second part spent with one of the LBDV research teams to design, carry out and finalize a short experimental project. With their tutor, each participant will have full access to all the experimental facilities existing at the LBDV (aquarium, imaging, molecular biology). Depending on the team, various questions will be adressed regarding oogenesis, fertilisation, cell cycle, early developmental events, stemness, regeneration, signaling pathways involved in body axis and cell fate establishment or Evo-Devo. The teaching will be done in English.