Organizers: Prof. H. Benayahu, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Prof. C.S. McFadden, Harvey Mudd College, CA, USA; Dr. A. Quattrini, National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Inst.), USA; and Dr. Í. Sampaio, Tel Aviv University.

Venue and timing: School of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History (SMNH), Tel Aviv University, 

Date: July 23-27, 2023.

Overall goal: Participants will get an overview of octocorals, focusing on their taxonomy, phylogeny and ecology. This workshop will teach the morphological ID methods and present up-to-date molecular genetic approaches relevant to octocoral phylogenetics and species delimitation.

Participants: Graduate students and post-doc individuals who are interesting in learning more about octocorals; also open to researchers, curators, NGO personnel, environmental consultants, etc.

Application deadline: March 30, 2023. Notification of acceptance: April 15, 2023. 

How to be involved: Applicants must provide a personal letter of interest, CV, and a letter of recommendation from their graduate supervisor or employer.

Travel grants: Applicants who are within the EU and associate countries of the MAF COST framework. Limited funds are offered to some of the participants to cover round trip travel and per-diem cost. Applications should be appended to the registration material with justification for the funding request. should subscribe in the COST action formally:

For more information contact: H. Benayahu C.S. McFadden mcfadden@g.hmc.eduor A. Quattrini

Under the auspices of the NSF-BSF funded project- The Indo-Pacific zooxanthellate octocorals: An integrative approach to species delimitation, phylogenetics and biogeography and MAF WORLD • COST ACTION CA20102- Marine Animal Forest of the World.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to share current knowledge and highlight existing gaps and future directions regarding heterotrophy’s importance to MAFs. During the workshop, we will summarize recent progress and identify research priorities.

Session 1:  Importance of heterotrophy for sustaining MAF holobionts under normal and perturbed conditions

Session 2: Assessing heterotrophy under natural conditions: challenges and perspectives

Session 3: Importance of heterotrophy for the resilience and conservation of the MAFs

Speakers: Prof. David Baker (University of Hong Kong) / Dr Emma Camp (Climate Change Cluster, Sydney) / Prof. Andrea Grottoli (Ohio State University) / Dr Fanny Houlbreque (IRD – Nouméa, New Caledonia) / Dr Sandra Maier (Greenland Climate Research Center) / Prof. Giorgio Mancinelli (Università del Salento) / Dr Stephane Martínez (Centre Scientifique de Monaco)/  Dr Veronica Radice (University of Queensland) / Dr Marta Ribes (Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC, Barcelona) / Prof. Claudio Richter (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research) / Prof. Sergio Rossi (Università del Salento) / Prof. Gauthier Schall (Université de Bretagne Occidentale) / Dr Núria Viladrich (University of Washington/University of Barcelona) / Prof. Şükran Yalçin Özdilek (Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University)

Deadline: October 1st 2022

For more information, please send a mail to