International Association of Meiobenthologists
The first issue of Psammonalia was published 10 November 1966 and was 2 pages long. It was sent out by Bob Higgins, the founding chairperson and the editor from 1966-1968. The first International Conference on Meiofauna was held July 1-11, 1969 in Tunis, Tunisia. It was organized by Bob Higgins and Neil Hulings (both on staff at the Mediterranean Marine Sorting Center in Tunis at the time). At that time the organization was called the "Association of Meiobenthologists". The name was changed to "International Association of Meiobenthologists" in 1976.
Meiobenthology is the study of small, mostly microscopic, animals
that live on the bottom in aquatic habitats such as beaches, mud flats,
and the deep sea. The majority of recognized phyla have meiofaunal
representatives. Currently, 20 phyla considered to be meiofaunal
from the 34 recognized phyla of the Kingdom Animalia. Out of these
20 phyla, five are exclusively meiofaunal in size.
Professor Dr. Wonchoel Lee of Hanyang University will host the 15th
International Meiofauna Conference in Seoul, Korea. The meeting will
occur during July 2013. See the official
conference website for further information.
The term meiofauna refers to the benthic organisms retained at a 0.063mm mesh and passing through a 0.5mm mesh. This benthic component comprises at least 25 phyla of the animal kingdom and may reach densities above 106 individuals per square meter. Although extremely diverse and abundant, this group of microscopic organisms has been poorly explored, specially in terms of morphological adaptations and species distribution ranges. One main reason is the lack of expert taxonomists on the different meiofaunal groups. The objective of this workshop is to train young and senior researchers on the different methodologies currently used to study meiofaunal organisms. During the workshop the participants will take part of sampling campaigns in different marine habitats, follow the methodological practices and learn how to identify the different taxa. The final objective is to unravel the diversity of meiofaunal taxa present in the surroundings of the CEBIMar.