Tropical Vertebrate Zoology


On Moorea, Tahiti

May 31-June 11 2014 (tentative)

4 credits
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Tahiti 2009 Blog

Student Quotes from 2009 Course:

Traveling to Moorea and staying at CRIOBE has truly been an experience for me! Not only was I able to learn how to prepare for a research project and carry one out, I also was able to be immersed in an entirely different culture; this class not only was a scientific experience but also a cultural one.

I am so sad to have to leave Moorea. I have to say this has probably been one of the best experiences of my life! I have learned so much from this trip and have been able to get to know some amazing people.

Just want to say that this has been the best experience of my life.

Here to say this has been a great experience for me, one that I will never forget! I have learned quite a bit on this trip, things that I can actually use in the real world. I now have a good research foundation to build off of!

Well, itís our last night in Moorea and I am not ready to leave! Iíve had such a great experience here and would like to stay for more.

Course Description

Tropical Vertebrate Zoology is designed to give students practical experience doing research on tropical vertebrates in the field.  This will be a problems-based course offered to graduate and undergraduate students.  Students will work in groups of 2-4 on a research problem of their own design that involves any of the vertebrate species found on and around Moorea (Tahiti).  Dr. Londraville has expertise on fish, and Dr. Niewiarowski on lizards and amphibians-both have extensive experience observing, collecting, and studying vertebrates in field and laboratory settings (including the tropics).  Although our experience is concentrated in fish and lizards, we may also advise projects with birds and mammals (depending on the complexity of the project).

We will meet in Akron several times before the trip to hammer out a research plan and do go over details of traveling.  Most of the work of the course, however, will be done while in Moorea, and when you get on the plane to come home, you won't have anything else to hand in. 

We will be staying at the French marine station CRIOBE.

Fees- (approximate-more definite figures to follow)

Travel + housing  for 2 weeks

Trip dates May 31- June 11

TOTAL~$2600 (this depends on total enrollment and when we can make reservations)

This does not include tuition and fees for the course-it is a 4-credit course. If you are a certified diver, you will need RESCUE certification and to have DAN insurance, but otherwise there is not an extra fee.

Please contact Dr. Londraville and/or Dr. Niewiarowski ASAP if you are considering this course.  It requires permission of the instructors and class space is limited.  It's likely we will have to collect a deposit sometime in March 2014 so if you are even thinking about going-please contact us.

Art is also teaching a drawing class "Genius of Place"-that class will travel with us.

Once we have a list of who is interested, we will have a meeting an answer all your questions-but don't hesitate to contact us before then:

EMAIL Dr. Londraville and Dr. Niewiarowski

Biology Dept., Univ of Akron 330-972-7151 (Londraville)
                                                     330-972-7311 (Niewiarowski)

Past Tropical Vertebrate Zoology class material below:

Mote Marine's Tropical Research Laboratory

Emporia State's Course
Fish Base
Time Budgets
Essay on Coral Reef Fish Ecology (with Refs)
Amphib/Reptile Powerpoint
Article on Collecting Fish

Exercise #1 (2005)

Class 2-Invasive species

List of Tahiti Marine Fishes
Recommended Immunizations (none required)
RLL Intro Lecture
PHN Intro Lecture
Citation Index-Web of Science
2007 Syllabus
Tahiti trip Blog


CRIOBE (where we went in 2007, 2009)
Mote Marine's Tropical Research Laboratory (where we went in 2005, and again in 2008)
Gerace Research Center  (where we went 2004)


Click on the thumbnails below to view photos-all photos taken by Dr. Londraville on San Salvador in 2003 (with exception of aerial shot).