The triennial Monoculus Award is awarded to scientists for their exceptionally devoted service and contributions to the activities of the World Association of Copepodologists. The award was first presented on the occasion of the 10th ICOC in Pattaya, Thailand in 2008.
Previous recipients of the Monoculus Award include:

2008     Geoffrey Boxshall
2008     Horst Kurt Schminke
2011     Janet W. Reid
2011     Ju-shey Ho
2014     T. Chad Walter
2017     Rony Huys
2022     Ruth Böttger-Schnack

Zbigniew Kabata Student AWARD


University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy


Recipient of the Zbigniew Kabata Award


Unravelling the sub-lethal effects of diclofenac on the swimming behaviour of the freshwater interstitial crustacean Bryocamptus pygmaeus (Crustacea, Copepoda, Harpacticoida)

My interest in the Crustacea Copepoda dates back to my bachelor studies when for the first time I was introduced by the outgoing WAC president, Professor Diana Maria Paola Galassi, to the fascinating world of copepods. In 2017 I defended my bachelor's thesis at the University of L’Aquila, dealing with the biological risk assessment in groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) with special regard to the invertebrate fauna living in these environments; first of all, the Copepoda Cyclopoida and Harpacticoida.


During my Master’s thesis in 2019 I did an experimental study of the behavioural alterations triggered by the propranolol on the stygobitic cyclopoid species Diacyclops belgicus. My thesis results have been published on the journal Environmental Pollution in 2019. The same year, I have gained a Ph.D. position at the University of L’Aquila (Italy). My ongoing Ph.D. research activity is related to: (i) analyse the distribution of groundwater-obligate copepod species at large continental scale, in synergy with the working group of the Stygobiology laboratory; (ii) disentangle the role of hydrogeology in explaining the spatial patterns of groundwater copepods in groundwater and dependent ecosystems; (iii) assess potential eco - physiological alteration and changes in the swimming behaviour of inbenthic/interstitial harpacticoids to understand and mathematically describe the potential behavioural alterations of freshwater crustaceans (copepods included) triggered by climate change and sublethal concentrations of emerging organic compounds. The results obtained during my Ph.D. fellowship were published in 15 papers in several scientific journals (e.g. Environmental Pollution, Ecography, Global Ecology and Conservation, Scientific Reports, Science Of The Total Environment, Water, Ecological Indicators). In the first on-line International Conference on Copepoda organized by the World Association of Copepodologists, I presented a part of my Ph.D. research by giving a presentation entitled “Unravelling the sub-lethal effects of diclofenac on the swimming behaviour of the freshwater interstitial crustacean Bryocamptus pygmaeus (Crustacea, Copepoda, Harpacticoida)”. The communication has been awarded with the Zbigniew Kabata Award, a great and unexpected honour for which I have my profound gratitude to the WAC members. All of this gave me a greater impetus to proceed with research in the field of ecology and biogeography of the Crustacea Copepoda. I am still working on evaluating the effect of the recording time on the results obtainable with behavioural tracking tests in collaboration with Dr. Marco Uttieri (Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn) and the Stygobiology Laboratory at the University of L’Aquila.

Students Awards

Oral Presentation and Poster

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil

Recipient of Best Student Oral Presentation Award

Ecological mechanisms shaping copepod functional diversity along biogeographic zones in the Southwestern Atlantic and Antarctic waters  [oral presentation]

Finishing my PhD research a few months ago was a big achievement so far. Now, presenting my PhD and having it awarded as one of the best oral presentations was a very nice way to close this chapter of my career.

I am a Brazilian marine biologist and PhD in Ecology at Federal University of Santa Catarina, POSECO-UFSC. For the past 10 years I’ve been dedicating my research studies to the ecology of epipelagic copepods and their relation with the oceanographic features in the South Atlantic Ocean. My research topics focus on morphological taxonomy of copepods and zooplankton imaging systems (ZooScan) applying functional trait-based approaches. Currently, collaborating in research projects, scientific communication and outreach of Ocean Culture within the PlancZEu, AtlantECO (H2020 Blue Growth) and Veleiro ECO projects.

The main approaches regarding copepod biodiversity defined two milestones to be achieved in my PhD research. The latitudinal gradients of copepod functional diversity and body size from South Atlantic to the Southern Ocean. For this purpose, in my time as a visiting graduate student at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Naples (SZN), I have participated in the 1st Advanced Zooplankton Course - Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy of Marine Copepods (AZC1) on October and November 2018 ( After that course, I stayed at SZN for a 10-month stage under the supervision of Maria Grazia Mazzocchi, a senior scientist in copepod taxonomy. In the frame of the European transnational access program ASSEMBLE Plus (, I got the opportunity to revisit the Tara Oceans zooplankton collection at the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche in France «May 2019». I selected the samples from South Atlantic aiming to enlarge the latitudinal gradient of my copepod dataset from the southern Brazilian cruise, and access a large variety of ecosystems, from tropical to polar waters. Over there, I combined high-throughput imaging system followed by semi-automatic classification (ZooScan and ECOTAXA, respectively). Since plankton imaging instrumentation has been developed at the host institution, I could be acquainted with the latest imaging tools and specialists in imaging plankton research. The second part of the research was dedicated to identify the copepods to the species level at SZN in Naples. Both approaches, traditional morphological taxonomy and the size structure brought novel insights about species functional traits for the first time in South Atlantic, and the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships related with copepod functional groups.
It was the very first time I’ve been in the Copepoda Conference and I was very delighted to attend the event with many copepodologists recognized worldwide. All the presentations were very interesting, and I was very proud with the Brazilian researcher’s representation. I’m looking forward to attend the next ICOC (this time in-person and in JAPAN!), with a new interesting topic. I sincerely thank everyone who listened, made compliments and voted for my presentation. It keeps me inspired and motivated to carry on my studies on copepod research. Special thanks to my supervisors, Andrea Freire and Maria Grazia Mazzocchi, for giving me the funding opportunities, for sharing their knowledge, and being so supportive all the time along my PhD research and at this conference.

Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Recipient of Best Student Oral Presentation

AwardMicroanatomy of the endoparasitic copepod Nucellicola sp. (Copepoda: Chitonophilidae) [oral presentation]

I am a Master’s student at Saint Petersburg State University, and my primary research interests are the morphology, diversity and evolution of parasitic copepods. At the International Conference on Copepoda 2022, I presented a part of my Master’s thesis dedicated to the endoparasitic copepod Nucellicola sp. (family Chitonophilidae). It is a unique representative of chitonophilids, whose females have reached the highest specialisation to a parasitic lifestyle.

So far, the genus Nucellicola includes one species, Nucellicola holmanae, found to inhabit the dog whelk, Nucella lapillus, on the east coast of Great Britain. Only a few studies have been done on these organisms, so many aspects of their biology remain unknown. There is only information that the female body comprises trophic and reproductive parts and the description of the reproductive system.

I started studying Nucellicola sp. as my Bachelor’s thesis in 2020 when we found presumably new species of these parasites in gastropods collected from both the White and Barents Seas. We have obtained a lot of intriguing data on their morphology, showing that the trophic part not only gives rise to rootlets but also forms the egg-tube — a structure in which the embryos develop. Such a highly transformed body plan is very unusual among female chitonophilids which typically have exhibit egg sacs attached to the reproductive part (also called “ectosome”). In addition, we revealed a well-developed muscular system in the female body and described the cuticle ultrastructure.

The e-ICOC 2022 was the first international conference I participated in, and it is a great honour to receive one of the Student Oral Presentation Awards. This event became a wonderful memory that will be a great inspiration for further research work. I am sincerely thankful to all members of the organising committee and to my colleagues who helped me in the preparation of my presentation.

Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Finland

Recipient of Best Student Oral Presentation Award


Cryptic diversification of the harpacticoid copepod Harpacticella inopinata in Lake Baikal [oral presentation]

I am currently working on my PhD thesis “Evolutionary diversification of continental benthic microcrustaceans”, which aims to assess the level and patterns of hidden diversity among freshwater microcrustaceans and find out how this has been driven by environmental conditions and historical geographic changes. In my thesis, I am focusing on the morphological and genetic diversity of freshwater harpacticoid copepods in different biogeographical arenas, where the evolutionary processes are expected to be different: from postglacial lakes and ponds in Northern Europe to the ancient and deepest Lake Baikal, East Siberia. Freshwater harpacticoids often manifest remarkable intraspecific diversity, facilitated by limited gene flow between populations and therefore represent a unique system for studying phylogeography and speciation processes.

In my talk at the e-ICOC, I was presenting a study of the cryptic diversity of Harpacticella inopinata Sars from Lake Baikal. This species is one of the most abundant copepods in Lake Baikal, distributed along its entire shoreline and lives at the different substrates. In this project, we are aiming to understand the roles of ecological specialization vs. geographical isolation in H. inopinata diversification. Together with Tatyana Mayor from Limnological Institute in Irkutsk, we were able to collect more than 30 populations and sequence COI mtDNA, ITS and 28S rRNA genes from all of them. Instead of one species, we found H. inopinata species flock, which includes both cryptic and morphologically distinct species. Now we are writing a paper based on these results.

I am honored to have received one of the Student Oral Presentation Awards for this talk. I would like to thank the team of e-ICOC organizers, which allowed us to meet and present our studies after the COVID-19 pandemic break. I would also like to thank the members of the copepod community for their exciting presentations and discussions at this conference.

Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia


Dual recipient of Best Student Poster Award and Best Student Oral Presentation Award


Sexual dimorphism of appendages in Canthocamptidae (Harpacticoida): role in taxonomy and relationship to sexual arms race [oral presentation]
We know nothing about the stygofauna of microcrustaceans in the European part of Russia: two new genera of Copepoda in only two samples from Tatarstan
[poster with lightning talk]

I started my scientific work in 2017, when I was taken to a project to study plankton in the Lena River Delta (North-Eastern Siberia). My task was to count quantitative samples and study the dynamics of species composition in shallow tundra reservoirs. However, I quickly realized that I didn't really enjoy counting. Around the same time, I first found a species of Bryocamptus, new to science (it has not yet been described). This shocked me and greatly fascinated me. Then I realized that I wanted to do taxonomy.

Thanks to this project and my scientific supervisor Ekaterina Abramova (Lena Delta Reserve), I was able to visit the high-latitude Arctic for the first time. The study of copepods in the Lena River Delta is now my main project. First of all, we study the taxonomy and fauna of the harpacticoids and cyclopoids. As it turned out, the diversity of copepods in the Arctic is greatly underestimated, having already found about 100 species in various fresh and brackish waters. Thus, the Lena River Delta is currently the richest Arctic region in terms of number of species. From here, Dayana Sharafutdinova and I have already described several new species: the freshwater Maraenobiotus supermario, Canthocamptus waldemarschneideri, and the marine Heteropsyllus spiridonovi.

It is the Canthocamptidae that the largest number of new species turned out to belong to, and now we have begun a project to revise the family. This family is remarkable. First, there are about 800 described species. Secondly, its representatives have the widest range of occurrence from the abyssal of the oceans to freshwater and terrestrial biotopes; among them there are even symbiotic species (Pholetiscus). And thirdly, they are distinguished by a variety of morphological characters and sexual dimorphism. So far, we have been able to partially revise two genera, Heteropsyllus and Canthocamptus, from which we have isolated new genera Coullopsyllus and Kikuchicamptus.

We also study copepods living on sponges in the Arctic seas. Here, too, we found a very high diversity and a huge number of new species, including members of the family Canthocamptidae. We have described two so far (Heteropsyllus spongiophilus and Mesopsyllus glacialis), but several more await description. In addition to the main projects, I am involved in several other less significant works, including the study of underground crustaceans of the European part of Russia and the study of the harpacticoids of Lake Baikal.

I was very pleased to win two prizes at once in the competitions of oral presentations and posters. Unfortunately, I do not always have enough diligence to work more efficiently. But receiving these prizes inspired me very much and made me work with renewed vigour. I was also pleased to receive good reviews from well-known specialists, whose work I take as an example for myself. And of course, many thanks to the organizers of the conference for the excellent organization and for the invitation.


Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan


Recipient of Best Student Oral Presentation Award


Exploring evolutionary trends within the Pennellidae (Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida) using molecular data [oral presentation]

I am honored to receive a Student Award at the e-ICOC 2022. I want to thank my co-authors and all the collaborators for their cooperation; I could not have done it alone. This award encourages me to work even harder in my research on copepods.

I am studying the phylogeny and taxonomy of Siphonostomatoida by combining molecules and morphology. Molecular phylogenetic analysis is fascinating because it allows me to propose new insights that have not been considered before: convergent evolution, new synapomorphies, and problems with the current classification. This time, I presented the phylogeny of Pennellidae, which have a highly modified morphology, such as a worm-like or elongated body shape, which is atypical for crustaceans and makes studies of their evolution and functional morphology exciting. However, because of its strange morphology, the phylogeny and taxonomy of the group are confusing. Molecular phylogenetic analysis in this study suggested a new synapomorphy in the Pennellidae, the coiled egg strings, and revealed a polyphyletic genus which is problematic for classification. Because the taxonomy and phylogeny of Pennellidae and other highly modified copepods are often obscured, I will continue to work on their phylogeny and taxonomy combining molecular sequence data and morphology. Furthermore, I would like to study the genes that underlie the expression of their unique morphology.

This year's meeting was held online due to COVID-19, but I look forward to meeting all participants in Hiroshima at the next ICOC in 2024 and discussing the fascinating Copepoda.


Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mersin University, Mersin, Türkiye


Recipient of Best Student Poster Award


Towards the revision of Phyllopodopsyllus T. Scott, 1906 (Copepoda, Harpacticoida) species distributed along the Turkish coasts [poster with lightning talk]

I am a PhD student at Mersin University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology. The Student Poster Presentation Awards was a very well-thought out and organized event during the e-ICOC. It was a great honour to have received one of the student poster presentation awards. I would like to thank Rony Huys and Alexandra Savchenko and all others who were involved in the success of the conference.

The main purpose of my doctoral study is to review the populations of Phyllopodopsyllus species recorded from the mediolittoral zone of the Turkish seas to date, using integrated taxonomic methods. In this context, both intraspecific and interspecific comparisons of the populations of Phyllopodopsyllus bradyi (T. Scott, 1892), P. berrieri Monard, 1936, P. briani Petkovski, 1955, P. thiebaudi Petkovski, 1955, P. pauli Crisafi, 1960 and P. gracilipes Wells & Rao, 1987 collected to date will be made. So, I hope that an important gap in the literature will be filled by redescribing the species, and analysing and re-evaluating the species boundaries within the scope of my thesis. In the light of the data obtained as a result of all these processes, it is aimed to contribute to the phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus. I will also attempt to contribute to both the determination of the species boundaries and the phylogeny of the genus by isolating as much DNA as possible from live or preserved specimens collected from the Turkish coasts and using the DNA sequences available in the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

I hope to be able to evaluate the results of my PhD study and discuss my research again at the next International Copepoda Conference which will be held in Japan. I would like to conclude by recognizing that this conference has been a great contribution to the development of my academic career.


Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy


Recipient of Best Student Poster Award


Microplastic ingestion by copepod species in the Gulf of Naples (Western Mediterranean Sea) [poster with lightning talk]

I am a PhD student in environmental biology. This degree was obtained at the University of L'Aquila and Lyon and further developed through a research grant at C.N.R. in Florence. My research interests have focused on copepods since my PhD and early postdoc experiences. Copepods are a key link between primary producers and secondary consumers in both marine and freshwater environments. Therefore, my interest in this extremely diverse group has grown by analyzing their role in ecosystem functioning for the Interreg project “PVT” and environmental risk assessment for the Life project “Aqualife” in both groundwater and surface waters. Understanding the effects of xenobiotics on this taxon is a crucial challenge in developing an early warning system of environmental status. Among the emerging pollutants whose environmental risk is widely recognized are microplastics. My current task is to assess the relevance of microplastics as potential prey for zooplankton under the JPI Oceans MicroplastiX project. Research activities to be carried out in 2022 at SZN include the analysis of hyponeustonic zooplankton taxa collected in the Bay of Naples. The organisms will be digested with chemicals and both abundance and type of microplastics will be assessed for the entire zooplankton community with a species-specific approach. In particular, the zooplankton species most sensitive to microplastic ingestion will be selected for grazing experiments. In particular, I will evaluate how the presence of microplastics affects the feeding behavior and ingestion rates of the selected species. The results of this research will help to understand the extent of the effects of microplastics on the entire trophic system.

Winning the award for best student poster meant a real legitimization of the scientific value of my research topic. I am grateful to the organisers and WAC community for the opportunity given to me. It is a great and prestigious window on the world of research.


GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany


Recipient of Best Student Poster Award


Effects of plasticity and adaptation on the seasonal thermal tolerance of Baltic copepods [poster with lightning talk]

I am currently in the final year of my Master’s program at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany. For my thesis, I investigated the changes in seasonal thermal tolerance of Baltic copepods. With my experimental set-up I tried to disentangle the drivers behind the shifts in thermal tolerance we observed throughout the year. The poster I presented at the e-ICOC 2022 included first results of this project. The preliminary findings suggest that plasticity is the main driver of seasonal thermal tolerance in Acartia spp. in the Baltic Sea. After just a single generation of lab acclimation, there were significant effects of acclimation temperature, with higher temperatures tolerated by the warm acclimation group. Acclimation also had significant effects on body size, with higher temperatures resulting in smaller individuals. These findings reveal a capacity for thermal plasticity in Acartia, allowing for quick responses to environmental changes. I am aiming to finish my Master’s thesis by the end of 2022 and hope to continue researching copepods in my PhD.

I am honoured to have received a student award for my poster and lightning talk. It was very encouraging for me to obtain so much positive feedback early in my career and it reinforced my desire to continue working on copepods in the future. The e-ICOC was a great opportunity for me to engage with copepod scientists all over the world and start building a network. My gratitude goes to the organizers for encouraging participation of young scientists and granting me this unique experience.


University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.


Recipient of Best Student Poster Award (with Jade Hiraki Morris)


A novel copepod egg predator infesting commercially important yellow rock crabs in Santa Barbara, CA [poster with lightning talk]

My name is Sophia Lecuona and I am a fourth year student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I have been honored to work with Armand Kuris’s Parasite Ecology Lab, where I study a novel copepod egg predator present on Cancer crabs in the Santa Barbara area. Rock crabs are an economically and ecologically important species along the west coast, especially in the local area of Santa Barbara. From an exterior perspective, the high-yielding Southern California rock crab fishery is booming, producing to a level that its lucrative nature seems impenetrable. And yet, from an interior view, cavities of mismanagement threaten to dismantle the entire system. The majority of the crabs caught for the experiment have been yellow rock crabs, which are not heavily studied nor understood. Their lifespan itself is not known, but estimated to be short-lived. There is relative uncertainty of how the fishery may respond should there be further external antagonistic elements, such as a newly introduced egg predator. This is potentially alarming, considering the fact that a crash to the rock crab population would leave many fishermen vulnerable to financial stress.

I am interested in determining the crab egg mortality rate induced by the presence of these novel copepod nicothoids, describing the species, understanding the natural history life cycle of the species, and determining whether rock crabs experience auto-infection of the copepods. Our team has been working hard on learning more about the egg predator, as perhaps with a better understanding of the species, a plan can be developed to conserve the important rock crab population in Southern California.

As I move into graduate school, I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management at the UCSB Bren School, where I will learn more applied skills to find a solution to this issue. I am grateful for WAC and their acknowledgement of our project, as there is much to be done and having connections with scientists around the world to keep an eye out for the egg predators is essential to saving crab populations.


University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.


Recipient of Best Student Poster Award (with Sophia Lecuona)


A novel copepod egg predator infesting commercially important yellow rock crabs in Santa Barbara, CA [poster with lightning talk]

My name is Jade Hiraki Morris, and I started working with copepods in 2016 at the end of my sophomore year in high school when I began working with Dr. Julianne Passarelli on an unidentified species of harpacticoid in the family Porcellidiidae. For two years, I gathered field data on the prevalence, intensity, and distribution of this copepod, and presented the preliminary findings of this work at the 2017 ICOC. From 2018-2022, I continued my work on copepod systems at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This included an expansion of the porcellidiid work, as well as other more general copepod projects. The work that was presented at the 2022 e-ICOC with my colleague Sophia Lecuona is on a novel nicothoid egg predator that might potentially be an economically important parasite on a species of crab that supports a local fishery in southern California. Sophia and I plan to continue working on this species with a team of other colleagues in the lab of Dr. Armand Kuris. Recently, I have completed my bachelor’s degree in biology from UCSB. Since graduating, I have begun working as a staff educator at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and am completing my various copepod projects whilst planning to start graduate schools in Fall 2023.

It was a great honor to receive a Student Presentation Award at the e-ICOC 2022 meeting. I would like to thank the organizers of the e-ICOC for this award and for the fantastic job they did in organizing the first online ICOC.