ESSO - Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services

(An Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India)
Home ITCOocean Remote Sensing of Marine Phytoplankton - optics, pigment and taxonomy

Training programme on "Remote Sensing of Marine Phytoplankton - optics, pigment and taxonomy"
during March 19 - 23, 2018
Organized by
International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean)
ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services(INCOIS), Hyderabad, India


The ocean colour satellite remote sensing provides unique observational capability to biological oceanographers and other earth observation scientists interested in processes that involve phytoplankton. The synoptic view of upper ocean optical properties having high spatial and temporal resolution provides advantage of satellite remote sensing over the conventional in situ observations. Since the proof-of-concept Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) mission, the principal focus of ocean-colour research has been on retrieval of information about the content of chlorophyll-a, the major phytoplankton pigment in the upper ocean. The chlorophyll concentration being the most utilised ocean colour product, an evolving interest in retrieving other properties, including information on the composition of the phytoplankton community, has emerged in recent years. The phytoplankton community can be described on the basis of their size, pigment composition and taxonomy. This interest has paralleled the incorporation of the concept of phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) into studies of a range of ecological and biogeochemical problems, especially into modelling studies as each PFT represents a group of species aggregated according to distinct functional characteristics.

About the course:

The course intends towards providing overview of marine phytoplankton, its distribution and ecological relevance using remote sensing technique. The course includes theory classes as well as hands on exercises. The theory will cover the various aspects of marine phytoplankton including its distribution in World Ocean, physical control, ecology, pigment composition etc. In addition, the basics of marine optics and ocean colour remote sensing will also be covered with an aim to study its distribution at synoptic scale. The hands on exercise will focus on measurement of phytoplankton pigment analysis using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), optical properties and taxonomy. The hands on exercise will also cover processing of ocean colour satellite data towards retrieval of chlrophyll-a.

Course contents:

  1. The Lectures will tentatively cover the following topics (Forenoon):
    • Marine phytoplankton distribution and ecology
    • Marine primary productivity and carbon cycle
    • Marine photosynthetic systems and size classification
    • Marine environmental variables vis-a-vis phytoplankton
    • Fundamentals of marine optics and optically active substances
    • Introduction to ocean colour remote Sensing - retrieval algorithms for chlorophyll-a
    • Harmful algal bloom and ocean colour remote sensing
    • Phytoplankton functional types
    • Phytoplankton pigment composition using chromatographic methods and its ecological relevance
    • Remote sensing of phytoplankton in operational services
  2. Hands on exercise (Afternoon):
    • Measurements of phytoplankton absorption spectra
    • Phytoplankton pigment analysis using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
    • Phytoplankton taxonomy using microscopy
    • Ocean colour satellite data processing using SeaDAS


The faculty for the course consists of scientists/experts in different fields drawn from the host institute (INCOIS) and also from other organizations like Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), etc. These experts have long and varied experience in the field of marine phytoplankton ecology, optics, instrumentation and applications.


The training course will be held at ITCOocean, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, India.

Who can apply?

The training program is open to scientists, post-graduate fellows and doctoral students involved in oceanographic work with specific reference to Ocean Colour Remote Sensing and its applications. Priority will be given to self sponsoring students/ working professionals.

The trainees are expected to have basic knowledge of marine phytoplankton and ocean colour remote sensing along with basic computer skills. Preference will be given to the candidates pursuing their research or building a carrier in the above topics.

It is expected that participants should carry their own laptop computer.

Course Fee and Financial support:

There is no course fee charged for the training course. The participants are expected to make their own arrangements for all expenses. However, INCOIS can provide accommodation at their Hostel for few deserving candidates. Preference in admission will be given to candidates who are supported by their own organizations.

Important Dates :

  • Last date for online application submission: 29th January, 2018 @ 5:00PM IST
  • Intimation to Selected candidates: 12th February, 2018
  • Course Date: March 19 - 23, 2018


The interested candidates may apply online by visiting on or before 29th January, 2018 @ 5:00PM IST

Contact Address:

International Training Centre on Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean)
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
(Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India)
"Ocean Valley", Pragathi Nagar (B.O.)
Nizampet (S.O.), HYDERABAD - 500 090
Tel : +91 40 23895000
Fax : +91 40 23895001
E mail :