Orthoptera Taxonomy and Conservation



Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands) and the Department of Biological Applications and Technology of the University of Ioannina (Greece) invite you to the first European summer school on Orthoptera taxonomy and conservation, accounting for 5 ECTS. The summer school is organized under the auspices of the Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) and will be hosted in the beautiful town of Konitsa in NW, Greece, in the heart of Vikos-Aoos Unesco Geopark from 17 to 23 July 2023.

This training course focuses on Mediterranean grasshoppers, crickets and bush crickets and combines theoretical knowledge with fieldwork. It consists of two parts: Four online interactive lectures will introduce participants to the magical world of grasshoppers in a versatile way, including topics on morphology, habitats, bioacoustics, sampling techniques, ecology, ethics, laws and collecting regulations. The second part complements the entomological lectures but focuses on fieldwork and lab sessions. Students will be trained in species sampling and identification in situ, specimen collection, preparation and identification in the lab via stereoscopy, sound recording techniques and macro-photography. They will also design and implement small-scale field experiments. The program is enriched with field excursions around Konitsa agricultural landscapes, to the magnificent mountainous landscapes of Grammos near the Amarantos thermal springs of high geological interest, in the roadless area of Smolikas mountain and in the wetlands of Lake Pamvotis in Ioannina. The course language is English.

Organization and support

The summer school is co-organized by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands) and the Department of Biological Applications and Technology of the University of Ioannina under the auspices of the Distributed European School of Taxonomy-DEST. The event is kindly hosted and supported by the municipality of Konitsa, courses will be held in the Center of Environmental Education of Konitsa and accommodation will be offered in the student hotel of the municipality. The Feraki Fund, the University of Ioannina and the Vikos-Aoos Unesco Global Geopark also kindly support the event.


Five orthopterologists will form the core teaching group:

Prof. Dr Axel Hochkirch University of Trier, Dep. of Biogeography, Germany

Prof. Dr. V. Kati University of Ioannina, Dep. of Biological Applications & Technology

Baudewijn Odé (M.Sc) FLORON, Netherlands

Roy Kleukers (M.Sc)  EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten, Netherlands

Luc Willemse (M.Sc.) Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands

Guest tutors: Dr. Haritakis Papaioannou (Vikos-Aoos Geopark), Dr. Konstantina Zografou (University of Ioannina), Lisbeth Zechner (LIFE SOS Criquet de Crau).


Our school targets enthusiastic students at any level of studies (undergraduates, MSc or PhD students), preferably with but also without experience on entomology, as well as post-graduates, young scientists and professionals that are interested in grasshopper taxonomy, ecology, conservation and field sampling. We welcome applications from all over Europe. A number of 15 to 20 applicants will be selected to attend the school in 2023.

Registration fee

The registration fee is 300€ and covers accommodation, transport during the summer school, subsistence costs, and the use of equipment. Participants must cover their travel expenses to and from Konitsa and health insurance. In certain cases, limited funding is available to compensate part of the costs for this course; for more information, please send an email to the contact.

Important dates

31 January 2023 Registration opens

31 March 2023 Registration closes

15 April 2023 Announcement of participants

3-6 July 2023 Online sessions

17-23 July Summer school in Konitsa


Online interactive lectures: 3-6 July 2023

Four days with several lectures per day on:

  • Ecology and conservation of grasshoppers
  • Overview European Grasshoppers (part 1-4)
  • Ethics, laws and regulations of collecting
  • Guides and identification tools
  • Bioacoustics

Field summer school: 17-23 July 2023

Day 1: Monday 17/07: arrival at Konitsa.

Day 2-5: Tuesday 18/07 – Friday 21/07

  • morning/afternoon: lectures followed by fieldwork centering on species recognition, collecting techniques and small field experiments
  • evening: identification material, specimen preparation, night excursions

Day 6: Saturday 22/07

  • final test
  • presentation of results of ‘experimental designs’
  • evaluation of the course

Day 7: Sunday 23/07: departure from Konitsa

Learning outcomes-exams-certificate (5 ECTS)

Types of training/ Implementation method

  • Theoretical online lectures
  • Interactive training of species recognition in the field
  • Practicals on identification and preparation
  • Experimental design

Training Course learning outcomes

  • acquire basic knowledge on grasshopper ecology and conservation
  • learn about experimental design and field techniques
  • sample, prepare and identify grasshoppers
  • learn to recognize grasshopper taxa in different habitats
  • be familiar with bioacoustics

Course certificate-ECTS

Successful participants will obtain a Certificate of successful course accompishment accounting for 5 ECTS Units (European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training), provided by the Department of Biological Applications & Technology of the University of Ioannina.

What to bring with

Bring your laptop and writing material, such as a field notebook (A5 size), pen and pencil. Have field equipment: mountaineering/field boots, T-shirt, light jacket, sunblock, repellent, cap or hat, and rain protection. Be responsible and have medication in cases of allergies or other medical conditions


The event will take place in Konitsa, a beautiful small city near the famous Aoos river, one of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe. Surrounded by old-growth forests and heterogeneous agricultural landscapes, in the vicinity of Smolikas and Grammos mountains, it offers a diversity of natural habitats to explore the grasshopper’s world. The city has a long tradition in adventure tourism, and particularly so for kayaking and rafting. All facilities are available in Konitsa, including a bus station, a medical center, shops or restaurants. The venue is 800m away from the city center, namely the central square of Konitsa. The teaching room and the hostel are less than 100m distance,

[1] Accommodation: Student hostel of Konitsa Municipality. Coordinates: 40,049103; 20,743653

[2] Teaching room/Lab: Center of Environmental Education, Konitsa. Coordinates: 40,048147; 20,744292

[3] Central square of Konitsa & Bus station

From central square to Teaching Room: https://goo.gl/maps/hGKiMRMKHzyjGVuv8

Travel to Konitsa

The nearest airport is the King Pyrros airport at the town of Ioannina, connected with international airports mainly via Athens. There is no train connection, but several bus itineraries connect the town of Ioannina with Athens and Thessaloniki, and three bus itineraries per day connect Ioannina to Konitsa (60 min).


Luc Willemse, Naturalis Biodiversity Center. E-mailluc.willemse@naturalis.nl

Application Form

Registration has closed on 31 March 2023