Archipelagos Intern Experience

An insight into conservation at Archipelagos

Microplastics found under microscope analysis in the facilities of Archipelago Institute. Microplastics are anthropogenic pollutants that enter the water column in two different ways: either as primary sources, known as nurdles or pellets, or as secondary sources from larger plastics fragmented by sun, wind and water forces. These particles measure up to 5mm and are
Bioacoustics is the study of sound produced by living organisms and how sound affects them. It’s an important area of research especially in the marine world as sound is amplified underwater and acoustic interactions are thought to be just as important as visual interaction. Cetaceans produce 3 distinct types of noise: Whistles – This type
Background Public awareness is rising for the danger plastics are causing to the marine environment, but it can still improve further. Tourists are a major part of a beaches population during the summer months of a year, their presence can have both positive and negative effects. They bring many items to the beach and can
Recognising an individual within a study population is a key issue in many behavioural and ecological studies of animals. A good method for this is photo-identification (photo-ID), a technique that is based on the repeated identification of individuals through pictures. It is an important, non-invasive tool since marine mammals do not have to be physically
As winter arrives, it brings along various species of birds that are travelling from different parts of the world, migrating from their origin to seek better food resources, nesting areas, and climate conditions that correspond to changes in their environment. Due to the collective anthropogenic impacts worldwide, which have accumulated overtime since the industrialisation period
An important part of science is the way it is presented. The media team plays a large role in this at Archipelagos. Infographics, scientific posters, business cards; our interns are always designing things to communicate what we do at the institute. A primary part of our work  is data visualisation. Data visualisation is the presentation
Here at Archipelagos we have a stranding response program put in place in order to deal with both live and dead strandings. When a live stranding is reported, the team administer first aid to the animal if required. The turtle is then either returned straight back to the water or brought back to the base
Posidonia oceanica is a seagrass species that grows in dense meadows or along channels in the sandy parts of the Mediterranean Sea and is usually found at depths between 1–35 m, depending on the water clarity. This species is exclusively found in the Mediterranean Sea, occupying an area of about 3% of the basin. This
Seagrass meadows are considered to be a crucial coastal ecosystem at global scale which contribute, alongside mangroves and tidal marshes, to ‘Blue Carbon’ storage. These coastal ecosystems through the process of photosynthesis sequester (capture) and store large quantities of carbon within the plants themselves and the underlying sediment layer. In fact, seagrass in some cases can
The endemic Mediterranean Pinna nobilis (Fig. 1) is one of the largest bivalves of the world reaching heights up to 120cm, and found in depths up to 60m. It is partially buried in soft sediment and tends to shelter itself on the edge of seagrass meadows. As an “Endangered Species” it is under protection, according
As the winter approaches reptiles are preparing for brumation, a process similar to hibernation but for cold-blooded animals, to handle an extreme change in temperature, burying themselves under the soil. Reptiles are crucial to study due to their high susceptibility to environmental changes and our projects focus on the habitat preference of the Common chameleon
The Mediterranean Monk seal (Monachus monachus; Figure 1), is currently considered to be facing a ‘very high risk of extinction’. According to the IUCN, it is the most endangered Pinniped species in the world, with less than 600-700 individuals left, of which 300-400 in Greece. Mykali Bay is a rocky beach in the south-eastern side
PRESENTING THE GLOBAL PROBLEM OF MICROPLASTICS POLLUTION AT THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INDUSTRIAL & HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT. Eleonora Faraggiana, Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, P.O. Box 42 Pythagorio 83 103 Samos (Greece) Context During the 6th International Conference on Industrial & HazardousWaste Management, taking place in Chania (Crete) between 4th – 7th September 2018,

Microplastics research

Introduction Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastics up to 5mm in size, anything bigger is considered a macroplastic. Since their invention in the 1950s plastics have been polluting our oceans and waterways. Big pieces of plastic in the oceans are broken down by phytodegradation, photodegradation (through plants or light) or weathering processes in the sea

The silent invasion

Beneath the waves of the Mediterranean Sea a silent invasion is taking place, unseen by anyone above. The invaders are foreign species from all over the world, allowed transport by the hand of man. And they are here to stay. These types of incursion are far from uncommon around the world, but no place is
Posidionia oceanica, an engineering species in danger Posidonia oceanica is a marine flowering plant, also called ‘seagrass’. It is at the basis of most Mediterranean costal ecosystems. As an engineering species, it provides a lot of services and benefits for both humans and wildlife, by supporting marine life (algae, fish, and invert), enhancing biodiversity and
Introduction & Background With an increasing awareness of the growing level of plastic in the environment, human activity has a significant impact on the health of both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. After one year of daily macroplastic surveys on remote coasts of Samos, a new project was inititated this spring aiming to assess the influx
Seagrass, in particular Posidonia oceanica, plays an important role in the ecosystem and provides several services. It ensures the maintenance of physical, chemical and biological conditions. It provides a habitat for many different species, is a nursery, hunting and predator area. Furthermore, it mediates flow, is a coastal erosion protection by stabilizing the sea beds and it decreases the water power
The Aegean Sea hosts some of the most important remaining marine mammal and sea turtle populations in the Mediterranean. Thanks to their unique biodiversity and pristine waters, the islands attract many sea enthusiasts all year long, especially during the summer season. Bad encounters between boats and mammals are common and can have disastrous consequences for animals.
  “Noise pollution” in the marine environment has been an increasing concern for conservationists and marine researchers in the past decades. Underwater sounds caused by ships have no impact on humans, however, they may have severe effects on marine life, especially marine mammals. Engine noise from boats increases with size, power, load and speed. It
Although people have long been fascinated by the behaviour of animals, the formal discipline of animal behaviour–ethology–is actually relatively new, dating to the work of Konrad Lorenz in Austria in the 1930s. The application of ethological principles and methods to the study of animal welfare is even newer. Behavioural data can offer insight into the
When it comes to insects many people often inadvertently recoil away in disgust or terror, thinking only of their legs as creepy or their eyes as beady. But what not many people realise is that insects perform many important roles not only in regards to natural ecosystems but also to our society as a whole.
What is an artificial reef and why are we developing and using one? The artificial reef project has been ongoing since March 2017. It is a long-term project with the aim to successfully create reefs that increase biodiversity in the surrounding waters. The project is still in its experimental stage, but the long-term aim is
Have you ever stood on the shoreline, with waves lapping back and forth and allowed your mind to dive down into the mysterious world that lies beneath the waves? What creatures prowl the depth in search of their next meal? Dolphins, Sharks, Giant squid? What if I tell you that this mystery can be solved
In time for spring, Archipelagos’ terrestrial team has started chameleon surveys. The common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) becomes active around April – May when it wakes up from its torpor and climbs up from underneath the ground. From there it will find a bush, tree, or other sturdy vegetation for its roost. On Samos, Chamaeleo chamaeleon appears in
The Terrestrial team of Archipelagos is continuing its monitoring of Aliki Psili Ammos (Natura 2000), which includes several other wetlands and ponds including Mesokampos marsh and Glyfada ponds. A recent visit to the island of Lipsi also allowed for surveying of Vroulia Bay (Birds Directive Site) for two weeks. These areas are key for migratory
The Aegean Sea supports some of the most important remaining marine mammal populations in the Mediterranean. Archipelagos´ marine mammal research team monitors year round through regular boat surveys the populations of Common Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), Short-beaked Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), Stripped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) and Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Photo