As a member of Arhcipelagos’ terrestrial research team, my aim is to learn about the fauna living on the Samos island in order to preserve it better. We have multiple projects (most of them seasonal) on the different species that we monitor around the island, such as the jackal bioacoustics surveys, jackal scats analysis, jackal camera traps, a terrapins project, a chameleon project, and projects monitoring bird populations.

Before coming to Archipelagos, I wanted to learn how to work as a member of a team and to gain experience in the scientific field. Throughout my time here, I have been gaining a good amount of field skills, have learned about analyzing, scanning, and entering data.

I am involved in survey planning as well as in reporting data.

Usually in the morning, I do a jackal scat survey, and afterwards I either analyze the scats directly or store them for further analysis. This research is very useful as it provides important information on the diet ecology of golden jackals on Samos through passive sampling.

When we have any camera traps set, I go to collect them, mostly at the same time as the scat surveys, since the camera traps are placed in the same area. Afterwards, I help analyze the footage. At night, after work when the sun sets, I join on chameleon or jackal bioacoustics surveys.

What I also like about my work is biking to the surveys since the location is very nice. The landscape, and the sun either rising or setting, makes the data collection so much more pleasurable.

I was pleasantly surprised that the terrestrial team is very developed and has a lot of ongoing projects. The supervisors make sure that the work is done and are here to give advice when needed. The members of the team have to be independent and know how to do their work in order to make the different projects advance to achieve the research and conservation goals.

I am staying in Archipelagos Institute for 9 months in total, and during this time I wil gain a good understanding of all the different projects. My placement will help me contribute better to the world of science by collecting a lot of data for further research or helping to write a scientific paper.

Gregoire Florentin