Our Research Bases

Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation runs research bases and stations on seven islands of the Aegean. The 2 research bases run throughout the year, while the 5 stations run on a seasonal basis.

Archipelagos Coastal Ecology Research Base and Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary

During the summer and autumn of 2020 Archipelagos main base is on the island of Lipsi, where is the Marine Research Base and the Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary.

In the small town of Lipsi, we work out of three buildings situated in the centre of Lipsi’s small vibrant town, a town with a great community spirit. The main office is by the port and hosts a large, spacious office and outdoor working areas as well as separate kitchen facilities for our kitchen staff and an outdoor and outdoor communal eating area.

Two facilities are provided for the team’s accommodation in shared rooms, both few minutes walk from the office. Our accommodation facilities provide wi-fi, laundry facilities and a sunny outdoor communal area for all interns.

Archipelagos’ Lipsi Research Base, supports the work for the creation of the Aegean Marine Life sanctuary. The sanctuary itself is situated 5km from the town and main Research Centre, on the NW of Lipsi Island, within a secluded bay with excellent marine biodiversity. The Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary will in the future assist with the rehabilitation of Marine wildlife and become a permanent semi-wild environment for a small selection of formerly captive dolphins, a rehabilitation centre for marine mammals and turtles that will operate within the building and within the bay, as well as a coastal ecology research centre where numerous important experiments and research activities take place.

The Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary building, is being developed to be a model self-sufficient building. It is powered by solar panels, and will soon also have a solar-powered desalination system to cover the water-supply needs of the building. The AMLS has consistent support from the local community and authorities in Lipsi, but also from a growing international network of experts giving us the assurance we need to see this project to fruition with multiple aspects of innovation.

Lipsi Island is a blue print for a “green island”, as it is one of the few Aegean islands where efficient recycling, waste and waste water management systems are in place to protect the environment. The local authorities are carrying out several important initiatives to reduce the plastic footprint of the island. Apart from the 800 permanent inhabitants, the population of the Island booms during summertime, as many tourists and seasonal visitors are attracted to the beautiful landscapes, numerous small beaches, hospitable community and rich aquatic life.

Main Research Base

Archipelagos’ main research base is located close to the small town of Pythagorio, in the settlement of Mesokampos, on the southeastern part of Samos island. It is a multifunctional that supports marine and terrestrial research and conservation activities. The base includes offices with a small library, a laboratory, dormitory style rooms for accommodation and a kitchen, as well as small gym and cinema room.

The building is situated just a few steps away from the beach with a beautiful view facing the coast of Turkey and the national park of the Dilek Peninsula. The Psili Ammos salt marsh, a protected Natura 200 site, is located a few kilometers away and supports important migratory and resident bird populations, as well as other wildlife. Within a close distance from Archipelagos’ base lies Pythagorio, an ancient town with a 2,500-year-oldharbor filled with brightly colored fishing boats. While in Pythagorio, one can find a diverse selection of cafes, restaurants, taverns and shops. From here several historical sites can be accessed, including the ancient temple of the goddess Hera, the Tunnel of Eupalinos and the Archaeological Museum of Pythagorio.

Samos is a Greek island in the eastern part of the Aegean Sea, situated very close to the Turkish coastline, which at one point is only 1.6 km away. It is a historical island, with ancient heritage and important archeological sites. In antiquity it was home to prominent figures such as the mathematician Pythagoras, the storyteller Aesop, the philosopher Epicurus and the astronomer Aristarchus. Today Samos is characterized by its rare natural wealth, both at land and sea. It is the only island of the Mediterranean that supports populations of golden jackals and the only place in Greece where Mediterranean chameleons still survive. The marine ecosystems around Samos are equally important, as they contain Posidonia seagrass meadows, coralligenous reefs and considerable populations of rare, endangered marine mammals and turtles.

Forestry & Agronomy Research Station

The base is located in the settlement of Kastanies, Rahes, within a traditional village community. Offices, a research laboratory, computer room, library and presentation area are provided and wireless internet can be accessed throughout. Additionally, an online meteorological station and AIS receiver station are installed in the base. Dormitory style accommodation and kitchen facilities with a biomass heating unit are also available. The base borders a small agricultural land, a pine forest and stream valleys with an amazing view.

Ιkaria is a very special island of the Aegean, with spectacular river valleys, beautiful beaches, traditional villages and very hospitable local community. The island is characterized by a unique natural environment with a rare combination of Mediterranean ecosystems. It is mountainous with many streams and lakes, as well as large, diverse forests. The marine environment of the region supports populations of many protected species, while the littoral zone boasts rich and diverse ecosystems. Ikaria has a population of roughly 8,400 inhabitants, many of them following the traditional island way of life. The main livelihoods are agriculture, bee-keeping, livestock farming and, to a lesser degree, fisheries. Tourism is also important for the economy of the island.


Coastal Biodiversity Research Stations

The stations on the small islets of Arki and Marathi are housed in buildings provided by the Municipality of Patmos. The facility on Arki includes a simple office, dormitory style accommodation and kitchen. In Marathi, the station is located in a small environmental observatory. Archipelagos’ research teams use these facilities mainly for short duration surveys.

The small island of Arki has 45 inhabitants, while Marathi, an even smaller islet nearby, is permanently inhabited by only 3-5 people. Both stations are predominantly used by Archipelagos’ teams for littoral ecosystem research. The surrounding area is unique because of its pristine natural environment, with almost no anthropogenic impact and rich marine biodiversity. It is a perfect location for studying and experiencing pure nature.

The area is a part of the “Permanent Wildlife Refuge of Arki Island Complex & N. Patmos Islets”, which consists of 14 isles in the Patmos region. It was established by the Greek authorities in 2004, based on biodiversity research carried out by Archipelagos in cooperation with the local community, the Municipality of Patmos, and the South Aegean District.


Marine Research Station

This research station, provided by the Development Center of Oinousses Aegean, is located in the heart of the only town on the island. The office facilities are set in a beautiful building overlooking the sea with wireless internet available throughout. Between autumn and spring, thousands of cormorants migrate daily over Oinousses town, and can even be seen from the office window.

The beautiful island of Oinousses is situated east of Chios island and inhabited by 600 people. It is historically known for being home to a large number of ship owning families. On the island there are several small beaches and vineyards, as well as the magnificent church of St. Nicholas and the Monastery of Evangelismos. The town offers a small selection of shops, restaurants and cafes.

The island complex is characterized by spectacular wildlife, including rare aggregations of winter visiting birds and biodiverse marine mammal and turtle populations.

Sustainable Aquaculture Research Station

Archipelagos is currently in the process of setting up a new station in the northern part of Leros island. This station will support research on sustainable aquaculture practices and minimizing their impacts on marine ecosystems.