Marine Research & Conservation Projects

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Marine Research & Conservation Projects


The Aegean Sea is one of most important marine biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean, supporting key protected marine habitats including extensive seagrass meadows and coralligenous assemblages. Poor enforcement of existing national and international legislation results in continued degradation of these critical habitats caused by increasing human impacts. It is an utmost priority to ensure the enforcement of this legislation to protect key habitats that are crucial to maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems.

Program Description

For over 20 years, Archipelagos has been monitoring the biodiversity of benthic ecosystems of the Aegean Sea. Archipelagos was also the first institute to start research in microplastics in Greece in 2009 with focus in the Aegean Sea where a limited amount of research is carried out. The data collected enables us to understand local conditions, ecosystem changes, processes and threats, as well as to quantify the sources and consequences of the plastic pollution in various levels of marine ecosystems.

This internship will consist of both field work and office work, which will provide interns with valuable skill sets in data collection, data analysis, and report writing for a professional career in marine conservation and environmental management.

Research is conducted during snorkel/free-diving surveys, kayak surveys, or land-based surveys. During these surveys, interns assist in the data collection for ongoing research projects, including:

  • Conducting biodiversity assessments of fish, invertebrates and algae, following various methodologies such as in situ identification, photography and video-based census
  • Monitoring the distribution of invasive species via underwater visual census and stakeholder questionnaire-based surveys
  • Design, installation and biodiversity monitoring of experimental artificial reefs
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) determining threats to protected species and ecosystems.
  • Designing and implementing experimental replantation of Posidonia seagrass, using environmentally friendly methods
  • Microplastic content in the digestive systems of commercial fish and stranded marine animals
  • Microplastics in surface seawater, water column samples and freshwater samples
  • Coastal marine litter and floating marine monitoring
  • Sediment core sampling of various substrates (e.g. wetlands, seabeds, sand)

These projects provide field-work and hands-on research opportunities for under-graduate and post-graduate students and for other early career researchers looking to gain field-research experience. Participants have the opportunity to collect data for producing a thesis and scientific publications (you can view Archipelagos researchers' scientific publications that interns contributed to, here). This internship provides skills and expertise valuable for a professional career in marine conservation and environmental management.

Interns have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects, for university credit or for a thesis/dissertation.

Applicant profile

This internship program is available to applicants who have completed at least one year of college or university studies in marine, ecological, environmental sciences and/or veterinary science.

Applicants must be able to work both independently and as part of a dynamic, multi-cultural, multidisciplinary team.

Additional skills required:

  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills.
  • Capacity for accurate and consistent data collection and analysis.
  • Ability to write scientific reports and papers.
  • Fluency in English
  • Sincere desire to work towards Archipelagos’ conservation efforts.
  • Motivation to live in a small island community in simple facilities

Additional Information

Normal placement duration ranges between 3 - 12 months, although shorter or longer placements can be tailored to the needs of groups and individuals.

Archipelagos’ research bases and stations in the Eastern Aegean Sea, on the islands of Samos and Lipsi as well as onboard the research vessels. Interns often move between research bases and boats depending on where surveys will take place.

As a non-profit research institute, these internships are not paid. This educational experience also requires a monthly fee of 650 euro to cover living expenses, the cost of training, use of research equipment and research vessels, and other expenses like Wi-Fi and insurance. For shorter duration placement than 3 months the participation fees are 780 euro per month.

Please note that travel costs to and from the research center are not included in the fees and are covered by the participant. This fee also contributes to the overall operations of the institute and allows Archipelagos to continue conducting important research.

Students and recent graduates are advised to explore possible funding through their universities, by getting in touch with the Finance / International Relations / Placement/ Erasmus+ Offices at their Universities or other relevant grant providing organizations in their region.

To apply for an internship, send a CV, cover letter, and at least one reference letter or reference contact details using the button at the top of the page.