Marine Mammal Research & Conservation

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Marine Mammal Research & Conservation

Background

The Aegean Sea is one of most important marine biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean, supporting key populations of cetaceans (dolphins and whales), Mediterranean monk seals and sea turtles. Archipelagos’ Marine Mammal Research Team uses the equipped sailing boats “Pinelopi” and “Naftilos”, as well as the research boat “Aegean Explorer” and the speed boat “Asterias” to monitor the regional status of marine mammal and sea turtle populations and their habitats in the Aegean, an area where data relating to these species is largely deficient. During day-long or multi-day research trips, the team gathers data on species populations and their respective threats, identifying critical habitats, and quantifies human and environmental impacts to fill these knowledge gaps.

Marine mammal team

This internship consists of both field work and office work, which will provide interns with valuable skill sets in data collection and equipment use, as well as data analysis and report writing. These skills set the foundation for a professional career in marine mammal research, marine conservation and environmental management. Boat-based surveys are conducted throughout the year depending on the weather conditions. Surveys take place on our research vessels: Aegean Explorer (22m motorboat), Naftilos (15m sailing boat), Pinelopi (16m sailing boat), and Asterias (7m speedboat).

Examples of recent internship projects

• Cetacean presence, abundance, distribution and behavioural studies (BORIS software) through boat-based surveys.
• Species distribution, residency patterns and social structure using mark recapture photo-ID techniques.
• Passive Acoustic Monitoring of cetacean species and anthropogenic noise, using a broadband Hydrophone array (320m) and stationary hydrophone.
• Use of PAMGuard and Raven Pro software for data analysis of acoustic monitoring.
• Presence, abundance, distribution and behavioural analysis of Mediterranean monk seals and sea turtles (Loggerhead and Green sea turtle).
• Monitoring and assessing coastal and floating marine litter and seabird populations at sea.
• Monitoring and assessing interactions with fishing boats and other commercial or recreational boats.

These projects provide field-work and hands-on research opportunities for under-graduate and post-graduate students, as well as for researchers looking to gain field-research experience or to collect data for scientific publications.

Your role

This internship program is available for students, graduates and researchers of marine, ecological and environmental sciences and/or veterinary medicine. Applicants must be able to work both independently and as part of a dynamic, multicultural, multidisciplinary team. During multi-day expeditions, the research team lives on the boat, so applicants must be able to live in tight quarters for several days at a time.

Technical skills

• Working towards or completion of a marine related scientific degree
• Accurate data entry
• Knowledge in the application of statistics, with some experience in a programming language such as R or Python.
• Good knowledge of the marine environment
• Experience with scientific surveying

Other skills

• Fluency in English
• Good communication skills
• Ability to work in a multicultural environment
• Motivation to live in remote places with simple facilities
• Sincere desire to work towards Archipelagos’ conservation efforts

What we offer

We offer an internship at an inspiring institute with experts on coastal conservation. You have the opportunity to collect data for writing a thesis, scientific publications or increasing your skillset within the marine conservation sector. Internships range from 3 - 12 months, although shorter or longer internship periods may be arranged to cover the needs of groups or individuals. As Archipelagos is a non-profit research institute, the internships we offer are unpaid. The experience requires an internship weekly fee of 163 - 195 euros to cover living and research expenses (e.g. housing, 3 meals a day, public liability insurance and other research facilities). Students and recent graduates and researchers are advised to search for possible funding through their universities, by getting in touch with the International Office/ Placement/ Erasmus+ Offices at their Universities or other relevant grant providing organizations in their region.

Procedure

To apply for this internship, please send an email to our admissions team outlining your program of interest and requesting an application form - [email protected] We will get back to you within 2 working days.

The Mediterranean population of Striped dolphin has been listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN red list due to the extensive threats they face, mainly because of overfishing and pollution. Archipelagos has been monitoring the population of this beautiful species in the Greece Seas, urging towards its protection and long-term conservation!

🐬 Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) get their name from the distinct pattern of grey and white stripes they display on the side of their body. Extremely social, we frequently monitor them in pods of 100-250 individuals in the easter Aegean. This species is particularly acrobatic and can often be seen leaping up to 6m above the surface!

#Archipelagos #WeAreArchipelagos #SaveTheAegean #StandForOceans #oceansresearchforconservation #oceansience #mediterraneansea #mediterranean #saveourseas #savetheocean #greece #lipsi #nature
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Good afternoon to everyone from the Aegean! 😊

#archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #researchforconservation #aegeansea #mediterranean #mediterraneansea #greece #samos #marinemammals #savetheocean #marinelife #saveourseas #dolphins #whales
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🌧️ These days' weather conditions are not suitable for boat surveys. This allows us to make time for data analysis.

📚 It's part of a scientific job to sit down in the office and process the data which we collect at sea. Each intern focuses on a specific research topic around marine mammals that ranges from photo-ID, behaviour to acoustics. The results will expand our knowledge of these marine species and the area they inhabit.

#archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #researchforconservation #aegeansea #mediterranean #mediterraneansea #greece #samos #marinemammals #savetheocean #marinelife #saveourseas #dolphins #whales
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⛵ We continue to survey almost daily at sea, on board our research vessels, despite the -frequently- rough seas of the autumn months.

🐬 Within 77 days of survey we reported 124 sightings in the Northeastern Aegean, where some of the most important surviving marine mammal populations of the Mediterranean Sea are found

🐋 The sightings include 4 species of dolphins (bottlenose, common, striped and Risso’s dolphin), 2 species of whales (sperm whales and Cuvier’s beaked whales), as well as the endangered, Mediterranean monk seal.

This research and conservation action will continue throughout the winter.

#Archipelagos #WeAreArchipelagos #SaveTheAegean #StandForOceans #oceans researchforconservation #oceansience #mediterraneansea #mediterranean #saveourseas #savetheocean #greece #lipsi #nature
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Through extensive surveys with the boats “Pinelopi” and “Naftilos”, the main goal of Archipelagos Institute is to contribute to filling the knowledge gap, which will ultimately help enforce policies that will safeguard the survival of these rare species.

#archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #researchforconservation #aegeansea #mediterranean #mediterraneansea #greece #ikaria #samos #chios #marinemammals #savetheocean #marinelife #saveourseas #dolphins #whales #dolphinsighting #boatexpedition
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Only within the past 24 hours, we have encountered and collected data on sperm whales, Cuvier’s beaked whales, and four species of dolphins in the region of NE Aegean.

These sightings confirm the region’s global environmental significance for multiple cetacean populations.

#archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #researchforconservation #aegeansea #mediterranean #mediterraneansea #greece #ikaria #samos #chios #marinemammals #savetheocean #marinelife #saveourseas #dolphins #whales #dolphinsighting #RissosDolphin #Rissosdolphins #spermwhale #beakedwhale #expedition #boatexpedition
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Today we will be talking about our expeditions over the trench between Ikaria, Samos and Chios, which exceeds 1400 meters in depth! It is one of the most important migratory routes and feeding areas for large marine mammals in the North-East Mediterranean.

⛵ During extended boat surveys, our research team is gathering data on the rare species living over this important hotspot, to increase understanding of the northern and central Aegean ecosystems, its inhabitants and the anthropogenic impacts that threaten their survival.

#archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #researchforconservation #aegeansea #mediterranean #mediterraneansea #greece #ikaria #samos #chios #marinemammals #savetheocean #marinelife #saveourseas #dolphins #whales #dolphinsighting #RissosDolphin #Rissosdolphins #spermwhale #beakedwhale #expedition #boatexpedition
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Happy Monday to everybody from the Aegean!

On board of the research boat Naftilos, we captured this image of a common dolphin calf swimming next to its mother. 🐬🐬

Despite their name, common dolphins are the rarest dolphin species in the Mediterranean. The fact that in Archipelagos Institute we have, for yet another year, many recordings of calves in the eastern Aegean, gives us hope for an increase in overall population in the area.

#Wearearchipelagos #Archipelagos #SaveTheAegean #dolphin #cetaceans #commondolphin #greece #AegeanSea #Mediterranean #Mediterraneansea #ocean #researchforconservation
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The Aegean Sea never ceases to amaze us! 🐳

This Sunday, we photographed these two splendid sperm whales. These animals belong to a four-member social group that feeds, these days, in the extremely important trench that lies between the islands of Ikaria, Chios and Samos.

The team, on board the boat Naftilos, continues their daily research and collects valuable data, just before the strong winds in the Aegean pick up.

#Archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #marinemammalresearch #marineconservation #spermwhale #greece #aegeansanctuary #researchforconservation #mediterraneansea
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Beautiful images like this one inspire the Archipelagos team to continue the difficult mission of protecting our seas 🌊

Marine research and conservation requires a lot of hours of intense field work throughout the year.

#Archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #marinemammalresearch #marineconservation #greece #greekislands #greeceislands #greecetravel #savetheturtles #savetheseas #savesealife #savethedolphins #researchforconservation #dolphins #aegeansanctuary #dolphinwatching #dolphinewatch #marinelife #marinelifematters #marinelifeconservation #marinelifeprotection #savemarinelife #savemarineanimals
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Despite the interchanging south and north winds, Archipelagos Institute’s research and conservation action in various parts of the Aegean Sea does not stop, all year round.

Although the weather conditions in this time of year are frequently adverse, we are rewarded by the fascinating images of rare species that still survive in the Aegean and in the important scientific data we manage to obtain.

The sperm whale in the photograph is starting to descend for a dive that will last about an hour, in a region where the depth exceeds 1000 meters.

The unique Aegean Sea is, unfortunately, broadly unknown. Our aspiration is to unveil its extraordinary natural richness and to raise awareness about its incredible biodiversity and the important responsibility we all share for its protection.

#Archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean#marinemammalresearch #marineconservation #spermwhale #greece#aegeansanctuary #researchforconservation
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Today, learn about Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), one of the least studied dolphin species that live in eastern Mediterranean.

🐬 They are normally found in small pods, migrating over deep waters, often in steep canyons and trenches. As deep diving cetaceans, Risso’s dolphins can dive down to 300m and hold their breath for 30 minutes.

🐬 One of the Risso’s dolphins' most particular characteristics is their natural markings.
→ They have distinctive scarring over their body, which are caused by interactions with other dolphins, or by their prey.
→ Due to the lack of repigmentation during the healing process of the skin, Risso’s dolphins gradually lose their initial dark grey colour as they grow older.

We have continued surveying despite the strong winds from the previous days. The long-term monitoring of these rare species allows us to comprehend the ways in which they are being threatened by anthropogenic factors. This knowledge is vital to implement efficient conservation actions that bring concrete results for their protection !

Good weekend to all from the Aegean!

#Archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #RissosDolphin #grampusgriseus #dolphins #dolphinsighting #wilddolphins #ikaria #chios #fourni #samos #lipsi #greece
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Good afternoon to all with a beautiful image of striped dolphins in the northern Aegean.

Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) live in the open sea, in large groups that often exceed 100. They are identified by the characteristic stripe that goes across the two sides of their body.

In the picture we can see 2 mothers with their young. It is one of the hundreds of photos gathered daily by our researchers for the photo-identification of the individuals that comprise each dolphin population. With this method we can identify individual dolphins based on the characteristic marks on their body.

Striped dolphins never approach fishing gear nor coastal waters. We frequently observe them in the open sea encircling schools of fish, herding them into a tight ball. They then take turns rushing through the school to feed.

It has to be noted that this species is encountered in most strandings on the shores of the Aegean over the past years. When we are unaware and do not comprehend the important wildlife of our seas, it is impossible to protect it!

#Archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #marinemammalresearch #marineconservation
#stripeddolphin #greece #aegeansanctuary #researchforconservation #dolphin #dolphins #ocean #sea #nature #animals #cetacean
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Today, learn about Cuvier's beaked whales, the rare wildlife or our Seas!

The populations of Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in the waters of the North and Central Aegean are one of the most important recordings the past few days.

It took us over 20 years of continuous presence in the Aegean to be able to achieve not only a close approach to this rare whale species, but above all a comprehension of their populations and how they are impacted by the multiple anthropogenic threats. It is noteworthy that in specific sea areas such as the waters of the North Ikaria Trench, in Archipelagos Institute we have recorded the continuous presence of Cuvier’s Beaked Whales for 21 years in the exact same marine region.

The beaked whales are out of the least known cetacean species globally, but also one of the most impressive.The knowledge gaps on this whale genus, is also due to the fact that while searching for their prey they can do deep dives, the deepest having been recorded at almost 3000 meters and with a longer duration of 3 hours and 42 minutes.

Despite the human stressors impacting increasingly marine and terrestrial ecosystems over the past decades, the fact that these large mammals continue to survive in our seas gives us great hope, but also reminds us of the great responsibility we all share in order for them to continue to survive.

By now it should have become clear to all that our survival depends on the survival of nature. Sterile campaigns are not only superfluous, but at our times are becoming dangerous as they are shifting the focus of the public in the wrong directions. The times we live in require real knowledge, perseverance and effective action.

#Archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #marinemammalresearch #marineconservation #ziphiidae #cetacean #beakedwhale #greece #aegeansanctuary #researchforconservation
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Today, learn about Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), one of the least studied dolphin species that live in eastern Mediterranean.

They are normally found in small pods, migrating over deep waters, often in steep canyons and trenches. As deep diving cetaceans, Risso’s dolphins can dive down to 300 m and hold their breath for 30 minutes.

One of the Risso’s dolphins' most particular characteristics is their natural markings. They have distinctive scarring over their body, which are caused by interactions with other dolphins, or by their prey. Due to the lack of repigmentation during the healing process of the skin, Risso’s dolphins gradually lose their initial dark grey colour as they grow older.

Our team have continued surveying despite the strong winds from the previous days. The long-term monitoring of these rare species allows us to comprehend the ways in which they are being threatened by anthropogenic factors. This knowledge is vital to implement efficient conservation actions that bring concrete results for their protection!

#Archipelagos #wearearchipelagos #savetheaegean #RissosDolphin #grampusgriseus #dolphins #dolphinsighting #wilddolphins #ikaria #chios #fourni #samos #lipsi #greece
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Welcome to our page! This is us: the marine mammal team of Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation onboard Naftilos, one of our research vessels. Marine mammal research and conservation has been a key area of focus for Archipelagos since its establishment. Our work aims to fill important knowledge gaps on the population distribution of marine mammals while recording and understanding the critical factors that impact the survival of these rare and endangered species. The Aegean Sea hosts some of the most important remaining marine mammal and sea turtle populations in the Mediterranean Sea. Are you ready to discover them with us? 🐬🐳🦭 ...

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