Marine Ecology Research & Conservation

Remote internships out of Greece

Marine Ecology Research & Conservation

Background

Marine Ecology Research remote internships are hosted by Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation. This institute combines multidisciplinary scientific research with efficient conservation work, facilitated through participation and support of the surrounding local communities.

Remote interns aid the institute by helping to analyze and interpret environmental data, which is being collected during surveys conducted in the spring, summer and autumn of 2020. This date is utilized to inform local conservation and environmental management activities.

Program Description

1. Assessment of Blue Carbon in Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows

  • According to depth
  • According to health status
  • Comparing replanted seagrass and natural seagrass

Blue Carbon is the sequestration of carbon in a marine environment. Seagrass is one of the biggest sources of carbon sequestration on the planet, exceeding even the rate of rainforest production. For this reason, conservation of seagrass meadows is an important conservation priority. Through working to quantify sequestration rate and gaining an understanding of the factors that affect this process, the enforcement of effective conservation measures can also be facilitated. Research projects being utilized by the Institute of Marine Conservation include the use of benthic chambers and miniDOT loggers to measure oxygen, temperature and light levels over different seagrass habitats. Remote interns can be involved with analysing and interpreting this data (collected during spring, summer and autumn), to determine overall productivity. This information is used to inform conservation and management decisions to protect seagrass meadows.

2. Determining the presence and abundance of invasive species

  • According to different habitats
  • According to different depths

Invasive species that spread throughout the Mediterranean can impact marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, there is relatively little information recorded which provides insight into the ongoing spread and impact of invasive species, within the Aegean Sea. Monitoring the populations of invasive species is important for understanding their spread and for informing action plans for mitigating their threats. Research projects in this field use video cameras mounted on tripods to record footage (collected during spring, summer and autumn 2020). Remote interns can be involved with analysing this footage to identify and quantify the invasive species recorded. This information will be used to update a national database that monitors the presence of invasive species in the Mediterranean.

3. Assessing the rate of re-establishment on an artificial reef

With the global decline in natural reef habitats, alternative methods for conserving and preserving these habitats are being developed. One of these methods being undertaken by the Institute of Marine Conservation is the establishment of artificial reefs. It is important to determine the success of these techniques and one way to do this is to measure the time it takes for species to populate the artificial reef and identify the key species who accomplish this. This research project uses video cameras mounted on tripods to record footage (collected during spring, summer and autumn). Remote interns can be involved with analysing this footage to identify time of first contact of various species. If re-establishment techniques are proven to be successful then artificial reefs can be used to repopulate species in declining habitats.

4. Comparing sampling methods for identifying fish biodiversity and abundance

Monitoring fish biodiversity is an important way for assessing the quality of different habitats. There are many ways to do this, such as through snorkel surveys, underwater drones, or underwater cameras. This research project compares various methods for monitoring the presence of different species so that future research projects can be conducted at a higher accuracy. This research will compare some the following methods: line transects, point census, baited vs unbaited video cameras, and photo quadrats. Remote interns can be involved with analysing the data and the footage, which will be collected during spring, summer and autumn 2020, to determine which method is both the most efficient and most accurate.

5. Monitoring the success of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows as a habitat for fish and macroinvertebrates

Posidonia oceanica is an endemic species of seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea. Seagrass meadows act as nurseries for various fish and invertebrate species, help prevent coastal erosion and also can act as a bioindicator when determining water quality and the health of the ecosystem. Ecosystems can therefore be enriched by ensuring that the health of seagrass meadows is maintained and replanting can be done in areas where the meadows have declined. Research being conducted by the Institute of Marine Conservation looks at the various species that use Posidonia as a nursery for their young, the type of behaviours carried out in Posidonia meadows, and its importance as a habitat. This research is done by studying the re-establishment of organisms over time using camera traps. Video cameras mounted on tripods record footage during spring, summer and autumn. Remote interns can be involved with analysing this footage to identify time of first contact of various species.

Applicant profile

At least one year of relevant college/university study in biology, environmental sciences, sustainability, or a related field.
High School Students aged 16+ may be accepted, depending on the strength of their application.

Costs & Additional Information


- For 100 hrs, either 3 weeks full-time or 5 weeks part-time, the fee is 872 euro.
- For 250 hrs, either 8 weeks full-time or 12 weeks part-time, the fee is 1240 euro.
This covers the cost of an assigned supervisor who will work with the participant to develop an internship plan and schedule, which may vary depending on the needs of the student, as well as support throughout the project. Remote internships are designed to include as much as possible the use of real-time transmission of video from underwater cameras and drones that are used for the purposes of our surveys, with the aim to engage and inspire interns in marine conservation issues, even though they may not be able to join us on-site this summer.

Remote interns who register before January 2021, are offered the opportunity to join and work with the Archipelagos research team for 1 month at any time in the coming years with all local costs covered (accommodation & board, participation in the research activities and research trips etc - excluding flights to Greece), so that they can take part in the project in which they have worked on remotely.

Internship fees may be covered by Erasmus or other equivalent grants.

This internship is conducted in English.

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

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