Internships in Microplastic &
Plastic Pollution

Archipelagos’ microplastic research internships provide an opportunity to join year-round field and laboratory work dedicated to studying the presence and impact of plastic pollution in marine habitats. The Mediterranean Sea has been noted to contain the sixth-largest accumulation of plastic debris on the planet. For our main area of focus, the Aegean Sea, vast knowledge gaps on the extent and effects of microplastic and plastic pollution remain. Archipelagos’ research is dedicated to addressing these data gaps and aims to engage both the authorities and the public in effective conservation action that is urgently needed to combat plastic pollution in our oceans. By joining our team, you will be contributing to sample collection on the field, laboratory research, and/or related policy and awareness raising projects.

Key Projects

Collection and analysis of marine sediment samples in order to quantify the microplastic distribution among various levels of stratification and in differing environments. This is carried out in order to better understand the mechanism of vertical deposition of microplastics in Aegean marine environments.

Assessment of microplastics in surface waters carried out using plankton net or manta net. This research analyses seasonal and spatial patterns of microplastic contamination across sample regions.

Assessing the abundance of plastics and microplastics in marine habitats nearby wastewater outlets. Through targeted sampling, the abundance and distribution of microplastic fibres is assessed in various levels of marine habitats.

Quantification of macro- and micro-plastic in the gastrointestinal tracts of stranded marine mammals and sea turtles found along the eastern Aegean coastline. Microplastic fibres and fragments are extracted and identified through microscopy and samples are sent to university laboratories for further analysis, eg. FTIR.

Quantification of microplastic contamination impacting commercial fish comparing fish from aquaculture with wild populations. Sampling and analysis to assess the extent and types of plastics found, as well as a comparative analysis of physiological and biological factors.

Through investigation of various brands and samples, our laboratory team aims to provide data on the concerning abundance of microplastics entering commercial foods. Two primary sample cases include table salt and fish meal.

Assessing the abundance of microplastic pollution from the laundering of synthetic textiles. Through examination of washing machine contents and outputs, our microplastic researchers assess the extent of effectiveness that microfiber filters have on mitigating the release of plastic pollution from washing machine outputs.

Assessment of the role of seagrass meadows as a sink for microplastics. For this project samples are collected from seagrass meadows in various locations and depths. Samples are processed and analysed in the lab, as well as sent to university laboratories for further analysis, eg. FTIR.


Over the last few decades, plastic pollution in the seas and oceans of the planet has been recognised as an environmental crisis of international concern, in relation to the health of marine life as well as human welfare. As the Aegean Sea is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean, the effects of plastic pollution to marine life can be detrimental. Archipelagos’ microplastic and plastic pollution research team works to provide scientific evidence in support of necessary conservation efforts. In our laboratories we investigate the abundance of microplastics from different sources including sea surface water, water from deep seas, sediment, Posidonia oceanica seagrass, fish and more, to infer information about the potential spatial distribution and biomagnification in the trophic net.

Your Role

The internship will consist of both fieldwork and laboratory work, although this heavily depends on the type of project and samples. You will be able to assist or lead the activities in fieldwork in order to obtain samples and execute proper laboratory protocols and statistical data analysis. Even though we are open to accepting new ideas and projects we try to maintain our line of research, however, we accept different proposals if this is properly planned with anticipation, due to the tight laboratory schedule and consumable availability. We often evaluate the proposals in collaboration with our interns’ universities if there exists the possibility to create some relationship to execute further analysis such as FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. You will be offered the ability to work in a general intern role collaborating on current research topics, or in a specialized intern role contributing to one pre-defined project.

What we offer

We offer an internship at an inspiring institute with experts on applied conservation. You have the opportunity to collect data for writing a thesis, scientific publications or increasing your skill set. Internships normally range from 3 – 12 months, although shorter or longer internship periods may be arranged on a case by case basis . As Archipelagos is a non-profit organisation, the internships we offer are unpaid. Students, recent graduates and researchers are advised to search for possible funding through their universities, via their International Office/ Placement/ Erasmus+ Offices at their Universities or other relevant grant providing organizations in their region, to cover their travel and living costs. 

Technical Skills

  • Working towards or completion of a relevant scientific degree
  • Previous experience in the laboratory activity
  • Previous experience in microscope analysis (preferred)
  • Previous experience in microplastic/or water quality analysis (preferred)
  • Previous experience in fieldwork (preferred)
  • Knowledge in the application of statistics, with some experience in a programming language such as R or Python.

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

To apply for this internship click ‘Apply Now!’ and follow subsequent steps! For any questions please contact our admissions team
at – – and we will get back to you within 2 working days.