Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to researching and defending the biodiversity of the Greek seas and islands, as well as the entire eastern Mediterranean. Since its creation in 1998, Archipelagos has been focusing on the combination of multidisciplinary scientific research and efficient conservation work in which local communities play an active part. This strategic cooperation enables and strengthens Archipelagos’ actions at local, national and European level, allowing it to protect aquatic and terrestrial life against ever-increasing human destructive activities.

Research in Coastal Biodiversity and Invasive Species Projects

For almost 20 years, Archipelagos has been monitoring the biodiversity of shallow, littoral zone ecosystems of the eastern Aegean Sea. The data collected enables us to get an understanding of local conditions, ecosystem changes, processes and threats. Projects have a wide range of focus, including:

  • Conducting biodiversity assessments of fish, invertebrates and algae, according to international protocols
  • Collecting data on invasive species via underwater visual census surveys and questionnaires in order to understand the factors influencing the species distribution as well as the impacts on the ecosystem
  • Creating GIS maps which provide an overview of species distribution
  • Determining impacts of the factors threatening protected species and ecosystems using bio-indicator species
  • Experimental installation of artificial reefs and sustainable mooring systems

Research in (Posidonia oceanica) Seagrass Meadows Projects

Posidonia oceanic seagrass meadows play an important role in the ecosystem and provide important services for humans. They ensure the maintenance of physical, chemical and biological conditions and provide a habitat for many different species, while acting as nursery, hunting and predator areas. Furthermore, the meadows mediate flow and prevent coastal erosion by stabilizing the seabeds and decreasing the water power and current. P. oceanica meadows are identified as a priority habitat type for conservation in the Habitats Directive (Dir. 92/43/CEE) by European and national legislation.

Surveys have a wide range of focus, including:

  • Mapping Posidonia seagrass meadows through a combination of boat and kayak surveys
  • Assessing the impact caused by mooring, illegal trawling activity, invasive species and aquaculture through sonar and visual data collection, as well as by using loggers
  • Experimental replantation of Posidonia seagrass
  • Experimental installation of sustainable mooring systems over seagrass meadows
  • Evaluation of the health of Posidonia meadows via under-water surveys

Research in Microplastics Projects

Plastic debris in the form of microplastics endangers the unique biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea, which hosts around 10% of world’s marine species. Given the natural and socioeconomic importance of the area, plastic pollution poses a serious threat to both marine and human life.

Archipelagos’ goal is to identify the main source of influx of microplastics into the Aegean Sea, as well as assessing the amount of microplastics present in the environment. Microplastic fiber content is collected, filtered and quantified through microscope analysis from samples of:

  • Digestive systems of commercialized fish and invertebrates
  • Digestive systems of stranded marine animals (e.g. dolphins, sea turtles)
  • Surface seawater and water column samples collected through kayak and boat surveys
  • Sediment samples of various habitats (e.g. wetlands, seabeds)

These projects provide field-work and hands-on research opportunities for graduate and post-graduate students who have achieved a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and who are looking to gain experience outside of the classroom. The skills and expertise acquired through this internship are useful towards a professional career in marine biology and environmental management.

Applicant profile:

  • At least one year of college or university studies in the fields of marine, environmental, chemical and/or related sciences
  • Experience in the use of laboratory equipment (e.g. filtrations systems, microscopes, etc)
  • Experience in snorkeling and/or kayaking
  • Capacity for accurate and consistent data collection and analysis
  • Comfortable working under low supervision as well as leading a project independently
  • Ability to write scientific reports and papers
  • Ability to work both individually and as part of a dynamic, multi-cultural, multidisciplinary team
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills
  • High standard of work
  • Fluency in English
  • Sincere desire to work towards Archipelagos’ conservation efforts
  • Motivation to live in a small island community


A minimum duration of 3 months is highly recommended for all participants, although shorter placements can be tailored to the needs of groups and individuals. Placements can last as long as 12 months.


Archipelagos’ research bases and stations in the eastern Aegean Sea, on the islands of Samos and Lipsi.

Placement fee:

Monthly fees of 650 euro include:
Living expenses (shared accommodation, all meals, wi-fi)
Use of equipment & research boats
Transport for working purposes
Greek language lessons

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.

*Travelling costs are NOT included and are covered by the participant.

Application details:

Please submit CV and covering letter to [email protected]