The Aegean Islands host some of the most pristine and extensive terrestrial habitats in the Mediterranean. In this region, the island of Samos has the only insular population of Common Mediterranean Chameleons. The island also acts as a key stopover for over 200 migratory bird species, constituting up to 50 percent of all bird species found in Greece. The rich biodiversity of the island hosts over 1500 plant species that are constantly threatened by overgrazing, wildfires, logging and diseases. In addition, Samos is home to a variety of freshwater species, such as the Balkan pond terrapin and the European Eel. In short, Archipelagos aims to protect terrestrial species on the Aegean Islands by collecting and analysing data and pushing towards with the protection of these fragile ecosystems.
1. Golden Jackal Research
Description: Archipelagos Institute attempts to further understand the characteristics of the subpopulation of golden jackals of Samos, by conducting several research projects and taking drastic conservation measurements. Questions regarding the population, home range, activity and use of habitat of golden jackals within Samos island are being answered. Research activities include:
- Passive and Active Acoustics Monitoring, with the aim to understand the population dynamics, distribution and acoustic characteristics of golden jackals of Samos. Nocturnal and daytime surveys are included. Raven Pro software is used for data analysis
- Camera Trap Monitoring in areas of high jackals’ activity
- Jackals’ diet analysis through scat sampling and camera traps. Laboratory work is included for the analysis of the samples
- Jackals’ parasitology aiming to detect the presence/absence of some parasites found in jackals’ scats. Fecal samples collection and laboratory work is included in this research
2. Flora & Fauna Research
Description: In order to monitor the status and the habitat of the species, the Archipelagos terrestrial conservation team carries out surveys throughout the year. The data gathered on the given species is used towards assessing the human impacts on the biodiversity and, ultimately, towards Archipelagos’ conservation initiatives and efforts. Various disciplines of research include:
- Determining the Common Mediterranean Chameleon population size and distribution using mark-recapture techniques and morphometrical analysis
- Carrying out observational surveys of various lizard, snake, tortoise and amphibian species
- Carrying out research regarding the extent of anthropogenic impacts and their influence on reptile populations and develop habitat conservation measures
- Assessing the Greater Flamingo migratory subpopulation that inhabits a small wetland in Samos Island and studying their diurnal behaviour by using BORIS software.
- Participating in awareness-raising projects aiming to develop community engagement
- Collecting data on bird population through standardised point count methods and transect surveys on the islands as well as through boat-based surveys
- At least one year of college or university studies in the fields of environmental, ecological, zoological and/or related sciences
- Knowledge of terrestrial mammal behaviour preferred
- Experience in identification of the species you which to analyse preferred i.e. amphibians, lizards, flora, birds
- Ability to write scientific reports and papers
- 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
- Ability to work both individually and as part of a dynamic, multi-cultural, multidisciplinary team
- Excellent organizational and time-management skills
- Fluency in English
- Sincere desire to work towards Archipelagos’ conservation efforts
- Motivation to live in a small island community
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 environmental and/or zoological research and conservation fields.
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.
Monthly fees of 650 euro cover:
- 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.
Please submit CV and covering letter to [email protected]