My name is Marios Papageorgiou and I am a 3rd year Marine Biology and Oceanography undergraduate student at Plymouth University. During the summer of 2015 I had the amazing opportunity to work as a trainee in Marine Ecology on the beautiful island of Cyprus.
As part of the ERASMUS+ programme, I undertook a placement called a traineeship in Cyprus. The sending institution was Plymouth University and the receiving organization was Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre. I actively took part in ongoing marine research projects in which the Cyprus-based NGO “Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre” leads and/or participates.
Tasks included participation and involvement in actual field and laboratory work, including meetings that preceded these, for planning purposes. These included:
- Monthly monitoring of coral communities in three different field-sites where coral communities are situated in the Southeast part of Cyprus. I was providing support by observing the process, taking notes and assisting in the collection of photographic material of the process.
- Collection of plankton samples. I was assisting with the use of plankton net and the collection/preservation of the samples that were retained in the net.
- Collection of samples of various species of potentially corallivorous species for their use in experiments conducted in aquaria. I was observing the process and was providing support in the field. I was also responsible for maintaining the organisms in aquaria.
- Experiments on corallivory of specific organisms. I was participating in the observation and data collection of the experiments in aquaria, including measuring various parameters (size of organisms, temperature, salinity etc).
- Participation in MEDITS (Mediterranean International Bottom-Trawling Survey) in the island of Cyprus. I was observing the process and providing support, both on-board and on-land. These included participation in the identification of the organisms collected, sex identification, otolith, collection and various measurements of fish collected (eg. Length, individual and overall weight of the sample). I also assisted, and got experience, with the collection of oceanographic data with the use of a CTD, sea Glider and current meters.
- Attended a workshop on ‘Cold-Water Coral Habitats of the World and the Methodology of their Study’ as a member of the Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center. Certificate of attendance was obtained.
Last but not least, during this trip I had the opportunity to get in touch and exchange ideas with scientists from different backgrounds and expertise. From my point of view, the connections and interactions with these people was the most important benefit that I could gain from this traineeship.
I would like to thank Louis Hadjioannou who was my supervisor during the traineeship, Antonis Petrou and the crew of AP Marine Environmental Consultancy for providing support with logistics, Plymouth University, the ERASMUS + programme, and the receiving organization Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center for making this unique opportunity possible.