Athena Eftychiou is a Geography Undergraduate student at the University College London (UCL). Growing up on a Mediterranean Island, Athena was able to experience first-hand the impacts of anthropogenic activity and pollution on Mediterranean waters. Coupled with her passion for coastal geomorphology which she developed during her university studies so far drove her to pursue an internship at an environmental organization that strives to protect such pristine ecosystems. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, her 3rd-year exchange programme got canceled and she is currently completing an internship at Enalia Physis as part of her gap year.
So far, she had the opportunity to build on her existing GIS skills by creating maps for the CERECON (Cyprus Elasmobranch Research and Conservation Network) project to visualise the presence of endangered elasmobranch species around the island of Cyprus. She is also involved in the POSBEMED2 project which promotes the protection and management of sand dunes and Posidonia oceanica banquettes in Natura2000 zones. As part of this she is expected to produce maps using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) to evaluate the impact of the banquettes on the coastal geomorphology of the region. In addition, by participating in topographic surveys, underwater mapping of Posidonia oceanica fields, as well as aerial photography analysis Athena aims to expand her knowledge on marine conservation, fieldwork technics and data-analysis skills.