Duration of Internship: July 2020 – December 2020 & June 2021 – August 2021

B.Sc. Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology, University of Plymouth (2018 – 2022)

Peter took a placement year as part of his undergraduate ‘Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology’ degree with the University of Plymouth. He worked with Marine & Environmental Research (MER) Lab for 8 months total, split with two internships.

Peter worked between the laboratory, office and field on both trips to Cyprus however felt most at home when he was in the ocean. One of his favourite in-water activities was cave mapping, this involved exploring the Cypriot coastline for caves and measuring the dimensions of a select few. Although challenging, this experience increased his confidence in the water and helped him develop relationships with the MER team. In addition, Peter assisted with setting up Posidonia oceanica monitoring stations for the RAC/SPA project. This involved, forming the concrete markers, freediving exploration of potential sites, station setup dives and data collection dives. This project also allowed him to improve his lab skills as he worked on ageing seagrass rhizomes (internodal analysis).

In the office, Peter was tasked to setup the new Spot-X Squid Pro Tow Camera system and had to overcome the challenges involved it its operation in the field. Moreover, the most surprising part for him was that he was able to develop video editing skills while working with MER Lab and produced over 10 videos. On completion of his first internship he developed his own freediving project to showcase MER Lab placements. Conversely, on his second internship he was able to produce reports and build on his skipper abilities. Moreover, he collected data for his 3rd year thesis and worked closely with Periklis Kleitou on his second internship to manipulate and explore the findings.

He feels that if you are looking for a diverse and dynamic placement then MER is certainly the place for you. Peter says that as long as you apply yourself fully you will leave Cyprus with the valuable skills needed for a career in marine biology.

After MER Lab he intends to finish his undergraduate degree so he can progress onto a masters and eventually a PhD. He will stay in contact with the MER team going forward and will hopefully see them again soon!