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Global Nomadic

Dolphin Research

Agency | Global Nomadic

We aim to learn more about the dolphin populations in one of Europe’s largest marine protected areas, through recording behaviours and habits and identifying individuals.

The dolphin has had a close relationship with the human race for many millennia. It has been depicted in art and literature since before the time of the ancient Greeks and was considered an omen of good luck. It was sometimes even linked with the gods, to the extent that killing a dolphin equated killing another human and was punishable by death. Their intelligence and friendly appearance has continued to inspire fascination for this enigmatic creature throughout the ages. This close relationship has nonetheless never been an easy one and dolphins have been hunted for both their meat and skin throughout time. Today they are competing with humans for the remaining fish stock of our seas and are increasingly forced out of their habitats. Fishing equipment and boats are also a common cause of injury and death for dolphins worldwide.

The Research

There are four species of dolphins present in the Greek Seas, all of whom are considered threatened, yet no systematic research effort has been carried out so far to study their populations and ecology.

The Dolphin Research Internship programme aims to learn more about the dolphin populations in one of Europe’s largest marine protected areas, through recording populations and group sizes, identifying individuals, and recording behaviours and habits. 

As the first study of its kind in the area, the project aims to estimate the relative abundance of the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and identify important areas for them. One of the main components of the project will be to identify individuals and compile a photo-identification catalogue of the two species. The data collected will be used to analyse dolphin abundance, movements, reproductive success, habitat use, and social organization.

Your Contribution

As a volunteer you will help out on daily field surveys at sea where you will get to know the local dolphin population and help collect data. Back on land you will help with entering this data into databases, learning how to convert the collected data into effective conservation measures. You will also have the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars on marine mammals and local ecology, which will provide valuable insights into marine mammal life, monitoring techniques and other topics related to the local marine environment.

The important knowledge gathered during this research initiative will be used in the conservation of marine mammals in Greece and in the preparation of effective research and management actions for the local Cetacean population.

You will learn how to photograph individuals and groups of dolphins as well as record group size, composition (newborns, calves, juveniles, adults), and behaviour. If other marine mammals are sighted, such as the critically endangered Mediterranean Monk seal, these will also be recorded along with any fisheries interactions.

You will be working alongside the resident researchers on board the organisation research vessel, a 13-metre long traditional wooden caique. As the heart of the organisations activities over the past 23 years, this boat has sailed many thousands of miles across the Greek seas.

Suitable for


Typical day

The work at sea as well as preparations such as the loading and unloading of equipment will be undertaken in the mornings. In the afternoon you will return back to port for recreation and rest. In the afternoon and evenings you will be taught how to file, name, crop, and prepare digital photos of dolphin dorsal fins for subsequent matching as well as attend seminars and lectures from staff and visiting field specialists.

Among the skills and knowledge you will be taught are:

  • Cetacean life history, behaviour, and identification
  • Threats faced by marine mammals
  • Photo-identification techniques
  • Fisheries/marine mammal interactions
  • How the research data will be used for conservation and management purposes
  • Use of equipment (cameras, binoculars, GPS systems)
  • Data storage and computer software processing of digital photos for photo-identification of individuals

Details on Arrival

You will be given easy-to-follow instructions on how to get from either Thessaloniki, Athens or Volos to the project location. Access to the island is by boat only, from one of three ports on the mainland.

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Be a good swimmer,
be in good physical and mental health,
be highly adaptable with life on a boat,
be comfortable with sharing a room with a member of the opposite sex.
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with Global Nomadic straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Any questions? Just ask. We at Global Nomadic are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator

Free-time activities

The program is located on a relatively remote island in the Aegean Sea, where there are ample opportunities for enjoying the beautiful scenery on walking paths as well as exploring the pristine sea both above and below the surface, while kayaking, snorkelling or scuba diving.

Water Sports
Contact & Reservation
1 - 1
1 - 1
Airport Pickup

Included Services

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Global Nomadic cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Services by Global Nomadic
  • accommodation
  • in-country support
  • project activities and integration into the project
  • basic food supplies for breakfast and lunch
  • certificate of participation
  • a program t-shirt as a gift
  • Students can receive a discount of 115 US$ (100€) per week deducted from the program fee.
Shared accommodation is provided in a fully equipped house close to the port. The house has 2 bedrooms with closets and a common porch, that can host up to five people, a bathroom and a separate shower room. There is fully equipped kitchen, where participants can cook, a library, and a big porch with a dinner table and views of the port. 
Clean sheets and towels are provided, and will be changed once during your weekly stay. You are expected to keep the house clean and tidy during your stay and clean before leaving.
Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Basic food supplies for breakfast and lunch are provided.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
1 week (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Alonissos/Greece between 1 week and 1 week. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Global Nomadic will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Global Nomadic during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Greece

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Greece. Please check the visa regulations for Greece.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Greece.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" (ATH) in Athens. We assist you to find cheap flights to Greece.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Greece provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Greece you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Greece.
n/a, Alonissos, Greece zoom="6"

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