Researchers from all around the world come to live permanently on Samos, Ikaria and Fournoi, to study the natural wealth of the area. According to an article in the Greek newspaper “Ethnos”, the rare ecological value of the Aegean Sea attracts students, post graduate researchers and professors from the most important universities of the world. Thus, they choose to live for more than a year in Greece along with the islanders. They become part of the Greek daily reality and say that they like living in Greece.
An example of the important role of the area is that in the eastern part of the Aegean Sea, the most important remaining populations of sea mammals live which are becoming extinct; four species of dolphins, two species of whales and seals.
In addition, there are huge areas of Poseidon sea-grass beds and coralline reefs. The rare fauna of Samos is also impressive. There are species such as the common chameleon, the European Golden Jackal and many migrating birds including flamingos, herons and the peregrine falcon.
The programme for hosting scientists started thanks to the cooperation of the Institute of Marine Preservation “Archipelagos” with foreign universities and local authorities. The students live on the islands from 3 months to 1 year, the post graduate students from 1 to 3 years and the professors who visit the islands for special events usually stay for 2 weeks. The programme runs winter and summer, thus the local economy and small villages of 20 or 30 inhabitants are boosted throughout the year.
In September, for a second consecutive year with the cooperation of the Department of Marine Geography of the University of Cardiff of Wales, a multilevel oceanographic research in the sea area south of Samos will take place. 40 researchers and students of Marine Geography-Biology and experts from the University of Cardiff will participate.
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