Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR)


HCMR is a large state research centre, supervised by The General Secretariat of Research and Technology. HCMR consists of three Institutes with over 200 specialists in all fields of oceanography, fisheries, aquaculture, and inland waters. The Institute of Oceanography (IO) was established in 1985, evolving from the former Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries Research (IOFR, 1975-1985). Today it is considered as one of the main providers of oceanographic research in the Eastern Mediterranean, and it is the most comprehensive research institute for the marine environment in Greece, acting in several cases as the official consultant to the Greek government on marine and maritime issues.

The IO aims to carry out scientific and technological research, and experimental development, dissemination and implementation of results. The major thematic research axes of the Institute are:

  • Marine ecosystems research, marine ecosystem health, and environmental status
  • Coastal Processes, integrated coastal zone management
  • Earth’s crust long-term dynamics and kinematics
  • Integrated ocean observatories and forecasting systems

The operational capabilities of HCMR are extensive and include three research vessels (61-meter R/V AEGAEO for open-sea multipurpose tasks, 26-meter R/V FILIA and 13.4-meter R/V ALKYON for coastal research), underwater gliders, and remote operated vehicles. In addition, research in the institute is supported by over 15 Marine Analytical Laboratories (in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, and geology), which are fully equipped, and operate in accordance with international standards (ISO/IEC 17025:2005). HCMR is a member of three European Research Infrastructures (Euro-Argo, EMSO, LIFEWATCH), and is legally bound to apply the general Water and Marine European directives such as the WFD and the MSFD in Greece.

About us

Our specialized inter-disciplinary team is dedicated to implementing the goals of the LIFE-TRANSFER project

Dr Sofia Reizopoulou

Research Director

Dr. Sofia Reizopoulou, Research Director at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), expert on benthic ecology, indicators, marine protected areas and impact assessment. Involved in several National and International projects undertaking WP responsibility, or as coordinator.  She is in the coordination team for the WFD and MSFD implementation in Greece, and the HCMR Scientific responsible for the LIFE-TRANSFER project.

Dr. Sarah Faulwetter

Marine Benthic Ecologist

Dr. Sarah Faulwetter is a marine benthic ecologist, polychaete taxonomist and biodiversity data manager. Her work focuses on community ecology of coastal and lagoonal macrobenthos, functional ecology and impacts of anthropogenic activities on water quality.

Dr. Elias Dimitriou

Research Director

Dr. Elias Dimitriou, Research Director at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), expert on water resources management, hydrology, ecological water requirements, pollution pressures and impact assessment. Involved in several National and International projects undertaking WP responsibility, or as coordinator.  He is the scientific coordinator for the WFD monitoring program in Greece.

Dr. Antonia Giannakourou

Research Director

Dr. Antonia Giannakourou, Senior Researcher, Marine Biologist specialising in aquatic microbial ecology, plankton diversity ( bacteria, protozoa, algae, microzooplankton) and trophic relationships within planktonic food webs. Member of the Coordination action BLUEMED CSA to support the BlueMed Innitiative and HCMR coordinator of MISTRAL  network “Mediterranean Innovation STRAtegy for transnational activity of clusters and networks of the Blue Growth”.

Nikolaos Providakis


Nikolaos Providakis is a biologist with studies in macrobenthic invertebrate ecology mainly of coastal lagoons and especially of Messolonghi lagoon, Greece (study area of BSc Thesis and currently concluding MSc Thesis). He has field and lab experience
working within the WFD program in Greek transitional waters. He is also occupied with science communication video content creation.

Dr. Stamatis Zogaris

Senior Researcher

Dr. Stam Zogaris has worked in the Amvrakikos Wetlands in Greece on several projects since 1985. A geographer-biologist with a background in ichthyology, ornithology & other animal groups; wetland vegetation & landsape ecology. He has experience in biodiversity surveying, bioassessment, restporation and science communication.

Dr. Laura

Marine Biologist

Dr. Laura Bray is a marine biologist specialising in the ecology of Mediterranean benthic communities. Amongst other things, her work looks at the impacts of anthropogenic pressures (e.g. organic pollution, marine litter, artificial substrates) on the benthic ecosystem.

Dr. Eugenia Apostolaki

Associate Researcher

Dr. Eugenia Apostolaki is an Associate Researcher at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. Her research focuses on the distribution, productivity, metabolism and nutrient dynamics of seagrass ecosystems, with particular emphasis on the biological response of seagrass ecosystems to environmental disturbance and global change.

Nikolaos Katsiaras

Marine Biologist

Nikolaos Katsiaras is a marine biologist working in taxonomy and ecology of benthic macro-invertebrates. He is a PhD candidate, studying functional diversity patterns in Mediterranean biogenic habitats, such as seagrasses. He is also interested in studying human impacts on benthos (organic and oil pollution, sediment dredging/dumping etc.) and has participated so far in over 25 relevant monitoring projects.

Dr. Vasilis Gerakaris

Marine Ecologist

Dr. Vasilis Gerakaris is a marine ecologist specialising in the ecology of seagrass ecosystems. He has extensive working experience on the ecological assessment and monitoring of phytobenthic communities, fine and medium-scale habitat mapping, impact assessment of anthropogenic pressures on the coastal marine environment, and on various underwater sampling techniques with SCUBA diving.

Paraskevi Drakopoulou

Environmental Scientist

Paraskevi  (Vivi) Drakopoulou, Environmental Scientist, Responsible for the GIS and Remote Sensing unit of IO-HCMR, expert on  geospatial analysis and visualization of land and marine data, her PhD thesis is in the field of “satellite bathymetry and habitat mapping

Anastasios Triantafyllidis

Marine Biologist

Anastasios Triantafyllidis is a Marine Biologist-Ocenaographer working in phytoplankton taxonomy and algal bloom identification for the WFD program. He is also working in microzooplankton taxonomy for the MSFD program focusing on plankton diversity and its trophic relationships. He has experience on combining traditional methods of plankton analysis – such as onshore classical microscopy – with new recently developed methods of onboard image analyses.