Dive2gether Dive center Plakias, Rethymno, Crete. PADI diving courses in Crete. Boat diving & Snorkelling in Crete.
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Education, Research and Protection

The three pillars to make a difference!

Our laboratory under the olive trees


Come and dive with us into the microscopic world!

Marine Biology Activities


Understanding the underwater environment by observation and exploration.


Community Work

An essential part to spark a change!

Marine Field Station

Our Marine Biology department within the diving school Dive2gether was founded in the year 2016, in cooperation with the Non-profit organisation Mare Mundi. Our goal is the protection of the Mediterranean Sea. Since then, we are busy with outreach and education about the fauna and flora of the Mediterranean Sea, its importance, and challenges in a world profoundly influenced by humans. With a hands-on approach we teach recreational divers, students on all academic levels and work together with scientists from all over the world.

“The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish.”
Jacques Yves Cousteau


“In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”
BABA Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist


files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Martina.jpgMartina Holzknecht, MSc
Head Marine Biologist, Co-Founder of the Marine Biology Department
"I feel lucky to have started the Marine Field Station with Dive2gether. I love my work, its various aspects, and the chance to make a difference. Our program aims to inspire everyone
about the marine environment, and I'm glad to be a part of it."


files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Vanessa 2.jpgVanessa Gambichler, MSc
Marine Biologist
"I love working with Dive2gether's vibrant team. The mutual support and fun at work make it special. Sharing my passion for the ocean through the marine biology field station is fulfilling, and together, we aim to make a difference."


files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Marie-Claire 1.jpgMarie-Claire Pastant, MSc
Marine Biologist
"Dive2gether is a diving school that cares for the environment. I enjoy my work as I can educate the guests about the importance of the underwater environment, can be a gardener of the sea with our Seagrass restoration project and work in a team that feels more like a family."


Weekly Presentations

During the season (April – October) we offer free presentations for everyone who wants to join. They are held by our in-house Marine Biologists, two times a week, in the centre of Plakias. Once the sun sets, we pull out a screen and beamer to show you what the underwater world of Plakias has to offer. You will get mind blowing facts about the life and processes that are happening just underneath the surface. What is the human impact on this environment and how can every single one of us make a difference. At the end of each presentation our Marine Biologists will answer yourfiles/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Presentation for web.jpg questions and you are informed of how you can join our Marine Biology Activities where you can transform into a citizen scientist and literally dive deeper into a habitat, learn how samples are taken and analyse them under a microscope. Don’t forget to sign up so we know how much coffee we need to prepare!!!


Community Work

Once a year, in spring, we visit the local primary school to talk about pollution and why it is detrimental when our trash ends up in nature, especially in the sea. It is crucial for us to collaborate with the local community. It has been shown that starting to inform the younger generation is particularly effective when aiming to spark change.
During a workshop, we explain to a group of more than 100 children how the recycling system in Greecefiles/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/School for web.jpg works. We discuss why processes like wind play a significant role in distributing garbage in the environment and how we can prevent trash from ending up in the sea. After the workshop, the children, together with their teachers, clean up the local beach in Plakias. Once they finish at the diving school, the collected items are separated and counted with our marine biologists. This data feeds into our database. As a special end, the oldest kids get to look through our microscopes and experience the microscopic world that surrounds us.


Marine Biology Activities 

We offer a variety of specialised diving days where you learn more about important habitats of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Gain valuable knowledge about fish identification, symbiosis, and marine interactions with the PADI Fish ID Specialty or PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty. Learn more about trash and its impact on the marine environment by joining a PADI AWARE Dive Against Debris Specialty. Additionally, you can join our Marine Biologists in specially developed diving days to get a deeper insight into very important habitats of the Mediterranean Sea. We offer four different topics, which relate to the free presentations we give on our terrace. During each Marine Biology activity you will turn into a citizen scientist collect data and explore.

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The Rainforest of the Mediterranean Sea

Embark on an adventure with our "Seagrass Activity". Before your dives, enjoy extended briefings where we share files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Seahorse for web.jpgtechniques for identifying the marine life inhabiting Neptune grass meadows. Become an integral part of our seagrass restoration project as we evaluate and contribute to the well-being of these vital ecosystems. Back at the diving school, immerse yourself in the microscopic world thriving on Neptune grass. Peer through our microscopes to discover creatures that will forever change your perspective. Experience the profound joy of diving over seagrass after this eye-opening journey.

The Secrets of the Sand
The thrilling dives of the "Sand Activity" unveil the fascinating life beneath seemingly barren underwater sandplains. Beyond the surface, discover a vibrant community of animals both above and within the sand. Explore the question of who produces sand and learn to identify the creatures living in this realm, files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Weever 4 for web.jpgincluding the hidden ones. Conclude the adventure by taking a sample and examining the microscopic creatures in the spaces between sand grains back at the diving school. Gather under the olive trees in our garden, peer through microscopes, and be captivated – for sand will never look the same again!

Hidden in Plain Sight
Discover that the sea is teeming with more than just fish durin the "Plankton Activity". Explore the rocky walls to encounter sessile animals, attached to hard substrates like rocks, thriving in cracks and crevices. Dive from the boat equipped with slates and magnifying glasses to files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/tube-anemone.jpgbroaden your understanding of marine biodiversity. Before heading back to the harbour, we collect plankton, examining these alien-like creatures under our microscopes. After this experience, you might think twice before taking a sip of seawater.

You want more information about our Marine Biology Activities?

Write us an E-Mail to crete(at)dive2gether.com


Marine Biology Field Course

Are you on the lookout for your next field location? Look no further!

  • We offer a well-organized field station with high educational standards. 
  • We take care of everything for you, including accommodation, transportation on Crete, and the structure of your field course. 
  • At our field station, we specialize in facilitating and organizing university field courses, high school trips, and hosting groups of nature enthusiasts.

If you and your group are seeking an introduction to the fauna and flora of the Mediterranean Sea along with insights into its challenges in the Anthropocene, we offer a comprehensive solution. Our hands-on approach combines theoretical knowledge presented by our in-house marine biologists in an interactive manner with active exploration of the underwater world through snorkelling and scuba diving. While delving into scientific data and sampling collection, we'll analyse materials using various techniques in our laboratory under the olive trees and explore the microscopic world. 

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"Practical experiences are essential, especially for the fundamentals in biological and natural science programs, to ensure comprehensive education. Marine biological excursions are particularly suitable for this, as almost all taxonomic groups are represented in this habitat, and complex physical, ecological, and evolutionary relationships can be addressed" (Dr. Torben Stemme).

We are delighted to tailor a personalized group experience for you. Our focus is on fostering enduring partnerships as we deeply value our collaborators. Below, you'll find a testimonial from Dr. Armin Bloechl, who has entrusted us with facilitating his course for numerous students over the years.

files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Armin_small.jpgDr. Armin Bloechl
Institute for Aquatic and Terrestrial Wildlife Research (ITAW) TiHo-Hannover
Foundation of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover

For over 20 years, I have been organizing marine biology courses in locations such as Helgoland, Giglio, Elba, the Azores, and Crete. Since 2017, we have been based at the marine biology department at Dive2Gether in Plakias, Crete. The excellent and professional support from the dive team led by Paul and Erik Koblens, along with the biologists under the direction of Martina Holzknecht, enables a comprehensive introduction to the marine habitats of the Mediterranean for biology and environmental science students.

files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Stemme_Torben_small.jpgDr. Torben Stemme
Institute of Neurobiology, University of Ulm

At the Mare Mundi Dive2gether field station in Crete, a professional and competent team of experienced divers and biologists convey the complexity of this fascinating habitat with great personal commitment in a scientifically sound manner in a stimulating environment. A significant increase in competence and knowledge among the participating students is the result of Dive2gether's highly successful concept!



In addition to our primary objectives of outreach and education, we are dedicated to gaining a deeper understanding of the marine environment along the coastline of Plakias. Our approach involves daily data collection, monitoring and restoration efforts focused on local seagrass meadows, and the facilitation of Bachelor’s and Master’s theses.

Furthermore, we collaborate with scientists from around the world to organize sampling projects and share our valuable data. We take pride in our involvement in various publications and theses. If you share our passion for marine research and would like to explore collaborative opportunities, please feel free to reach out to us via email at crete(at)dive2gether.com.

files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Projects.jpg

Seagrass monitoring and restoration

One of our initial endeavours was the monitoring of the fascinating Neptune Grass (Posidonia oceanica), an endemic seagrass species. In the picturesque Souda Bay, we invite certified divers to join us in collecting valuable data on shoot density (shoots/m2). Ever dreamt of becoming a citizen scientist? Seize the opportunity by participating in our Marine Biology Activity! Seagrass meadows are not just ordinary habitats; they are crucial ecosystems globally. The Neptune Grass, in particular, plays a pivotal role in the Mediterranean Sea. These meadows serve a variety of functions, akin to a tropical coral reef.
In 2022, we were honoured with the Hans and Lotte Hass Preis from the Haus des Meeres in Vienna, kickstarting a critical restoration project. Following the method developed by Piazzi and colleagues, we strategically place geo-mats in degraded seagrass areas, replanting naturally uprooted fragments. We collect fragment data pre-planting and conduct regular monitoring each spring and autumn. In 2022, we planted 235 fragments across two patches (Mat A and B), and in 2023, with the addition of Mat C, we planted 240 fragments. A monitoring dive in October 2023 revealed that most fragments remain in place and are thriving, showcasing the success of our restoration efforts.

Alien vs. Native

Monitoring the Impact of Non-Indigenous Species in the Mediterranean Sea

Since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, numerous species from the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific region have found their way into the Mediterranean Sea, earning them the label of non-indigenous or non-native species, commonly referred to as aliens. The influx of these species, particularly when their population increases dramatically, has the potential to reshape the marine environment. Altered food webs, local extinction of native species, and the complete grazing of algal cover to reveal bare rock are among the observable consequences. In response, our extensive diving team serves as ambassadors for the sea, utilizing their unique position to monitor population densities of both non-files/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/Lionfish.jpgnative and vulnerable native species. Each guide or instructor within our team conducts a species count during every fun dive, allowing us to track changes in the local species composition. This proactive approach helps us maintain a comprehensive overview of the delicate balance between alien and native species in the Mediterranean ecosystem.


Gaining a (tube) foothold – trends and status following two decades of the long-spined echinoid Diadema setosum (Leske, 1778) invasion to the Mediterranean Sea.
Rotem Zirler, Lynn Angele Leck, Tamar Feldstein Farkash, Martina Holzknecht, Andreas Kroh, Vasilis Gerovasileiou, Mehmet Fatih Huseyinoglu, Carlos Jimenez, Vasilis Resaikos, Mehmet Baki Yokes and Omri Bronstein
Front. Mar. Sci. 10:1152584. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2023.1152584

The molluscan assemblage of a pristine Posidonia oceanica meadow in the eastern Mediterranean.
Martina Holzknecht & Paolo G. AlbanoMarine Biodiversity (2022) 52:59,

Numerous new records of tropical non-indigenous species in the Eastern Mediterranean highlight the challenges of their recognition and identification.
Paolo G. Albano, Jan Steger, Piet A. J. Bakker, Cesare Bogi, Marija Bošnjak, Tamar Guy-Haim, Mehmet Fatih Huseyinoglu, Patrick I. LaFollette, Hadas Lubinevsky, Martina Mulas, Martina Stockinger, Michele Azzarone, Bruno SabelliZooKeys (2021) 1010: 1-95

The rhizome layer of Posidonia oceanica: an important habitat for Mediterranean brachiopods.
Paolo G. Albano & Martina Stockinger
Marine Biodiversity (2019) 49:2467–2472

New records of non-indigenous molluscs from the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Jan Steger, Martina Stockinger, Angelina Ivkić, Bella S. Galil and Paolo G. Albano
BioInvasions Records (2018) Volume 7, Issue 3: 245–257

Der Schermesserfisch (Xyrichtys novacula) (GE)
Martina Holzknecht (former Stockinger)


Bachelor’s and Master’s theses

For further information or to request access to any of the theses below, reach out to us via email at crete(at)dive2gether.com. We welcome your inquiries and interest.

Zagon, Pauline: Untersuchungen zur Mikroplastikkontamination beim Indischen Feuerfisch (Pterois miles) südlich von Kreta (2023).

Haugwitz, Antonia: Untersuchungen zur Mikroplastikkontamination bei Drachenköpfen (Scorpaena spp.) südlich von Kreta (2023).

Seitz, Lilli: Fotoidentifikation des invasiven Rotfeuerfisches (Pterois miles) an der Südküste Kretas (Dragons Nose, Black Rock und Souda Rock) - Evaluation von Fotoidentifikation mit Hinblick auf Management Strategien (2022).

Halt, Simon: Fotoidentifikation des invasiven Rotfeuerfisches (Pterois miles) an der Südküste Kretas (Paligemnos Wall & Grand Gate) - Eine Methodenevaluation von mit Bezug auf Management Strategien (2021).

Liese, Nadine: Untersuchung von Umweltproben auf Mikroplastikkontamination an der Südküste Kretas (2021).

Niermann, Joshua: Videogestützte Erfassung von Flora und Fauna mit einem ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) im Mittelmeer - Eine Methodenevaluation (2020)

Von der Eye, Maruschka: Untersuchungen zur Mikroplastikkontamination in Sedimenten und Meerbarben (Mullus sp.) an der Südküste Kretas (2019).



Are you seeking an unforgettable experience, where you not only learn about the Ins and Outs of the eastern Mediterranean Sea but might discover your passion for fieldwork and an outreach position? With us, you'll immerse yourself in hands-on learning, mastering sampling techniques while participating in citizen science projects. Alongside our dedicated marine biology team, you'll engage in outreach activities, expanding your horizons. This unique opportunity offers more than just practical experience—it's a chance to enhance your CV and prepare for the role as a scientist in the field. Who knows you might stick with us since we are always looking for motivated talents to complement our team. We tailor your personalized development package based on the length of your stay and the topics that interest you. Join us and dive into a journey that's both enriching and fulfilling. Get your offer by pressing the button below!

Link to Request Offer formLink to our Whatsapp


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What do we offer:

We tailor the program to suit your availability and diving background, ensuring a personalized experience. You will be training 6 days a week alongside fellow students with our professional and experienced staff.

Your development plan will include:

  • Presentations
  • Laboratory sessions
  • Fish identification and monitoring
  • Invertebrate identification
  • Identification of the fauna on marine sediment & sediment sampling techniques
  • Identification of the fauna adapted to seagrass and monitoring techniquesfiles/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/monitoring.jpg
  • Taking part in a seagrass restoration project
  • Monitoring and identification of non-native species
  • Dive against debris specialty
  • Digital underwater photographer
  • Development of professional presentation skills

Why choose us and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea?

Since 2016, we have been dedicated to nurturing aspiring marine biologists, introducing them to the wonders of the Mediterranean Sea. Many of our former staff members have successfully transitioned into sought-after outreach or PhD positions. As a well-organized and safety-oriented organization, we prioritize education to enact positive change in a rapidly evolving environment.

The Mediterranean Sea, although the largest sea, is in comparison to other oceans, relatively small in size. This unique characteristic renders it particularly vulnerable to significant anthropogenic impacts, given its densely populated coastlines and status as a favored tourist destination. Despite facing these challenges, it continues to harbor invaluablefiles/032 Mare Mundi Field Station/saveguard.jpg treasures and ecosystems crucial to our collective well-being.

Our commitment lies in safeguarding the persistence of this environment through proactive outreach efforts and restoration initiatives. For further insights into our mission and activities, we encourage you to explore the buttons located on the right-hand side of the page.

Dive2gether Marine Field Station

See what we offer!