University Excursions


University Excursions

Field Trips and Excursions for University Groups

If you are planning a marine biology field trip our experienced HYDRA team on Elba welcomes you and your group to use its infrastructure and service.

The beautifully situated field station above the bay of Fetovaia is exceptionally well-suited for marine scientific activities. Undisturbed work is possible year-round. Snorkeling from the gently sloping sandy beach is easy for beginners. Attractive study sites are easy to reach by foot: boulders and hard bottoms of different rock type and exposure, rockpools and sandy beaches all lie within a few minutes walk from the institute. The blue grotto of Cavoli, the Golfo di Galenzana and the black beach of Le Tombe can be reached by boat. Typical habitats such as sandy and shell bottoms, seagrass meadows, boulder grounds, steep rocky faces and algal turfs can all be found within the bay of Fetovaia. A special feature are the biogenic structures of the prècoralligène / coralligène reefs which harbor much biodiversity at the Punta di Fetovaia. Deeper areas are reached by SCUBA dives. Animals, seagrass and algae are regularly sampled by the staff divers so as to be at your disposal in the classroom. Staff or guest scientists are usually ready to give a short talk about their current research projects or may even set up a small demonstration.









Scientific dive center

A fully equipped dive center with snorkel- and SCUBA dive gear, dive excursions and research tools is integrated into our field station. The equipment comprises 60 complete snorkel sets including neoprene suits and 25 complete SCUBA dive sets. Our boats allow excursions with up to 24 participants at once. On-board VHF radio, mobile telephone and medical oxygen are standard equipment for your safety. For independent works of guest scientists a light zodiac with a 15 PS motor is available.

Equipment for sampling and documentation

A plankton net, airlift, diverse sampling and holding equipment, lift bags, water sampler, sediment corer, digital underwater photo and video cameras are at your disposal.


For talks, seminars and laboratories we provide two classrooms with 22 working places each, presentation media and a library. Two small laboratories for experiments and special studies are also available. Outside a large roofed working area allows extended work with samples and experiments, and permits sampled organisms to be kept for several days. The optical equipment comprises 20 ZEISS stereo microscopes, 20 simple stereo microscopes and 8 compound microscopes, partly with photo adaptors. Microscope images can be displayed for the whole audience via screen and projector. Video registration is possible in DV format. Digital videocameras are used for longer monitoring and documentation of experiments. In the lab simple scales, centrifuges, glassware, a heating oven, and a sieve column for sediment analyses are provided. The classroom library comprises standard textbooks, taxonomy guide books and keys, and special literature. 









Snorkeling in the National Park: an excursion to Pianosa Island

In collaboration with the administration of the National Park Tuscan Archipelago we are able to arrange snorkeling excursions to the former penitentiary Island of Pianosa. Here the remains of a fossil reef platform protrude from crystal-clear waters. The highly structured limestone with numerous grottos and caves offers unique possibilities for shallow-water observations. A visit to Pianosa must be arranged well in advance and checked with the ferry boat operator.









References: Our clients and partners

University excursions and guest scientists at the HYDRA Institute for Marine Sciences:

Swedish Museum of Natural History (S), Universität Göteborg (S), GEOMAR Kiel, IfM Universität Kiel, Universität Hamburg, DZMB Wilhelmshaven, Universität Oldenburg, Universität Osnabrück, AWI Bremerhaven und Helgoland, Universität Bremen, MPI Bremen, Universität Rostock, Universität Potsdam, FU Berlin, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Universität Münster, TU Braunschweig, TiHo Hannover, Universität Bielefeld, Universität Greifswald, Universität Halle, Universität Jena, Universität Bayreuth, Universität Dortmund, Universität Düsseldorf, Universität Bonn, Universität Wuppertal, Universität Göttingen, Universität Kassel, Universität Marburg, Universität Giessen, Universität Frankfurt, Senckenberg-Institut Frankfurt, Universität Mainz, FH Bingen, Universität Darmstadt, Universität Heidelberg, Universität Stuttgart, Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten Stuttgart, Universität Tübingen, Universität Ulm, Universität Freiburg, PH Freiburg, Universität Würzburg, Universität Regensburg, Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München, TU München, Bayerische Staatssammlung München, Limnologische Station Iffeldorf, FH Weihenstephan Außenstelle Triesdorf, Universität Basel (CH), Universität Bern (CH), Université du Fribourg (CH), Université du Neuchâtel (CH), Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis (F), Universität Wien (A), Universität Graz (A), Università di Firenze (I), Università di Bologna (I), Università di Ravenna (I), Università di Pisa (I), Università di Milano (I), Sultan Qaboos University Muscat (Oman), University of Queensland Brisbane (AUS), Joint Genome Institute Berkeley (USA), Harvard University (USA), Penn State University (USA), University of Hawai'i (USA), Northeastern University (USA), University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), Ocean Genome Legacy (USA), University of East Anglia (UK).

Please find informations about research projects at our site Research at the HYDRA Institute for Marine Sciences.