Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2005-2012); International Space University (2012-2013)
Medical Degree, Master of Science (Space Studies)
European Space Agency, Greek Armed Forces
Medical Doctor in the Greek Armed Forces (military service)
32 Marine Support Battalion, Greek Army
Medical Doctor, medical researcher at the Antarctic Concordia Station space analogue (2014)
In 2014 i spent an entire year in Antarctica, working for the European Space Agency (ESA) on medical research in extreme environments. Concordia Station lies at the heart of the seventh continent and is a European (French-Italian) research facility which closely assimilates the living conditions of Astronauts. The reason for this is that the Base remains completely isolated for 9 consecutive months while it also experiences an abnormal day/night cycle and sports an international crew. Due to these similarities with life in space, ESA has taken an interest in studying what effects does living in Antarctica have on human physiology (our bodies) and psychology. In 2014 we conducted 10 medical experiments on various subjects ranging from metabolism to team performance. The results will not only assist humans in their quest of space exploration but also improve living conditions and help us find the cure to pathologies on the Earth.
My Typical Day
Wake up, bit of sports, reading e-mails, performing experiments, time with friends.
In Antarctica your schedule can change from day to day. For me, wake-up time depended on what medical test did i have to run and when. For example, i had to wake up at 07:00 to collect blood samples once a month. If there was nothing pressing in the morning, i’d start my day with a short visit to the gym. After breakfast i’d take a bit of time to communicate over the internet – for work and personal purposes. In Antarctica, that’s the only thing that keeps you connected with the rest of the world, after all. The morning and afternoon would be dedicated to running tests and conducting medical experiments on the rest of the crew as well as on myself. Helping other crew members with their own tasks was very important too. We also shared common tasks, such as washing the dishes. After dinner there was some free time to hung out with each other or we would perform an outreach activity (for instance, skyping with schools in Europe). Playing games together or watching a movie would be the perfect ending to the day after you’ve made a couple of phone calls to friends and family back home.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
European space doctor
What was your favourite subject at school?
Physics & Biology
What did you want to be after you left school?
Something between an explorer and an inventor
Were you ever in trouble at school?
A healthy amount of trouble, yes!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
+70 degrees sauna in Antarctica with a 10-second break to walk at -70 degrees C outside
Here’s a few pics from my work place: This is Concordia Station in the ice
wherein the ESA Lab lies. There we conduct medical experiments as you can see here:
The whole crew takes part!
Here’s what a simple test looks like: You put some electrodes on your head and (try to) sleep! The electrodes monitor your brain activity when asleep.
When you take a break from that, you go out to collect some snow samples 🙂