The MARU Lake Malawi Research Centre


The MARU Lake Malawi Research Center

The Maru is a research center located on the shores of the most biologically diverse lake on the planet, Lake Malawi in Central Africa, Malawi.  Here you will find nearly 1000 species of beautiful cichlid fish in a unique environment in the heart of Africa.  At the Maru we are passionate about increasing our collective understanding of this amazing lake through research initiatives that partner with local and international organizations.

Through these partnerships and our volunteer and internship programs we are dedicated to raising awareness about, and the conservation of, Lake Malawi both amongst local Malawians and the international community.  Our research programs include underwater population and biodiversity surveying using SCUBA, water quality monitoring, and fisheries monitoring.


Interns at the Maru take part in all of our in-house research projects and are encouraged to develop their own research goals under our supervision.  Typically interns are either enrolled in an academic program, have just finished one, or have some professional experience in an environmental or social science field.  Interns will gather valuable fieldwork experience, learn how to scuba dive, conduct underwater population and biodiversity surveys, collect and analyze data on the water quality of the lake and the rivers entering into it, and work with fishers to learn about their interactions with the Lake.  This is a great opportunity to begin a career in science and conservation on the African continent and network with others who are doing the same.  The minimum time commitment required for our internship program is three months.

Our volunteer program is more flexible and open to anyone with an interest in joining with our team to learn about the lake and help promote awareness of, and care for, it.  Volunteers will assist our team in conducting the Maru’s research programs.  Those with special skills or interests are welcome to concentrate their efforts and the time commitment is more flexible from as short as two weeks up to 3 months.


“The Maru gave me the opportunity to put my university education to work in the field. Well worth it, great people, and stunning location.” Naadriah Doran 2019 Intern
“This was an amazing adventure in a beautiful and welcoming, culturally-rich country. I interned for 5 months and obtained my advanced SCUBA open water certificate, living part of the time on a houseboat, made great friends,and overall had a blast.”  Kade Brumbaugh 2016 Intern
“I had a great experience interning at the Maru for 3 months. Lake Malawi is a really stunning place and the Maru team is did a great job at getting me trained and ready to participate in their research programs. Definately a worthwhile experience.”  Joy Kimball 2015 Intern


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