A career in marine biology

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Marine biologists study marine organisms in their natural habitats, i.e. the ocean, and even the ocean itself. They study the behaviors or physiology of aquatic life and assess the condition of habitats and the effects of human activity on these animals and habitats.

As part of their research, they conduct species inventories, test and monitor aquatic life exposed to pollutants, collect and test ocean samples, preserve specimens and samples of unknown species and diseases, and map distribution, ranges or movements of marine populations. Their studies support ocean ecosystems, which will allow fish, corals and other organisms to thrive for many years.

They must also advise organizations on alternative industrial practices to minimize negative effects on marine species and habitats. They must also communicate their findings and recommendations by writing reports and scientific journal articles. Their job titles will typically include wildlife biologist, zoologist, fish and wildlife biologist, fisheries biologist, aquatic biologist, conservation biologist, and biological technician.

Marine biologists also boast of having scuba diving certification. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be scuba diving all the time, but it can be one of your main roles and an essential part of your research activities if your career is literally in the water! You will most likely be employed by academic research institutes, environmental NGOs (non-governmental organizations), conservation charities, or state or federal government agencies. Expect your employers to be located in some of the most exotic locations in the world. Here are some of the main job responsibilities of a marine biologist –

  • Review research and literature related to current findings in the field
  • Collect field and control samples of biological samples and non-living media for analysis
  • Study the behavior and relationships between organisms in the marine environment
  • Analyze the evolution and distribution of organisms and their environment in the ocean
  • Operate and maintain instruments used to track organisms and measure environmental properties
  • Analyze the diversity and health of the different components of the marine environment
  • Consult and work to rebuild damaged marine ecosystems

A bachelor’s or master’s degree is required for entry-level marine biology research jobs, such as those at private research organizations and biotechnology companies. Doctoral degrees are generally required for professorships and other jobs that are largely research-intensive.

The best colleges offering marine biology courses are:

To study abroad

  • James Cook University, Australia
  • University of Winchester, UK
  • University of Tampa, USA
  • Boston University, USA
  • The University of Western Australia, Australia

India

  • Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala.
  • University of Karnatak, Karnataka.
  • Andhra Pradesh University, Waltair.
  • University of Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu.
  • College of Science and Technology, Andhra Pradesh

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