What do marine biologists do? Biological studies have been an epitome of research and development, in the current century. Almost every part and parcel of living beings are studied and researched, under the context of biological studies.
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One such field of biology revolves around the world of oceans and seas. It has been named as marine biology, and the specialist is dealing in marine biology are termed as marine biologists.
Let’s dig in deep to have an understanding of what does a marine biologist do on a typical day and several career opportunities in marine biology and more.
What is Marine biology?
Marine biology is the study of life underwater which includes plants, aquatic animals and all other sorts of creatures that live underwater whether vertebrate or invertebrate.
- The study is conducted on the living beings of shallow seas as well as deep oceans.
- The primary goal of marine biology is to enhance understanding of the marine world and to study the factors that have the potential to affect it.
- Marine biology is a broad field in which marine biologist can not only go in field work but can also choose research or lab work.
Who are Marine Biologists?
Persons undergoing the study of marine biology are classified as marine biologists.
- Marine biologists study every type of sea creature ranging from gigantic animals of oceans and plants all the way down to microscopic living beings of seas.
- Marine biologists are graduating in marine biology as well as oceanography or other basic subjects such as biology, microbiology, physics, natural science, chemistry, biochemistry with post-graduation in marine biological studies.
- The key to making a prominent place in this respectable and adventurous career is to gain associated experience whether paid or voluntary.
- There is job saturation in this field in many countries, so securing a place in market wholly depends upon biologist’s skills and commitment towards work.
Marine Biologist Career Opportunities
Marine biology is a pretty vast field covering all the aspects of the life of oceans.
- Only in marine biology, there are so many careers that a marine biologist can opt if he/she wants to join this professional field.
- Some of the potential careers for marine biology graduate can be as a professor for teaching the related subject at the college level, being an oceanographic lab technicality handler, working as a strategy maker for an aquarium or marine zoo, being a marine scientist and researcher.
- Being a hydrologist would also be a startling career in this humungous field. Hydrologists are scientist or researchers who dwell into discovering water bodies and devise suitable ways to get rid of water pollution.
- Marine biotechnology is a specialization for marine biologists. It involves the manufacturing of products from marine creatures.
- Marine biotechnologists not only produce but also test and make these products practical for human beings.
- Molecular marine biologists are specialized persons that research sea-dwelling microorganisms, discovering new species and studying their effects on sea animals.
These are just a few careers mentioned here; marine biologists have a whole universe in front of them if they want to peruse any career of this adventurous and exciting field.
Titles of Marine Biologists
Marine biologists are classified into many types based on the functions they perform. All of these come under different titles. Some of the marine biologist’s titles are:
- Oil spill response specialist.
- Professor in marine ecology.
- Research assistant.
- Reef restoration project manager.
- Fishy data manager.
- Marine biology technician.
- Marine biotechnologist.
- Marine policy expert.
- Postdoctoral fellow.
- Marine ecologist and dive operations.
What Do Marine Biologists Do?
Depending upon the specific area of work or the specific career chosen by marine biologists, here are top 30 common responsibilities of a marine biologist:
- Studies every sort of sea creature from whales to plankton.
- Studies water residing plants and viewing effects of environment on them.
- Performs researches for industries that are based on flora and fauna of oceans, devising alternative operating conditions for industry other than inflicting sea creatures with damaging methods.
- Studies the specialties or characteristics of sea animals like their historical origins, interrelationships, genetics, factors affecting their existence and their sea distribution.
- Tests and monitors of both sea plants and animals, their exposure to marine pollution and effects of pollution on their biological systems.
- Employs techniques such as Visual recording, Geographic information systems concerned with storing, manipulating, visualizing geographic data, Coring techniques with the sedimentary analysis and collecting samples. Then the marine biologist analyzes these collected samples and forming researched theories by it.
- Studies marine population, its distribution, range and movements along with diseases affecting them.
- Saves and preserves samples/specimens of unknown species and giving them a detailed review for species identification or study of species associated developing disease.
- Keeps a record of endangered species, scuba diving to survey conditions of those species and factors proving a threat to these species.
- Implements preservation methods and strategies for endangered species.
- Performs scientific experiments on sea creatures not only their betterment but also for proving benefits to human beings.
- Communicates the latest findings or researches of marine world to the market via outreach, conferences and academic publications.
- Provides detailed lectures or teaches on planning, management, and policies for marine activities.
- Provides scientific information and relevant findings along with evidence to policymakers for developing policies needed best to manage the marine environment.
- Provides divulging detailed reports regarding marine environment to funders, commercial organizations and government bodies. Such reports are highly useful if sea related projects are being planned and help investors to get a detailed overview of the situation underwater of that specific area. For example, if any oil company is planning to set up a plant for drilling oil from the seabed, such reports can be highly useful.
- Studies marine animal behaviors, responses, and local marine practices by interviewing local stakeholders, fishers and sea divers.
- Gives a detailed review to all proposed projects having marine involvement in any way studying environmental impacts of the very project as well as cultural and socioeconomic impacts of the project.
- Researches vessels in temperate, tropical and polar seas and directing expeditions on fishing in such areas.
- Continues educational work related to this field and providing awareness to the public, commercial organizations, and governments with regards to any problem related to marine creatures or situations.
- Develops and implements marine projects. Management of these projects is also the job of marine biologists.
- Conducts researches for finding any prospect of marine creatures and their life factors, that may directly or indirectly, effect (benefit or worsen) human life. As well as provides awareness about the results of these researches by presenting talks to the public, government ministers, commercial employers, and fellow academics.
- Writes research articles and journals related to conducted studies.
- Tracks (and coordination of) assignments, schedule budgets, deliverables and scopes of these assignments.
- Writes contract negotiations, grant proposals and managing business development.
- Keeps up-to-date to any new research that is conducted related sea life and acquiring any new technology that may make marine biology progress fast.
- Gives lectures on specialist subjects as well as supervising researches of masters and Ph.D. level students.
- Devises ways for marine population management and preservation of reduced populations. Many research laboratories have been set up now in which marine biologist and specialists do medical researches, i.e. discover medicines from marine creatures.
- Studies about the conditions of coral reefs and implanting different ways to prevent them from harmful effects and management of their conditions.
- Keeps an eye on any abnormality of the marine environment and try to dispose of any such condition is encountered.
- Works as a marine veterinarian where he/she focuses on the health of aquatic animals.
Marine biologists lead a very flexible life with traveling abroad, discovering different water avenues getting handsome amount of salaries.
Working hours are pretty flexible for marine biologists. Contracts of fieldwork are usually about 40 hours a week. These hours may vary if a marine biologist is associated with any NGO, educational institute or works privately.
Part-time work is also a good option in this field. With no rigid dress code, this field is overall fun. New opportunities are available on every new step. The field has made its mark in recent times, as a result of investigating the deep-down ocean secrets and unraveling the hidden truths.
Being a marine biologist is a perfect career option for persons who are exuberant, fun loving and who need adventurous excitement in every hour of their life.
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- “Wanna Be a Marine Biologist?. Accessed November 13, 2018. Link.
- Image Credit Flickr Creative Commons: Pedro Moura Pinheiro, Penn State, Marine GEO