Marine Biologist

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Marine Ecologist
Scientific Diver

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Scientific or AnalyticNature or RecreationSkill Level 5

Marine biologists study the origin, structure, functions and behaviour of all forms of life in the sea and connected estuaries, rivers and lakes, their relationships with each other and how they are affected by environmental factors. FutureGrowthModerate

Marine biologists perform many varied tasks depending on their area of specialisation and the area they are working in. As part of research they could estimate numbers of marine animals, study communities of marine organisms or assess the effect of introduced species. They may develop programs for monitoring pollution and provide information on marine conservation. They will spend time preparing scientific reports and papers. They may also be involved in teaching and giving advice to managers, politicians, primary producers and the public.

Specialisations: Marine Ecologist

Types of marine biologist
Job titles range from:

  • marine ecologist and dive operations manager

  • reef restoration project manager

  • marine biology technician

  • research assistant

  • fishery data manager

  • environmental engineer

  • professor in marine ecology

  • postdoctoral fellow

  • oil spill response specialist

  • consultant in marine ecology

  • marine biotechnologist

  • marine policy expert.

Although most roles require strong technical, research and scientific skills, specialising in a particular area is usually required for career progression - whether in coastal management, reef ecology, invertebrate biodiversity, fisheries biology or marine pollution.

Knowledge, skills and attributesMarine Biologist

  • interest in the marine environment and its inhabitants

  • analytical and problem solving ability

  • good written communication and mathematics skills

  • able to work as part of a team

Duties and Tasks

Marine biologists may perform the following tasks: Marine Biologist

  • estimate the numbers of marine organisms and analyse their population features
  • observe communities of marine organisms and work out the factors influencing their structure
  • assess and advise on the causes, effects, prevention and control of introduced species
  • use numerical and statistical skills to design laboratory and field experiments
  • design and carry out environmental impact assessments to work out whether change is caused by natural or human factors
  • participate in studies aimed at predicting the effects of proposed developments
  • develop long-term programs for monitoring environmental pollution
  • manage fisheries
  • provide information and recommendations for the development of marine conservation and harvesting policies and programs, including aquaculture
  • write scientific reports on research and investigations, and prepare more general information for scientific, managerial, political and general audiences
  • conducting species inventories, testing and monitoring sea creatures exposed to pollutants
  • collecting samples and data-using processes such as coring techniques, geographic information systems (GIS), visual recording and sampling
  • analysing samples in a lab and developing new research theories from them
  • preserving specimens and samples of unknown species and diseases and mapping the distribution, ranges or movements of marine populations
  • scuba diving to survey endangered organisms and implementing preservation strategies
  • designing scientific experiments and collating findings
  • preparing detailed reports for agencies, funders, commercial organisations, governmental bodies or oil companies drilling on the seabed
  • communicating the latest advances in marine science to help improve the ways in which we look after our oceans through academic publications, conferences or outreach
  • carrying out environmental impact assessments evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, including socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts
  • interviewing local divers, fisherman and stakeholders about animal behaviour and local marine practices
  • lecturing or teaching on policy, planning and management of marine activities
  • conducting expeditions on fishing and research vessels in all types of seas
  • providing policy makers with the scientific information needed to best manage the marine environment and advocating this in the policy process through government liaison, press and media
  • carrying out educational work and raising awareness of issues with the public, governments and commercial organisations
  • developing, implementing and managing projects relating to the marine environment
  • conducting educational and awareness-raising work by presenting talks to government ministers, the public, fellow academics and commercial employers
  • coordinating and tracking of assignments, scopes, schedules budgets and deliverables
  • senior level management of existing and new projects within or outside an academic setting
  • writing grant proposals, contract negotiations, marketing and business development
  • keeping up to date with new research and technologies and attending training courses
  • liaising with colleagues across the field including fellow research staff, technicians, ships' crews and research assistants
  • lecturing on specialist subjects and supervising Masters and PhD students.

Working conditions

Marine biologists may be required to work both in the laboratory and for extended periods at sea or on shore-based field stations. Fieldwork may include working on commercial fishing vessels, small inshore vessels or scuba diving.

It should also be noted that much of the work of many marine biologists involves office work, research, writing of reports and long hours in laboratories. Very few graduates get the glamorous job of swimming with dolphins and whales.


Tools and technologies

Marine biologists must be familiar with the technology associated with their particular specialisation. They need to be capable of conducting experiments, typically in a laboratory, to complete the research process. They may also need to be able to skipper a boat and scuba dive.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a marine biologist you usually need to study a science degree with a major in marine science, coastal and marine science, marine and freshwater biology or a related field.

 

Did You Know ?

Sharks attack some 50-75 people each year worldwide, with perhaps 8-12 fatalities, according to data compiled in the International Shark Attack File (ISAF).  Although shark attacks get a lot of attention, this is far less than the number of people killed each year by elephants, bees, crocodiles, lightning or many other natural dangers. On the other side of the ledger, we kill somewhere between 20-100 million sharks every year through fishing activities.

Great White SharkOf the 350 or so shark species, about 80% grow to less than 1.6  m and are unable to hurt people or rarely encounter people. Only 32 species have been documented in attacks on humans, and an additional 36 species are considered potentially dangerous.
Almost any shark 1.8  m or longer is a potential danger, but three species have been identified repeatedly in attacks: the great white, tiger, and bull sharks. All three are found worldwide, reach large sizes and eat large prey such as marine mammals or sea turtles.

(Source: Little Known Facts about the Ocean)
Biology and What a Hide and Seek Game!!

YouTube: https://youtu.be/pVIVIq4F3x0



To learn more: Go to The Conversation [3th May 2013]

Marine Biologist

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Geophysicist

University Lecturer

Exercise Sports Scientist

Oceanographer

Astronomer

Political Scientist

Physicist

Toxicologist

Haematologist

Medical Laboratory Technician

Robotics Engineer

Pharmacologist

Biometrician

Epidemiologist

Medical Laboratory Scientist

Virologist

Demographer

GIS Officer

Archaeologist

Mathematician

Scientist

Forensic Scientist

Environmental Scientist

Marine Biologist

Museum Curator

Biochemist

Entomologist

Conservator

Microbiologist

Agricultural Scientist

Industrial Designer

Inventor

Geneticist

Biotechnologist

Criminologist

Botantist

Agronomist

Historian

Geologist

Soil Scientist

Immunologist

Hydrologist

Anthropologist

Cartographer

Zoologist

Geophysicist

University Lecturer

Exercise Sports Scientist

Oceanographer

Astronomer

Political Scientist

Physicist

Toxicologist

Haematologist

Medical Laboratory Technician

Robotics Engineer

Pharmacologist

Biometrician

Epidemiologist

Medical Laboratory Scientist

Virologist

Demographer

GIS Officer

Archaeologist

Mathematician

Scientist

Forensic Scientist

Environmental Scientist

Marine Biologist