An Introduction to Marine Science and How to Become a Marine Scientist

Approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans which harbour underwater life. Yet, many of the species living underwater remain to be discovered. Marine Science focuses on all the aspects of the ocean’s environment, biology and ecosystems, how these interact and how this in turn influences our planet. This interdisciplinary field bridges Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Physics and Mathematics. 

Marine Science aims to understand the wonders of the underwater world but also limiting the detrimental human and environmental repercussions on the marine wildlife. Ocean acidification, climate change, over-fishing and pollution for example threaten marine biodiversity. You may have heard to the Australian Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef ecosystem. Unfortunately, with the rising ocean temperatures, the heat “expels” the colour in algae leading to “bleached corals” and biodiversity loss.

If the above themes interest you and you wish to make a valuable contribution to the oceans, you should consider becoming a marine scientist:

  1. Enrol in undergraduate courses such as costal studies, marine biology, marine ecology, marine conservation or oceanography. As this is a cross-disciplinary field, many different paths exists based on what interests you so make you browse all available options and countries which offer such a Bachelor before making a final decision.
  1. Expect entry requirements to be around Natural Sciences ie your Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and/or Physics grades as well as a passion for this field. How do you know if this for you? Try it out through possible internship, work-shadowing or volunteer experiences. How does a local beach clean-up sound? Pick up some gloves and a bucket. 
  1. Studied modules usually revolve around biology, chemistry, data analysis and statistics, oceanography (subject to change based on the offered courses and chosen specialisations).  More niche subjects can include tropical ecology or fisheries sciences. A solid mathematical background is also needed for all the modelling and predicting processes.  

Featured Courses

The CPD accredited courses are carefully crafted to help you gain in-depth knowledge on a topic of your interest.

4. Marine Science studies heavily rely on fieldwork – analysing ocean samples, standing at the stern on a boat and tagging turtles. There are high chances that you will end up wet! You also will dedicate your “dryer days” to data crunching and scientific literature reading so be prepared. 

5. Examples of scientific literature you may exposed to: foraging and migration behaviours of turtles in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, vegetation response to climate change and enhancing microbial metabolism (chemical processes to maintain Life) for removal of pollutants in water environments.