Marine Biologist Career Information
What a Marine Biologist does
The emerging field of marine biotechnology offers great opportunity for marine biologists. Marine biotechnology research presents a wide range of possibilities and applications. One focus area is the biomedical field, where scientists develop and test drugs, many of which come from marine organisms.
Molecular biology is another related area of specialization in this field. Researchers apply molecular approaches and techniques to many environments, from coastal ponds to the deep sea, and many different organisms, from microscopic bacteria, plants, and animals to marine mammals. For example, molecular biology can be used to identify the presence of a specific organism in a water sample through the use of molecular probes. This is very useful when the organism in question is microscopic.
The study of disease in organisms is also aided by the use of molecular techniques. Researchers have developed antibodies that are specific to a particular virus, so that when the virus is present in the organism, detection and diagnosis is easier and faster. Likewise, new molecular techniques help scientists identify whether or not an animal has been exposed to pollutants and, in some cases can determine the source of those pollutants.
Aquaculture, the farming of finfish, shellfish, and seaweeds, is another field that has been aided by marine biotechnology and molecular techniques. Aquaculture is gaining importance in this country as consumer demand for fish and shellfish becomes greater than can be met by traditional commercial fishing.
Marine researchers also experiment with ways to administer drugs to diseased populations of farm-raised fish. Disease can wipe out an entire crop of farm-raised fish or shellfish due to the confined setting in which they are raised.
Other popular areas within the field of marine biology are environmental biology and toxicology. Both of these areas have direct applications and implications for our society. Examples of specialties in environmental biology and toxicology include water quality research and the study of contaminants or pollutants in the coastal or marine environment.
Laws, regulations, and cleanup measures designed to protect the environment will ensure that marine and environmental biologists and consultants continue to play an important role in our society.
Another two popular fields of research involving marine mammals are bioacoustics and vocalization (the study of marine mammal sounds), and population dynamics (studying marine mammalian behaviors and responses to environmental conditions as they impact population).
Various government, semi-government and autonomous research institutions like National Institute of Oceanography and the Geological Survey of India employ marine biologists.
Various universities, deemed universities and colleges in teaching and research like Indian Institute of Technology (Chennai), Cochin University of Science and Technology, Mumbai University, University of Chennai, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Anna University.
As a marine biologist, you can take up a job as a lecturer in a college, university or deemed university. As per UGC rules, your next promotion depends not only on your years of experience in teaching but also on your research experience.
You can take up a Research Fellowship in a research organization, university, or deemed university leading to a PhD degree.
As a marine biologist, you can also join oil exploration and petroleum and petrochemicals industries such as Essar Oil, Reliance Industries and ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Commission).
With the progress in Biotechnology, growing concern about marine pollution, and progress in technology for using marine resources in various areas in medicine and food technology, career opportunities for marine biologist are growing.
Though the opportunities at present are mainly in university departments and research organizations, private sector participation in marine biotechnology is not far away with many multinational setting up of world class biological research organizations like Chembiotek in Kolkata. Private sector participation in the field will surely shot up the opportunities for all the Bioscientists including Marine biologist.
Abilities & Traits Required
• You should have a strong interest in Biological Science
• You should have an inquisitive and explorative mind
• You should be academically oriented with a strong interest in knowing and learning various things
• You should have an excellent ability to understand, realize, analyze, remember and apply scientific facts and theories
• You should be disciplined and hard working
You should do well in all your examination right from secondary examination to Master's degree examination scoring at least 60% in aggregate and more than 70% in science subjects.
A researcher generally receives a stipend of approximately Rs 15000- 20000. The starting salary after your post graduation can be in the range or Rs 20000- 25000 per month in the government sector and slightly higher in the private sector. With a PhD, you can earn about Rs 25000- 30000 per month as a starting salary, which will rise as much as Rs 50000 with experience.