Marine Biologist


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

Duties & Tasks

Marine biologists may perform the following tasks:

  • estimate the number of marine organisms and analyse their population features
  • observe communities of marine organisms and determine 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 determine whether change is caused by natural or human factors
  • participate in studies aimed at predicting the effects of proposed developments
  • develop long-term programmes for monitoring environmental pollution
  • provide guidance to help manage fisheries
  • provide information and recommendations for the development of marine conservation and harvesting policies and programmes, including aquaculture
  • write scientific reports on research and investigations, and prepare more general information for scientific, managerial, political and general audiences
  • provide advice to managers, politicians, primary producers, healthcare workers and the general public
  • provide research training for students and staff seeking entry to this field.


Marine Ecologist

A marine ecologist studies the interrelationships between marine organisms and their environment.

Working Conditions

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

In many cases, much of the work of marine biologists involves office work, research, writing reports and long hours in laboratories.

Personal Requirements

  • interested in the marine environment and its inhabitants
  • analytical and problem-solving ability
  • good written communication skills
  • good mathematics skills
  • able to work as part of a team.

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