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Marine biology

Explore the subject of marine biology and the career opportunities it can lead to.
DAVE BAILEY: I’m David Bailey. I’m a marine biologist at the University of Glasgow. I mostly work on marine fish and conservation of biodiversity in marine environments. So at the moment, I’m working as an academic. And the things I really like about being an academic marine biologist are seeing students make progress, seeing students move forward and learn. I think that’s wonderful. I really like that. I get to work with some really fantastic young people. These days, I work mostly on marine conservation, and fisheries type issues. So I have a big project with the oil company, BP, off Angola. I’m looking at the effects of deep water oil drilling on the marine environment.
I do a lot of work around Scotland on marine protected areas– the conservation of biodiversity around Scotland. I also have projects in the Red Sea on coral reef biology. Fairly recently, I’ve also done work in Antarctica again on iceberg scouring effects on marine ecosystems. So I’m a real sort of generalist. I do all kinds of different things. The people who have recently graduated from our degrees here, we’ve got some who’ve gone into industry, so lots go into the consultancy sector, working on predicting what the effects of things like wind farms, and other sort of renewable energy projects will be. That sort of work has become quite a big thing for us.
We have people go into government agencies, working as fisheries observers, and working for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, that sort of thing. Some people go into teaching, or other areas of education. So we got a couple of people recently get work at the Glasgow Science Centre as science educators. So it’s pretty variable. If you really love nature, and trying to understand how animals and plants work, then life science is the perfect subject for you, obviously. There are a huge number of different things that you can learn through studying life sciences that can prepare you for other sorts of career. But I think you should do it if it’s something that you really love.

Dave Bailey tells us about his career in marine biology and explores some of the routes graduates in this subject might take.

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