Interested in Marine biology...

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Annoying, 2 Sep 2011.

  1. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Hey everyone

    Well finally it's time for me to think on what career I would like to start one day:yeahdude:. I'm really interested in either micro biology or marine biology as my first Bsc degree. Now I know there are a lot of super smart people on this forum:whistling:, now smart people normally have contacts in high places, hahaha now before you get carried away I'm not asking for a job, only in gr11 now. I would like to know how I can arrange an interview or shadow a marine biologist for a day at Ushaka this vacation. I just want to get an overview of the career and see if it could be something I would enjoy. Please PM me with any info or just reply on the thread.

    Thanks a million
     
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  3. Hermanus

    Hermanus

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    Go for it man!!
     
  4. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Good thinking!
     
  5. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    I think Ash is a coral biologist or something
     
  6. Annoying

    Annoying Thread Starter

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    Wow that sounds awesome, see this is precisely why I would want to shadow someone to get all the facts and opertunities
     
  7. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

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    Attend a couple of masa meets down here. They always have a guest speaker
     
  8. Annoying

    Annoying Thread Starter

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    Really wish I could , but a bit high up in South-Africa here in Limpopo, only get about one chance a year to go to KZN and then it's Sodwana so I need a place to get as much info as possible in the littlest of time.
     
  9. pXius

    pXius

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    For Micro Biology you should try and have a chat with someone like a professor or someone who's currently studying the course.

    Micro bio is far from marine. You'll be studying allot cellular structures, some anatomy, TONS of metabolism processes and quite a lot of chemistry with no particular focus on any species like humans, plants or animals.

    The course is quite wide and you only truly start to "focus" on a subject once you hit masters which in my opinion is the minimum level of education you'll need to have a successful career (in the BSC field) by the time you finish. Which will be 2017 should you pass everything first time.

    Most BSC students start off with a general goal usually changing to something else (also bsc) as they become more familiar in the field or become more attracted to new subjects.

    My point is.. find someone who studied micro bio and ask questions until their head pops. If you can't, PM me and I'll get you in touch with someone.
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2011
  10. Seabass

    Seabass

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    Pxius, nice of you to offer, why not just arrange contact details.

    Alt one can call a uni and get contact details.
     
  11. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Pm me your combat details. i did microbiology as one of my majors in undergrad, then moved to molecular biology in marine biotech for post grad. Im sure i can point you in the right direction.
     
  12. cuenm

    cuenm

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    hi Annoying, i agree with what Pxius said.. as i am a 2'nd year bsc: biological science student ill add 2cents.
    if you are interested in the field its a start. you can do a marine biology degree at KZN uni. i think thats the only place offering it right off the bat, otherwise you would be looking at doing either a BSc in biological science or environmental science at most of the other unis (im at NMMU in pe). what this is, a more general beginning, so your majors may be Zoology, botany, chemistry, physics or geography for example. that would cover first year. then from second year you would carry on with Zoo and Bot as your majors and Chem for example if you are interested in marine bio. what im getting at is that you dont have to choose for first year if you into marine bio(which as you will see is as general as saying i want to be an engineer as there are many fields to go into) or micro bio or something similar. when you do your honours year you will focus on what you really want to do, by then you will know what that is im sure. (i plan on doing aquaculture and fisheries science for example).
    also you may try volunteering at some place during your holidays, time to call on favours from familys and friends at the coast. for example i volunter at a penguin rehabilitation in PE, where you come into contact with other students aswhell as marine biologists, vets, etc.
    hope this helped, i had similar questions a few years back of course.
    let me know if you need any more info.
    Cuen.
     
  13. brentch

    brentch

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    I'll be starting my masters in marine biology soon, I do work on population genetics/phylogeography and benthic ecology of organisms from scleractinia to sardine, so feel free to ask me all the questions you want!

    Don't go to Ushaka, right next door to Ushaka is a world renowned research institute, ORI/SAAMBR!!! They have scientists working on things from fisheries economics, coral genetic connectivity, ecology, to isotope work on phyto/zooplankton and fisheries modelling. Alot of the people employed by Ushaka are not marine biologists... Contrary to popular belief, marine biologists are not schooled so that they can work at aquaria. You don't get an "aquarium maintenance module" at varsity. A lot of people also tell me they want to follow marine biology as a career and think that it's all about rehabilitating dolphins and swimming with sharks etc. Well it's NOT! Please don't get the wrong idea:lol: Meaningful research, which leads to publication in in peer reviewed journals is what it's all about. A good understanding of writing, statistics, your subject and the scientific method are needed for one to achieve in this field of work.

    You can major in both of these degrees at an undergrad level if you choose, they would go hand in hand with research avenues such as phycology/biotech. However, at honours and above you will have to specialize.

    Log on to the UCT, UKZN, NMMU and Rhodes websites to get an idea of what you may be in for. They often have online faculty handbooks with the list of modules for the undergraduate degrees. Try get hold of one and read up on what you might be doing. All three of the universities I've mentioned have globally recognized marine research departments, and are regarded as the best three in Africa (and in some respects, the world) in the quality of research they publish. So you can't really go wrong with any of them.

    Good luck with choosing the rest of your professional career!!!

    Shot
     
  14. brentch

    brentch

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    Another thing I get is that people tell you that there is no money in either of these avenues. Are those people telling you this in the research field?

    As any biologist, geologist, chemist or geneticist; the pay for researchers at ORI, CSIR or any biotech company is pretty good. A starting salary for a junior research scientist at the Ethekwini (Durban) Municipality starts at about 20K with all the extras (medical aid, pension/UIF, housing allowance etc.). I think the highest paid scientists at the moment are bioinformaticists (bioinformatics) at around 100K, and of course biotech research for medical companies and consulting has good money in it too.
     
  15. Annoying

    Annoying Thread Starter

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    WOW WOW WOW, told you guys there are a lot smart people on this forum:lol:.

    Hey pXius thanks for the advice, on the moment I'm arranging a meet for a day at with a professor at Onderstepoort. This will awnser most of the questions on Micro at the moment. Thanks a lot

    Thanks a million will do so:yeahdude:

    Thanks a lot for the advice Cuen

    Thanks a million! Would be great to set up a meeting ORI/SAAMBR, any idea of who to contact? Only thaught of Ushaka as I'm not to familiar with Durban.

    It's like you read my mind, my dad thinks it's not a good career choice as I wouldn't have any money to sustain myself nor my family. But now I've got proof:eek::yeahdude:
     
  16. brentch

    brentch

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    Yes, but remember that the more qualified you are the more money you will earn. Someone with a straight BSc working as a lab assistant/technician won't earn much. So if you plan on supporting a family make sure you go as far as you can with studying and do as well as you can. The NRF and universities like to give money away to students who do well...
     
  17. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    really cool, am thinking of changing my career and studying again at 34yrs
     
  18. brentch

    brentch

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    When I said 100K, i meant up to......haha :lol:

    Give me a day or two and i'll pm you the details of some people you can speak to. Keep reading up on micro and marine in the mean time, :yeahdude:they are different but the same:yeahdude:
     
  19. Annoying

    Annoying Thread Starter

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    Ok now a few questions that I'm struggling with:

    Unfortunately I have to do my first Bsc degree at the university of Pretoria and they don't have a marine institute as far as I know, can anyone give me an idea of what would be a good bsc degree to look at, in wich I can do a Masters in a type of Marine biology. I don't know how the study process works any light that can be shed on this subject will be greatly appreciated.

    Another question, if I would want to study in marine biology, where could I ask for a bursary besides the university? I would really want to take any extra strain of my parents.

    Sorry about all the questions, thanks a lot:thumbup::peroni:
     
  20. brentch

    brentch

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    No they don't... But that's not a train smash, MOST of what you will learn at undergrad will be pretty universal stuff. However, if I were you, I would enroll at a uni' that offers marine before starting honours. This is especially true if you want to pursue ecology.

    Look at staying very broad for undergrad, UKZN offers a BSc Biological Sciences which incorporates zoology, botany and everything in between (ecology, and electives in environmental management, molecular, invertebrate ecology and biology, parasitology etc) so i'm sure TUKS will too. If you cannot decide on whether to enroll with Micro or biol, major in both, the only difference is that you will not have any electives to choose from; all your subjects will be compulsory and will be pre/corequisites for other modules.

    I wouldn't worry about the degree to your name in the end of the day. We have PhD students in our lab that are MSc molecular but are considered experts in the work that they do which is molecular ecology of bats. Another is a microbiol student and is studying the ecology of bacteria and virus' in relation to the carbon and nitrogen cycle in different zones in the ocean. Don't get ahead of yourself, you have a long way to go before you have to think about answering this question, by then you'll know what's cutting.

    Well it all starts off with you choosing your subjects in 1st year. Most likely you will have the equivalent of 4 2credit subjects a semester (you have to pass (50%) subjects to get your credits. You need 16 credits per year). You will choose your subjects according to the degrees requisites (the subjects you HAVE to take).
    For example: at UKZN these are the options for 1st year biology students...
    Semester 1 Semester 2
    Subject 1:Biol 101 (2 credit) PR Biol 102 (2 credit) PR PR=prerequisite elec=elective
    '' 2:Chem 110 (2 credit) PR Stat 140 (2 credit) PR
    '' 3:phys 100 (2 credit) PR Comp 120 (1 credit)
    '' 4:Math 130 (2 credit) PR Geol 102 or geog 101 or enviro etc (2 credit) elec
    Biol 130 (1 credit) PR

    As you progress, you will begin to specialize in what you want to do. In your case probably terrestrial ecology and microbiology.

    Don't think this degree is anything but hard work and LONG hours. The chemistry, physics and maths modules are not "tailored" for biologists. Each of them is the base module for its own applied science, e.g. the chemistry you will take is the same as what the 1st year applied chemists and chem engineering students will take. Same with maths, physics and statistics; i.e. get ready to bend:biggrin:...

    Remember that when you sign up for a degree, a set of rules for that year applies to you for your whole degree. Thus, if you decide to change your degree or a major, the new rules apply to you. This means that if the varsity decided to add a prerequisite to the 1st year syllabus and you never took it, you may have to go back and do that module in 1st year, even if you have enough 1st year credits. I hope this makes sense because students often forget this.

    IMO the government has failed it's people in this respect (and in a few other subtle ways). I believe education loans should be free of interest, or just free education. Anyhow, if you get above 75% for your aggregate the varsity usually pays for that year or the following years fees. You can also get a student loan if you don't have a study policy, however I think these are a mission to pay back. I have heard of people rather borrowing money from a rich aunty/uncle/sugar mommy and paying it back without interest. Can't help you too much here, this is a personal issue, you need to look on the varsities website for scholarships and bursaries.

    Rather ask, ask and ask some more. These next few years are important, so don't F@CK around; work hard and joll after (an understatement). Pain is temporary, glory is forever.
     
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  21. brentch

    brentch

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    sorry this didn't come out very clear... my bad. It was condensed when I posted it..
     
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