Marine Scientist


    Marine scientists research the sea and study its interactions with its organisms, sea floors, coastal areas and the atmosphere.


    Types of marine scientist

    Marine science is a broad-ranging field. Within it, you can work in areas as diverse as:

    • biogeochemistry and ecosystems dynamics
    • coastal processes
    • geology and geophysics
    • hydrographic surveying
    • marine biology
    • oceanography, ocean modelling and forecasting
    • palaeoceanography
    • zoology.


    Employers of marine scientists

    • Marine laboratories
    • Universities
    • Government agencies
    • Oil and gas prospectors and renewable energy companies
    • Specialist research organizations and consultancies
    • Engineering companies
    • Fisheries
    • Marine conservation groups



    • planning and undertaking laboratory-based experiments and research
    • collecting samples at sea
    • keeping up to date with scientific and research developments
    • attending relevant training courses
    • recording, analyzing and interpreting data from biological or physical processes
    • using tracking technology to study particular organisms
    • writing research papers, reports and reviews
    • ensuring that data is recorded accurately
    • using problem-solving skills to develop solutions to research challenges
    • using computer databases and software to analyze and manage data
    • developing and maintaining a network of contacts
    • making presentations
    • identifying new funding sources and applying for grants
    • planning and organizing field research trips
    • generating new research hypotheses and theories
    • testing out theories and hypotheses



    You’ll usually need a degree relevant to the area of marine science you want to work in. Subjects include:

    • biology
    • chemistry
    • ecology
    • geology
    • marine science
    • marine biology
    • maritime studies
    • oceanography
    • palaeontology
    • physics
    • zoology.

    Joint honours degrees, combining these subjects with other relevant areas of study such as mathematics, statistics or computing are also good preparation. A relevant postgraduate qualification (whether a PhD or a research-based MSc) is also helpful.



    • strong analytical and interpretive skills
    • meticulous accuracy and attention to detail
    • team-working and collaboration skills
    • a willingness to take on the challenges of seagoing research and life on board ship
    • inquisitiveness and tenacity
    • IT skills
    • experience in practical areas such as scuba diving, boat handling and first aid
    • strong communication skills for report writing, conference presentations and grant applications
    • experience of habitat mapping and species identification
    • enthusiasm and commitment to the field.