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What is a marine biologist? (Transcript)

I am John Reed, the senior scientist with the Division of Biomedical Marine Research at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution.

I am interested in a number of research projects. One is a deep water corals project that I’ve been working on for about 25 years and another is a biomedical research project that we’ve been working1on for about 15 years.

It is kind of odd that marine biologists or oceanographers do not have to work on the coast. Quite a few work inland from major universities in the Midwest. It really doesn’t matter now, especially with the Internet and opportunities to travel where you are. You can do your research from basically anywhere. We are fortunate to be located on the coast and we have our ships right here so we can go to sea relatively easily.

I’ve been around the world twice. We’ve had scuba diving and expeditions with the submersibles to Africa, the Azores, Eastern Atlantic, Spain, Portugal, throughout the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Thailand, Seychells, Papa New Guinea. I’ve been very fortunate to travel as much as I have been able to. I have counted up the countries and I’ve visited over 60 countries primarily through work.

With my background and training as a marine biologist which involves a lot of training in scuba diving, collections, taxonomy, being familiar with different habitats and what lives there and the marine ecology aspect, I could get a job consulting with a private firm that is doing ecological research or consulting as a government position. There are state and federal positions with fish and wildlife and the department of natural resources, and there are opportunities with oceanographic institutions such as ours. With a masters degree, like I have you are somewhat limited to go to a university and head a program because typically you have to have a Ph.D. to do that.


Related Links

John Reed Profile


Please note that all OceanAGE Career content was current at the time that interviews were recorded; however, profiles are not being updated to reflect subsequent career changes.