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Career as a Marine Microbiologist

BY: Sonali Bhawsar | Category: Careers | Submitted: 2011-01-25 02:34:00
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Article Summary: "Marine Microbiologist works on the microscopic organisms from seas and oceans. They should be prepared to work in laboratory as well as on field. Information about Marine Microbiologist career..."

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Microbiology is one of the basic branches of Life Science and is also known as mother of Biotechnology. The microscopic organisms like viruses, bacteria, fungi, molds and yeasts; their physiology, biochemistry, genetics, ecology and their useful/harmful properties are studied in Microbiology. A graduate in life science would like to study Microbiology for post graduation and doctoral research. At post graduation level and during/after receiving PhD; marine Microbiology is the best option to continue the research work.

Marine Microbiologist works on the microscopic organisms from seas and oceans. These microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae, yeasts, fungi and planktons. Oceans and seas harbor very diverse microbial flora and fauna. The little is known about marine microorganisms, since most of them are either nonculturable or difficult to isolate. The recent technological developments like bathymetry, GPS, Shipboard laboratories and Ship maneuvering have made sampling of marine microbes living in various ocean habitats possible and therefore, we are able to investigate more about ocean microorganisms. Let's research the scope for a marine Microbiologist. Microbiologists must keep in mind that he/she should be prepared to work in laboratory as well as on field to achieve your goal as Marine Microbiologist. The career details are described with respect to following three categories.

1. Research:

Researchers have many opportunities to explore into the following fields.
• Genetics: Restriction enzymes, lateral gene transfer, genetics basis for salt tolerance, adaptation to live in deep thermal vents on the ocean floor, cold temperature and extreme pressure under which terrestrial would be crushed.
• Fossil Microbiology: Ocean bed is rich source fossilized microbial remnants for study of evolution and phylogeny. It can give novels insights into the Earth's history.
• Biochemistry: Elucidation of biosynthesis pathways of production of novel drugs, functioning of ocean geochemical cycles and enzyme regulation.
• Physiology: Morphological characteristics, nutritional requirements, properties like bioluminescence and pigment synthesis, sulfur bacteria, methanogens, denitrifying bacteria inhabiting ocean water.
• Ecology: Survival studies in nutrient limitation, stress conditions, adaptation to high pressure, low or high temperature, and water turbulence, significant interactions like commensalism or parasitism, viruses of sea bacteria (bacteriophages), Unicellular algae, algal blooms and diatoms.
• Taxonomy: Isolation, identification and enumeration, dynamic flora, polluted sewage river water addition, transfer to air and ground level by ocean surf or bubbles, diversity of flora and fauna, distribution studies. Exploitation of different habitats, interaction with other sea animals, microbes and planktons.
• Applied: Marine microbes as the resource for production of pharmaceuticals, antimicrobials, other secondary metabolites and biosurfactants.

The world's some leading Institutes and Universities which promote research in marine Microbiology are:
• Bremen University, Germany
• Max Planck Institute of Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany
• Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MA, USA
• Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India
• Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC, San Diego
• Zehr Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
• Station, Biologique, Roscoff, France

2. Academics:

In academic institutions, colleges and universities, Microbiologists are employed as faculty. The professor of Microbiology in College or University gets grant in aid for research into marine Microbiology and also can publish research work. They would become a permanent faculty based on their research experience, perform independent research work and can form research group to study various areas in marine science. After the completion of PhD, the Microbiologist can obtain a postdoctoral position that may provide specialized research experience in the institution/University.

3. Company jobs:

Environmental control and monitoring agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) hire microbiologists to investigate and manage marine pollution and oil spills.
Petroleum industries are interested to appoint microbiologists to study underground oil reservoirs, their microbial flora, crude oil recovery and detailed microbial research.
In industries that are concerned in the production of marine food, marine byproducts and pharmaceuticals; the microbiologists have great job potential.

If you would like to travel long destinations away from home and explore the nature then do not leave opportunity to join the expeditions to Seas/Oceans or South Pole as a Marine Microbiologist!

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Comments on this article: (23 comments so far)

Comment By Comment
Ryno Lawson
2011-03-07 04:25:29 133
Thanks for that articles. It has helped reaffirm the direction I would like to go into, in terms of my career. Are there many researchers out there in this sort of field. If you know of any I would very much like to get in contact with them. Thanks
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2011-03-07 22:38:43 134
Dear Ryno,rnThanks for your appreciation. As you know, 'much and more' things regarding oceans and marine life are still unexplored including marine microorganisms. So there is great potential for enthusiastic researchers like you to explore. You can find novel methods of isolation of ocean microbes, microbial interactions, their byproducts, genetics etc and publish your research or get patents. I will provide names and biodata of some marine microbiologists very soon. Thank you once again and All the Best!
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2011-03-07 23:04:28 135
Dear Ryno, I would like to suggest you to visit: ; a website of National Instutute of Oceanography, Dona-Paula, Goa, 403004, India. I have contacted to following scientists giving your reference but I suggest you to feel free to contact them as soon as possible. 1. Dr.N.Ramaiah: 2. Dr.P.A.Lokbharathi: 3. Dr.A.K.Chatterji: 4. Dr.U.Goswami: 5. Dr.S.Nair: Ryno, These scientists are from my country, I assure you they will not disappoint you. Thank you.
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2011-03-09 20:34:24 138
Dear Ryno, Here are some more addresses which I received from Dr.Loka Bharathi of NIO, Goa. 1.ORI, Japan(Ocean research Institute) 2.JAMSTEC Japan agency for marine and earth science and technology IFREMER 3.Institut fran�ais de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (IFREMER) (French institute for research and exploitation of the sea) 4.CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research-australia Also visit:,
2011-05-13 05:09:50 165
Thats a very great and intresting article.Im recently doing my semester two in biotechnology at the vaal university of technology.I would like to know which companies specialise in the field of marine biotechnology here in south Africa,and are there any in-service training offered to students.
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2011-05-31 21:31:53 177
Dear Lydia, I would like to suggest you to visit: ; a website of National Institute of Oceanography, Dona-Paula, Goa, 403004, India to receive more information in marine biotechnology. you should also contact well known scientist from the same institute Dr.P.A.Lokbharathi via her email to know about scope and other information about marine biotech in S.Africa without any hesitation. Thank you.
Kundan Mukherji
2012-06-12 20:48:08 305
The article was very helpfull indeed for chosing my carrer subject... but can anyone suggest me best colleges in India for bsc microbiology ??
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2012-06-14 03:08:25 306
Dear Kundan, Thanks for appreciating this article. I would like to know what are your criteria of 'best' college? For some, it is best when the teaching faculty members are best and for some students it is when all types of automated instruments and facilities are available. I will suggest you to choose such a college which has research oriented atmosphere and where the faculties develop novel ideas and encourage their students even at undergraduate level. I suggest you to know your goal in Microbiology at this level, decide in which branch of Microbiology you are interested and also try to find related scholarships available. All the Best!
2012-12-16 09:34:22 367
Hi, thanks for your informing article, I currently hold a national diploma in biotechnology from the vaal university of technology and next year im thinking of enrolling for Btech. I am just still confused on which type of project I can go for, I am interested in Argricultural, Environmental, Medical and Industrial Microbiology. Thank you
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2012-12-17 23:31:50 368
Dear Leonard, I am glad that you liked this article, Thank you! Let me suggest you to first recognize your field of interest among Agriculture, Environment, or Industrial Microbiology and then choose it for your BTech Programme. Your interest in particular field of Microbiology will actually help you to enhance your skills required for your career. From my side I would like you to choose Environmental Microbiology. Leonard, I feel that you would excel in both academically and career front in your chosen field, All the Best!
puneet kumar verma
2013-01-03 21:39:22 376
Right now i am a trainee student under Dr. Ramaiah. I want to make my career as scuba diving microbiologist. what should i do for this please help me regarding this so that i may move on to in the right direction. And i want to do Phd after the completion of my masters in biotechnology.
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2013-01-05 05:22:43 377
Dear Puneet Kumar Verma, Thanks for reading 'Career as a Marine Microbiologist'. I would like to suggest you to read my article 'Scuba Diving for Marine Microbiologists', by reading it I hope your queries will be answered. In addition to it, I also advice you to search funding agencies/scholarships related to this field. This would be helpful for you to plan your study course in advance. Thank you.
Yogesh Wagh
2013-03-18 23:43:19 585
Thanx mam, for suggesion of marine microbiology as a carrier option, but please can u suggest me, any college for this in maharashtra.Also tell me any industry in India in which marine microbiologist are required?.thank u.
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2013-03-26 02:38:11 592
Dear Yogesh, Following are some of the selective institutes in Maharashtra: 1. Marine Biological Research Station, Ratnagiri 2. Taraporewala Marine Biological Research Station, Mumbai 3. Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli Institutes offering courses of Marine Microbiology are very scarce in Maharashtra but they are plenty in states of TN, Kerala and not to forget NIO at Goa. Regarding scope of this subject in India, the truth is that you will have to create your niches and scopes, utility or good paying job here not only for marine microbiology but for any other subject. Considering that India has enormous coastline and Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal there is plenty of scope to study marine environment and related issues. Would you like to study pathogenicity of marine flora & fauna or effect of marine pollution or microbial remediation or their diversity or visit and explore Antarctica and its marine environment? So don't restrict but explore your horizon of choice, all the best!
Ashadul Haque
2013-12-30 05:55:13 740
Mam,I just read your artical and it was superbbb. Now I am studying Microbiology at the undergraduate level and I'm looking foroward to make a golden career as a marine microbiologist.From my childhood,I was curious about the marine world,thats why I want to dive deep in the sea and explnoore the unknown world of marine microbes.But I'm quite worried about its future in india? and also confused whether I should go for the MSc in Marine microbiology or pure Microbiology?. Plese help me mam I need your suggetion.
Mukesh paithane
2015-04-01 20:17:09 924
Thanks for this great information ! I am a student of Msc Microbiology and I would like to work for marine industry in future. just enlist the names of some so that I can apply after completion of my post graduation. rnrn
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2015-05-11 04:45:09 935
Dear Mukesh, I hope you can spare some precious time of post graduation to search in books or on internet to find institutes of your interest all over the world. Doing this, you will not only get ample information, ideas regarding your career but also the latest researches and never ending list of institution. I am certain you will enjoy the process. Good Luck and thank you.
2016-06-01 06:49:24 1080
Hi, Great article. This was my dream back in 2000. To combine my love of the underwater as well as microbiology. I never thought it would be possible. Anyhow, I actually became a certified open water diver but sadly I left the marine environment and focused on food safety. But now, I'm tracing ny roots. Hope its not too late
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2016-06-04 06:35:37 1081
Yes, its never can start..Best of wishes Jim!
Rohit Khatokar
2016-06-12 13:01:03 1082
I got selected in the Goa University entrance exam for MSc Marine Microbiology. And I am looking forward to take admission, I have always wanted a job in science that is not limited to just the lab. I Microbiology in general is very confusing because it has a lot to offer and we often can not decide what is better. I hope I have made a right decision.
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2016-06-17 06:46:16 1084
Hello Rohit, Its a right decision, go ahead. Best of wishes!
salim khan
2017-03-02 22:06:23 1186
hello mam i want do a Phd in marine microbioogy but in india their is not that much scope i was completed my masters in marine microbiology from goa university i wants to looked farward to be carrier in the marine microbiology plz help me to get a good start as a marine microbiologist
Sonali Bhawsar - Author
2017-05-04 00:15:08 1210
Why don't you apply@CSIR NIO, Goa. Recently their advt published about PhD admission. Good luck.

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