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Career as a Marine MicrobiologistBY: Sonali Bhawsar | Category: Careers | Submitted: 2011-01-25 02:34:00
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.
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
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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