Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)2020-03-08T09:25:30-05:00

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following are summaries of the most frequently asked questions we receive.

If your question is not answered here, please check our Marine Life Group before contacting us if your question has to do with school, career advice or general marine life science. We get thousands of questions a year and are unable to answer all of them individually. Thank you!

How does MarineBio Search determine results?2020-08-30T10:39:51-05:00

The MarineBio Search engine determines results based on what you enter as a search term or terms with results that contain your search term the most first. Usually those with matches in the page/post/species title show first and then those with your search term in the body text and then even tags. The results then become less and less relevant the further you page through results.

This can be confusing, especially for simple searches, where your expected result may not be first (or even on the first page of results) but rest assured the search engine is working properly.

For example,  if you search for whales, you will get all blog posts, site pages and species with the term whales in titles and body text and then eventually even posts/pages with whales present in site tags.

The reason we did it this way is so you can find what you’re looking for (hopefully) PLUS see blog posts, site pages and even other species pages where your search term appears. This can be helpful because this can show you what your species might prey on or what species prey upon the species searched for. It can also make it easier to find relevant news (posts) and/or site pages where your search term is mentioned as well.

If you’re looking for a specific species, enter its Scientific name or most Common name for the quickest results. We have also added Species Group links at the top that return just species in those relevant Classes, Orders, and Families.

Note: on every species page, the taxonomy at the top and bottom will return species-only searches for each of the relevant taxa listed there for that species.

For example, Animalia  Chordata  Aves  Sphenisciformes  Spheniscidae  Spheniscus is listed for African Penguins at /species/african-penguins/spheniscus-demersus/ and clicking on each will return species results for each of those taxonomic groups. Those species farther to the right are more closely related to African Penguins while those to the left are more distant relatives.

We hope that helps, please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

What’s it like being a Marine Biologist? I need to interview one for a school project, etc.2020-03-05T10:33:18-06:00

The following are common answers to the marine biologist interview commonly assigned to students:

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the most common requests we get is help with an assignment that requires answers to questions about a career in marine biology.

1. What education is required to become a Marine Biologist?

Prospective scientists who hope to work within the field of Marine Biology should have at least a degree in a biological science, e.g. in general Biology or Zoology, before specializing via further education. Many believe that students should not overspecialize in undergraduate study, as knowledge of marine biology is often acquired during graduate study (during a Masters or PhD degree).

2. What roles are associated with each degree of education?

A Bachelor’s degree (BSc) is associated with non-research roles and graduates with such a degree may start as scientists in testing and inspection. A Masters of Science (MSc) degree is sufficient in many jobs, e.g. product development, management, and may allow one to work as a research technician or a teacher. A Doctor of Science (PhD) allows further roles in research and developmental positions.

3. Which are the best universities in this field?

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, The Scripps Research Institute, University of California (Santa Barbara) and the University of Miami (Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science) are a few of the top ranked colleges in Marine Biology. See our schools page for more.

4. What skills are required in marine biology?

Proficiency and a general interest in communication, science (specifically biology) and math would be of great use.

5. How would I get a job in marine biology after college?

It is best to initially discuss any plans with your advisers for further advice. Some form of internships or voluntary work with companies during breaks would be of great use too.

6. What kind of salary do Marine Biologists make?

Marine Biologists make fairly average salaries. For instance, BSc biologists typically have a range from $30-40,000, whilst MSc biologists often get $40-50,000. A full professor of Marine Biologist of a university can earn up to $100,000. It’s highly variable, however, and many jobs are very tough to get because they are few and there are many applicants.

7. What are some of the types of equipment marine biologists use?

Besides, lab equipment, boats/ships and various oceanographic equipment including water samplers, various nets and traps, they use computers (see our Tools page) as well as submarines if they are lucky. Some also scuba dive and also use photographic and video systems to capture images and footage of marine animal behaviors.

8. What kind of marine biology fields would incorporate robotics?

The ones where robotics would be used for sampling or exploring places humans cannot go. For example, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are often used instead of manned submersibles for various reasons (cost, safety, speed of deployment, etc.). So deep-sea research uses robotics as well as whenever ROVs are used.

9. What kind of people do you work with? What sort of personality do you need?

I work with average people and some remarkable ones too. Everyone needs a calm and friendly personality to go with their top-notch skills. Much research (including the work behind MarineBio) involves teams and team members need to be able to communicate effectively as well amicably. Type B and even C personalities are usually best.

10. What kind of responsibilities do you have?

I am responsible for all of MarineBio and working with the volunteers and our project teams on our projects.

11. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a marine biologist or just started?

Enjoy what you do every second you can. If marine biology keeps you up at night and you cannot get enough of it, then read all the books, watch all the films and take all the science and math classes you can. It will be hard work but if it continues to be your passion then no price is too high to succeed in it.

If you have further questions, feel free to join us in our Marine Life Science Group @facebook :-)

Who are you guys?2019-03-01T13:33:08-06:00

Since 1998, we have been an all volunteer nonprofit organization of marine biologists, students, professors, and conservation advocates working to share the wonders of the ocean realm online to inspire conservation, education, research, and a sea ethic. For information on our founder and current directors, see our About Us page, which also lists information about our mission and philosophy.

What kind of volunteers do you need?2019-03-01T13:33:08-06:00

We are primarily looking for biology, zoology, marine biology, etc. and/or marketing or communications students/pros who wish to help out. Volunteering is via virtual assignments to help with the MarineBio Network itself and it’s various projects. Areas include:

1. Expansion/refinement of content in the Ocean, Marine Conservation and Marine Life sections – please read those sections and email david@marinebio.org with suggestions, references, URLs, etc.

2. Projects on the Projects page – see /research/projects

3. Marketing/PR work – work would include writing letters and emails to potential partners, helping with our online/offline marketing plan, etc. Email david@marinebio.org if you’re interested, and please send a brief description of your background and a few words about what aspects of the above you would like to get involved with and how you think you might benefit MarineBio’s Mission.

How else can I get involved to help save/protect/restore the ocean?2019-03-01T13:31:27-06:00

1. Please visit our Marine Conservation section to learn more about a Sea Ethic, Sustainable Fisheries, Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat Conservation, Sustainable Tourism and more. Knowledge is power. Tell others about it, talk to strangers, tell your kids… the ocean needs our help and we need the ocean. We also have a page 101+ Ways to Make a Difference and an Action page that contains links to petitions from all over the Web that need our help today in the ongoing fight to protect marine life and our shared environment. The page also lists all the ways we can all lessen our impact on Planet Ocean as well.

2. Read Dr. Carl Safina’s books, the Eye of the Albatross and the Song for the Blue Ocean that we cannot recommend highly enough.

“Since our species first evolved, we have concentrated our efforts on ensuring the survival and well-being of ourselves, our families, our tribes, and, more recently, our nations. Now we must broaden our focus once more to embrace the goal of ensuring the survival and well-being of our living planet. Deciding how we will maintain the biological parts and processes of our home, how we will save, study, and sustainably use life on Earth, is a challenge far beyond anything humankind has faced. But alternatives that fail to maintain our biotic systems will inevitably lead to diminishing living standards, to widespread misery, and, finally, to death on a scale beyond anything that has befallen our species… all within the life span of a single massive coral head. People and institutions can avoid this by keeping the goal of maintaining the integrity of life constantly in mind as we formulate and implement our strategies to conserve biological diversity.” – Dr. Carl Safina

3. We also highly recommend Marine Conservation Biology: The Science of Maintaining the Sea’s Biodiversity edited by Michael E. Soule, Elliott A. Norse, Larry B. Crowder, Marine Conservation Institute, Island Press, 2005

4. See Dr. Moyle’s “What you can do to save wildlife” essay pages to learn all about wildlife conservation.

5. Make a donation and join the MarineBio Conservation Society helping us continue to spread the knowledge we need to protect the ocean word and more.

Are you hiring?2019-02-25T16:30:28-06:00

Sorry, not at this time though we are always seeking talented volunteers to help out with the immense work we have to do.

How can I get more involved? (Save the whales, dolphins, turtles, sea otters, etc.)2019-02-25T16:02:49-06:00

See the question above, read Dr. Carl Safina’s books, the EYE of the ALBATROSS and the Song for the Blue Ocean that we cannot recommend highly enough as well as Marine Conservation Biology : The Science of Maintaining the Sea’s Biodiversity by Michael E. Soule, Elliott A. Norse, Larry B. Crowder, Marine Conservation Institute, Island Press, 2005, visit our “100 Things We Can ALL Do” and Dr. Moyle’s “What you can do to save wildlife” and finally, you can make a donation and join the MarineBio Conservation Society by helping us continue spreading the word and much more.

How can I find out more about marine conservation?2019-02-25T16:00:26-06:00

The best place to start is in our Marine Conservation section at /conservation. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the Marine Conservation Group at facebook.com/groups/marinebio. We’ve listed the majority of marine conservation organizations at /conservation/marine-conservation-biology/organizations/ with descriptions about them to help you decide which to join if you would like to get involved further. The list is updated at least once a year, let us know if we’ve missed any or if you would like to know more about an issue at info@marinebio.org.

I would like to submit some information about a particular species that you don’t yet have online. What should I do?2019-02-25T15:57:42-06:00

Great! Easiest thing to do is just email us suggestions at info@marinebio.org. Please try to include a link to the page you’re commenting on.

I read an interesting story about marine life that I think you should know about….2019-02-25T15:55:56-06:00

Feel free to email us a link to it at info@marinebio.org or post it in our very popular Marine Life Group so that everyone benefits. We also have a Marine Life News page that pulls news from many different sources with news stories generally about marine life at /news/feeds.

I saw a marine thing/fish/crab/shrimp/… and need help identifying it. Can you help?2019-02-25T15:54:09-06:00

Sure, we love a challenge though we usually recommend the many books out there for the best help with species identification. If you have a good photo(s) or video and can upload them somewhere on the Web, post your question(s) and links to the photos/videos in our Marine Life Group and we’ll be happy to help.

I’m interested in marine life/Marine Biology, can you tell me more about it? Where do I start?2019-02-25T15:52:17-06:00

So are we! We have hundreds of pages and counting of information just for you. You might start at The Ocean section where we explore some of what is known about the ocean in what is essentially an online introduction to marine biology and ocean science. The Marine Life section is the essence of MarineBio, so in this section we explore information on the biology, morphology, behavior, ecological relationships, taxonomy, and conservation status of the fascinating marine life that inhabits the ocean from nanoplankton to Blue whales. The Marine Conservation section covers some of the key issues in marine conservation and we hope that by helping to educate the public we can mobilize action to stop the destruction, prevent the loss, and preserve what’s left of marine life in our largest living space—the ocean. We hope you enjoy your journey and we love feedback either directly or in our Marine Life Group.

Where can I meet/chat with Marine Biologists?2019-02-25T15:50:26-06:00

We currently have many Marine Biologists as members of our very popular Marine Life Group located at https://www.facebook.com/groups/marinebio. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!

I’m doing a research article on marine biology. I was wondering if you could recommend any topics.2019-02-25T15:42:10-06:00

Sure! We recommend any topics that have to do with marine conservation. Marine conservation is a vital subject that currently is too often ignored in mainline research. One book we would like to recommend as a great resource for possible research topics concerning marine conservation is Marine Conservation Biology – The Science of Maintaining the Sea’s Biodiversity.

I need to know which school is best for me to study Marine Biology. Can you help?2019-02-25T15:39:31-06:00

That will depend upon many factors, see our list of schools that offer Marine Biology degree programs at /careers/us-schools/ (US schools) and /careers/international-schools/ (schools outside the US). The lists are always changing and contain what we think are the majority of schools offering degree programs in Marine Biology to help people just like you. Best of luck!

I’m interested in becoming a Marine Biologist, what should I do?2019-02-25T15:35:18-06:00

Wonderful! We would suggest that you review the information starting with Marine Biology Education Resources. Best of luck!

Can you put a link to my site on MarineBio.org? Are you paid by those you link to?2019-02-25T15:25:03-06:00

We are not paid by any of those sites that we link to on the MarineBio Network (with the exception of those present in Google ads, if present). All links from the network were either chosen by us or suggested by visitors which were then reviewed by us and approved. If your site meets our standards then we may include a link to your site in a number of places. You can suggest a site to us in the following ways:

1. Email the link and a short description to info@marinebio.org.

2. Post it in any of our various social networking sites (see the buttons to Facebook, etc. at the top/bottom of all our pages).

I found an error on one of your pages, what should I do?2019-02-25T15:23:43-06:00

We appreciate all feedback concerning content on the MarineBio Network. When an error is found, please feel free to leave a comment or simply email us at info@marinebio.org and describe what you found to be in error (please include the page link if you can so we can reproduce the error). We will review it and make any required updates as soon as possible. If you find an error related to scientific data, please be sure to include a reference to published literature so that we can verify the suggested correction.

Can you send me printed materials about you or of content on MarineBio…?2019-02-25T15:21:40-06:00

At this time we do not produce any printed materials, such as brochures, etc. and with at least 1,000 pages of content on the MarineBio Network we do not offer printed copies for free.

Do you offer memberships?2019-02-25T15:20:48-06:00

All those who donate to the MarineBio Conservation Society are considered MarineBio Conservation Society members. We may establish a more formal membership in the future should more resources become available.

Can I use your photos or other content?2019-02-25T15:18:46-06:00

With the exception of photography, feel free to contact us to use specific content that you would like to publish. All content is copyrighted and we will expect at least credit for any content used. We do not allow our photographs to be used; many of them are provided through strict and exclusive agreements with contributing photographers. Linking directly to our photos so that they show up on pages outside the MarineBio Network is also forbidden. This is called “hotlinking” and is essentially stealing both the photos and our bandwidth. We test for this periodically and report the websites that are doing this. You can, however, use our content for offline, personal reasons such as printing copies to study, etc.

If you have any questions, email us at info@marinebio.org. Please see our Copyright and Terms of Use which you agree to by default when visiting the MarineBio Network.

Do you offer any partnerships or sponsorships?2019-02-25T15:16:47-06:00

At this time we are open to possibilities. If you are involved in marine research, education, conservation or photography/videography, etc. we would like to hear from you. Or if you like what we do and would like to help support our efforts, contact us via email at info@marinebio.org or by phone at +1 (713) 248-2576.

I’m a marine animal/plant expert and would like to get involved. Who should I talk to?2019-02-25T15:03:06-06:00

Contact our Founder, David Campbell at david@marinebio.org or +1 (713) 248-2576 to discuss the possibilities. We are currently seeking Advisors for dolphins, pinnipeds, fishes, corals, crustaceans, echinoderms, and plankton (phyto and/or zooplankton). See /scientists/ for more information.


  1. Memphis May 11, 2020 at 11:32 am

    I want to be a Marine Biologist because I have a love for sea animals but I don’t know where to start? Can you give me a head start?

  2. MarineBio May 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Well you’re in the right place! Check out all our pages and then follow all the links we have to all the other related awesome marine life resources online. There is weeks and weeks of learning available on this site alone just for people like you. Best of luck and have fun :-)

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