Each year in July, the Marine Biological Association welcomes six budding marine biologists aged 14 to 18 to the laboratory in Plymouth to showcase what we do here and get a taste of the career opportunities in marine biology. Of the many applications received each year, only six places are available making the selection process competitive.
This year’s successful students experienced working alongside professionals in many different fields of marine biology. Collecting data to help our current citizen science projects, such as Crab Watch, and inputting their results with our data analysts in DASSH (Data Archive for Seabed Species and Habitats). Working alongside our CPR (Continuous Plankton Recorder) researchers and plankton expert Dave Conway, to get a taste of current marine research by looking at plankton and their identification. This year’s students also had the opportunity to contribute to the strategic development of the MBA’s Young Marine Biologist programme, offering their views and recommendations in a strategic review of the project. The cell and molecular lab taught vital lab techniques and skills by Angela Ward, laboratory manager here at the MBA, whilst library staff taught key research skills using our library facilities. But the lessons weren’t just based indoors; we also went surveying for fish in Mothecombe where we even managed to find a Solenette amongst many other species!
As always, the students got stuck in and enjoyed themselves which was wonderful to see. As a result, we hope they added some useful skills to their portfolios and took away useful tips and insights to inform their future career choices.
If you are interested in doing work experience or marine science camps with us at the MBA, follow this link - https://www.mba.ac.uk/careers#b13
The team collecting mysids for our head aquarist to feed cuttlefish. A huge thank you to Rebecca, Amy, Jake, Alex, Emily, Tim (the team!)
By Nicholas Helm